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Benefits cut during lengthy wait for PIP hearing

Replies

  • JP22JP22 Member Posts: 3 Listener
    I am a Carer and also the Appointee for my child's PIP application, previously DLA. We are currently awaiting a HMC hearing. Meantime all our benefits are cut off including Income Support & Carers Allowance. I was also refused JSA due to my caring role, There appears to be no duty of care. Not even a food bank voucher has been offered, whilst we were living below entitlement and now without any benefits. Our situation has become far more serious due to the lengthy waiting time (almost a year)

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated. 

    Thank you. 
  • BenefitsTrainingCoBenefitsTrainingCo Member Posts: 2,692 Pioneering
    Hi JP22

    I'm sorry to hear that your benefits have been affected in this way. Hopefully you will be able to receive carer's allowance and income support again if the PIP appeal is successful.

    In the mean time it may be that you can't get income support and sometimes carers do have to claim jobseeker's allowance. This is possible and i am concerned that you may have been put off of claiming this benefit. I do not know your full circumstances and whether they might be another option but if it has to be jobseeker's allowance then you should claim this benefit again. You will need to be able to show that you are available for work, but you can limit your availability. If you have difficulties you might like to refer to some of the guidance. Here is a link to the DWP's own guidance which it writes for decision makers and staff. For example, have a look at paragraph 21265 which explains that you do not have to be available for work immediately. There are lots of other references to caring responsibilities and it might be worth reminding the jobcentre staff to look at this guidance.

    It sounds as if you have been without an income for quite a while and it might be worth asking for more help from the jobcentre. You should ask for a safeguarding visit due to your caring role and because your son is a vulnerable person. This could be done in your home or in the local jobcentre.

    Finally, i am concerned it is taking so long to resolve the PIP application as it doesn't usually take a year. I suggest you contact the Courts Service and/or the PIP office to find out what the delay is.

    David 
    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
  • JP22JP22 Member Posts: 3 Listener
    Hi David

    Thank you so much for your helpful advice, I can now follow it up with the much appreciated information.

    With kindest regards

    JP22


  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 5,344 Disability Gamechanger
    Several other critical things to mention here:

    1) Approach the local authority. Your local authority has money inherited from the DWP when Social Fund responsibilities were transferred from the DWP to local authorities. This is a fund of last resort i.e. you must have exhausted all other options but there should be provision for vouchers; food bank referral etc. They will also have responsibilities under s17 of the Childrens Act.

    2) As you are at the appeal stage you should ensure, if you haven't already, that you have a representative. This increases your chances of winning the appeal. You may be able to obtain representation from Citizens Advice, a local independent advice centre or your local authority welfare rights service.

    3) Do you have appeal papers? If you do not then contact the Tribunals Service in writing (keeping a copy) but be more specific that the advice above. Ask them what they have done about obtaining the appeal papers from DWP?

    Ask that they refer the matter to an district judge for directions and ask that the directions include consideration of whether the appeal should be expedited without papers i.e. given a date and time for the hearing whether or not there are appeal papers. When asking for this you should send in a copy of your original claim pack; a copy of your mandatory reconsideration application (if it was done in writing) and a copy of the outcome of the mandatory reconsideration along with any other relevant evidence such as the Health Care Professionals report or your own medical or other evidence. This puts DWP and TS on the spot as you will have effectively said to both "Look, here is enough information to decide the appeal, why can't it be listed?"

    You will find that actual appeal papers will then appear or, more likely, the appeal will finally be listed.
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