DWP review means thousands of PIP claimants could be asked to pay money back

dwp review means thousands of pip claimants could be asked to pay money back

The DWP has revealed its latest overpayment figures

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is responsible for the payment of state pension and welfare benefits to approximately 22.7 million people across Great Britain.

The 2024 Fraud and Error in the Benefit System report reveals that overpayments of benefits totalled £9.7billion (3.7%) last year, marking an increase from the previous year's figure of £8.3billion. Introduced in 2013, Personal Independence Payment (PIP) assists with additional costs incurred due to long-term disability or health conditions. Last year saw a significant rise in PIP expenditure, with £21.6billion spent compared to £17.7billion in 2022/23.

However, the data also indicates a decrease in overpayments from £200million in 2022/23 to £90million last year, which could potentially lead to claimants having to reimburse the DWP. The primary cause of PIP overpayments is claimant error (0.3%) typically failing to report improvements in their condition.

According to the report, the proportion of PIP claims overpaid last year was one in 100, consistent with the rate of the previous year. This accounted for £6 out of every £10 overpaid. To report a change of circumstances to the DWP, contact the PIP enquiry line on 0800 121 4433. The lines are open from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday, reports the Daily Record.

Please note that opening hours may vary during the festive period. Here's a comprehensive guide to all the changes in circumstances and whether you need to contact the DWP about them.

Changes to daily living or mobility needs

You should inform the DWP if, for instance, you require more or less assistance or support, or if your condition will last longer or shorter than you previously informed the DWP. This change may affect your entitlement to PIP, the amount, and the duration of the PIP award.

Leaving the country or planning to leave the country for more than four weeks - even if it's for a holiday. This change may affect your entitlement to PIP. The DWP needs to know the date you're leaving the country, how long you plan to be out of the country, which country you're going to, and why you're going abroad.

Hospital stays or similar institutions

According to DWP guidance, both components of PIP stop being payable 28 days after you're admitted to an NHS hospital. Privately funded patients are not affected by these rules and can continue to receive either component of PIP. If you're in hospital or a similar institution when your entitlement to PIP begins, PIP is not payable until you're discharged.

Care homes

The daily living component of PIP stops being payable after 28 days of residency in a care home where the costs of the accommodation are met from public or local funds. The PIP mobility component can continue to be paid. Those who fully self-fund their care home placement are not affected by these rules. If a claimant is in a care home at the date of entitlement, the PIP daily living component will not be payable until they leave.

Hospital stays and care home stays are linked if the gap between them is no more than 28 days. The daily living component for spells in a care home is also linked if the gap between them is no more than 28 days. There is no link for the mobility component as payment is not affected when in a care home. Both components of PIP will cease after a total of 28 days in hospital.

The daily living component of PIP will stop being paid after a total of 28 days in a care home. If a claimant moves between a hospital and care home, or vice versa, these periods will also link. This change may affect the amount of PIP that can be paid to the claimant if they are imprisoned or held in legal custody.

The DWP needs to know the date the claimant was taken into prison or legal custody and the length of time they are expected to be there, if known. PIP ceases to be payable after 28 days where someone is being detained in legal custody. This applies whether the offence is civil or criminal and whether they have been convicted or are on remand.

Suspended benefit payments are not refunded, irrespective of the outcome of proceedings against the individual. Two or more separate periods in legal custody link if they occur within a year of each other.

Change of name

This alteration will not impact payment or eligibility for PIP, but it's crucial that the DWP has the most current details for the claimant. This change must be reported in writing - if the claimant calls to provide these details, the DWP will request that these details be put in writing.

The written notification should include complete details of their previous name and their new name. It should also include details of any changes made to the bank or building society account into which PIP is paid, such as the name of the account or the account number, and their signature on the letter.

Change of account PIP is paid into

The DWP requires full details of the name and address of the new bank or building society along with details of the new account including the name of the account, the account number and the sort code or roll number.

Change of person acting for the claimant

This refers to an appointee or someone with power of attorney for the claimant. This change is important so the DWP can make payments to the correct person at the right time.

They need the full name, address and contact details of the new person who is acting for the claimant. If the person acting for the claimant has moved or has different contact details, the DWP just needs the new details.

Change of address

This alteration, unless it's a hospital or nursing home, won't impact the eligibility or payment of PIP. It's crucial that the DWP has the most recent details for the claimant. They require comprehensive information about the new address the claimant has relocated to, including the postcode and the date they moved.

Change of doctor or healthcare professional

This modification won't affect payment or eligibility for PIP and isn't mandatory once a decision on the PIP claim has been made. However, if the change occurs during the claiming stage, it's vital the DWP have the most current information.

This will ensure the assessment provider has the correct contact details to gather any additional details they may need. The DWP needs the full name, address and contact details of the new doctor or health care professional. Complete details about changes of circumstance if you are receiving PIP can be found in the online handbook.

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