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Thread: My Pip Story

  1. #1

    My Pip Story

    Hi all

    I thought I would share my PIP story with you all.

    I applied for PIP in December 2013. All went well until the 22nd April. My wife called them to chase it and was told 'We have everything, call tomorrow and we will have a decision for you.

    Now five weeks and over twenty calls later, still no decision. Even the DWP bods on the helpline admit it's odd. I have twice requested a call back within five days and nothing. I am now awaiting number three. Apparently this is all they can do. They are not even bound to call, if they don't all I can do is request another and hope they ring.

    Now that's odd, this is even weirder. I got a letter from my local council cutting my rate of CTB and HB. Why? Because on the 23rd of April I was awarded PIP at the top rate for both. Called the DWP -No they are wrong, no decision has been made. The council have access to view DWP's records and have checked three times. They have the award, the date, and the first payment date.

    HMRC wrote to me this morning. I have been awarded SDA. Why? Because DWP have awarded me PIP at the enhanced rate. Called the DWP and got the same old line.

    I used to work for the DWP and even I am amazed at how bad they are being. What is worse is that you cannot speak to someone in charge, they call you within five days ....maybe.

    So, looks like a letter to my MP. I don't know what else I can do.

    So even if you do everything right-(flymo's post was very helpful) you can still get nowhere.

    Just written to my MP for his help.

    Just called DLA. My Claim ended in May your on PIP. DWP-No your not. I despair!!!
    Last edited by Thundersparrow; 06-05-2014 at 04:30 PM.

  2. #2
    You don't need me to point out that something has gone badly wrong here.


    It's worth asking the PIP helpline (which is little more than a call centre) if they will pass a request for a call back to the Benefit Centre who are responsible for making a decision on your claim. If you get talking to the Benefit Centre, it's more likely you'll get this sorted out. Something has gone wrong both with issuing the decision to you and with putting that decision into payment.

    I had a minor glitch in the date of claim, which initially meant I lost 8 days of PIP. This was down to inconsistent information in the computer system. I suspect your problem is somewhat similar. Once you've persuaded something at the Benefit Centre that something is wrong, they will hopefully take responsibility for tracking it down and sorting it out.


    I would also request a copy of your PIP records under the Data Protection Act 1998 - this might just prompt someone to put any problems in order and, if not, you'll have a much better idea what you're dealing with.


    I would also start a formal complaint against DWP. Make it clear when you contact the PIP helpline that you will be putting the complaint into writing, you require a response in writing, and that you will be exercising your right to complain to the Director General of Operations of the Department of Work and Pensions if this mess is not sorted out.

    It is worth contacting your MP as you suggest, but it never hurts to back that with self-help steps.

  3. #3
    HI THUNDERSPARROW

    when did you last ring them? you say you got awarded from the 23rd April have you still not had any paperwork or payment cheers

  4. #4
    burkey007 - ordinarily there's no problems notifying a decision and putting any award into payment. Sometimes glitches occur - this is one example.

    You can't figure out how long your decision will take, no matter how hard you try. There's several centres making PIP decisions, and it depends on your individual case as to whether the Case Manager can make a decision based on the first version of the assessment report, or whether further steps are needed.


    In your case, it will likely be in your best interests to sit back and wait 2-3 weeks. I hope you hear much sooner than that, but 4-6 weeks from DWP receiving the hard copy assessment report to you getting the decision is not abnormal. There's nothing you can do to hurry up the decision making process if it is proceeding normally.

    The more you focus on your desire for a decision, the more phone calls you make to enquire and the more people you ask about their dates, the worse your wait seems. I don't think any of us like uncertainty or delay, and I know it's particularly difficult with benefits. We can't control the system, but we have some level of control over how bad we make ourselves feel about the system.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by burkey007 View Post
    HI THUNDERSPARROW

    when did you last ring them? you say you got awarded from the 23rd April have you still not had any paperwork or payment cheers
    I called them Yesterday and was basically called a liar, that no decision had been made. That was despite just talking to HMRC, my local council and DLA. All who said I was onPIP according to them. The DLA advisor even double checked with her boss! That's why I rang PIP.
    I was "awarded" it from the 26th May to be paid on the 26th June. Decision on the 26th April. The other Government depts have view access to legacy DWP systems, so I don't doubt they are telling me the truth.

    I'm assuming PIP have cocked up and missed the "Print Letter" button but done everything else.But until the letter is printed, nothing is official as far as PIP are concerned.

    What is frustrating is the lack of accountability. My Wife asked to speak to a supervisor. Only to be told all we can do is request one calls you in five days. I've done that three times, still no call. I'm assuming they work on the virtual call centre principle so no supervisor is at hand. However one advisor did mention that they are overwhelmed with problems.

    I've looked at the DWP complaint procedure and the Chief Execs office will be getting a call on Monday morning. As well as the Independent Case Examiners office.
    I've written to my MP, but he's too busy bragging on the news that he earns 500k as a QC, on top of his MP work, to actually be helpful, I've had dealings with him before.

    Flymo, I would do the Data Protection request, only problem is I have no idea which BDC is dealing with my claim and the Helpline are not being helpful. All I have is a PO address for the data handling centre and I know from professional experience how much stuff goes missing on its way to the relevant office.

    What really gets me is that I have the support of my Wife, she chases things like a hungry bloodhound. How do people cope who don't have that support, when faced with the faceless DWP. How many just give up?
    Last edited by Thundersparrow; 06-07-2014 at 03:52 PM.

  6. #6
    I wonder if some of the problems you're having with the PIP helpdesk are to do with the timing of a DLA to PIP switch.

    When the PIP decision is made, you get you next DLA payment as normal, four more weeks of DLA (for most people, that's one more four weekly DLA payment), then DLA ends permanently. PIP starts from the day after, but as it is paid in arrears, like DLA, you don't actually see a PIP payment until you have been entitled to PIP for four weeks.

    In practice, as four weekly payments are the norm, you should get the decision letter, followed by your next DLA payment, the DLA payment after that then, on the day that another DLA payment would have been due, you get your first PIP payment if PIP was awarded.

    I'm wondering if the PIP helpdesk can't cope somehow with the fact that when you started calling, you weren't actually receiving PIP - you had an award that was yet to start. Of course, none of this excuses the fact that you should have received a decision letter back in late April or early May.


    So far as the Data Protection Act request goes, I sent mine to the Wolverhampton address rather than direct to the BDC, though I happen to know which BDC dealt with my PIP claim. I got a letter back fairly quickly that acknowledged my request and a large plastic envelope with the copy of my file a few weeks later.


    There's no point complaining to the Independent Case Examiner until you have followed all the earlier steps in the complaint process and allowed the various time limits to run out. The ICE's office is are almost certain to tell you that they do not have jurisdiction to intervene at the moment.

  7. #7
    flymo, I thinks its no more than a clerical oversight. The problem is actually getting to speak to someone with authority.

    I'll try the Wolverhampton address as you suggest. I was going to try the ICE as they forward your complaint to the DWP Corporate office, especially if the DWP are unresponsive, which after a month of trying to complain they certainly are.

  8. #8
    Hi all

    Finally it all got sorted. It took a letter to my MP to actually get the DWP to look at the claim in some depth. I got a call from a Manager on Thursday. Turns out they had cocked up. He had not seen a mess made of a claim like this and his job is to sort out mistakes. Apparently They use two systems. One an old UNIX based system from the 70's and a more modern system for administering the claim.
    These two systems were not talking, or more likely, someone had forgotten to tick a field.
    So after over 100 calls, three requested call backs (none happened) it took a letter from my MP to get someone to look at it.
    got the award letter on Saturday.
    Still not heard anything from the Data protection request and I will be pursuing a maladministration claim.

    Writing to your MP does help.

  9. #9

    mr paul mathias

    hi all,i suffered brain hemmorage in november last year and recieved letter from pip on 4/3/2014 to say tgey had recieved my claim and i should wait for an assesment appt which i have heard nothing from,i am livibg on 59pound a week at the moment and continuously spiralling into more debt every week,i have phoned numerous times and have got no help at alk from a call centre,i am really starting to worry now,can anyone tell me how i can make them realise im struggling to eat and live.many thanks

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by paul78 View Post
    hi all,i suffered brain hemmorage in november last year and recieved letter from pip on 4/3/2014 to say tgey had recieved my claim and i should wait for an assesment appt which i have heard nothing from,i am livibg on 59pound a week at the moment and continuously spiralling into more debt every week,i have phoned numerous times and have got no help at alk from a call centre,i am really starting to worry now,can anyone tell me how i can make them realise im struggling to eat and live.many thanks
    Hello Paul

    Pip payments aren't intended to help you pay for ordinary day to day living expenses, what you need to do is contact a benefits adviser like your local CAB or Welfare Rights. Explain your situation and ask them for a 'Full Benefits Check' they will be able to identify what further benefits you may be entitled to and help you apply for them, find them through Google by entering them with your town, area or post code. They should also be of help to you in chasing up your PIP application.

    Do this and let us know how it goes.

    NB: If you are 50 or over, you can also contact AGE UK they also have very good benefit advisers.
    Last edited by Jard; 06-23-2014 at 12:46 PM.

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