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Mistake by DWP re length of PIP award

keirakeira Member Posts: 136 Courageous
A friend of mine just found out that their PIP award is for a fixed period of three years, when the letter they received originally stated that the award was ongoing. They spoke to a Case Manager at PIP who advised that nothing could be done and the fixed period stands as she could do nothing to revise this as she couldn't change someone else's decision. Although she said it was a mistake by them she said all that can be done is that they raise a complaint to a team in Wales. My friend finds this wholly unfair as if they were given the correct info at the time they would have appealed against the length of the award but has now lost all right of appeal due to their mistake and the time that has passed since the award. Can anyone please offer any advice about this? Many thanks.

Replies

  • keirakeira Member Posts: 136 Courageous
    A friend of mine just found out that their PIP award is for a fixed period of three years, when the letter they received originally stated that the award was ongoing. They spoke to a Case Manager at PIP who advised that nothing could be done and the fixed period stands as she could do nothing to revise this as she couldn't change someone else's decision. Although she said it was a mistake by them she said all that can be done is that they raise a complaint to a team in Wales. My friend finds this wholly unfair as if they were given the correct info at the time they would have appealed against the length of the award but has now lost all right of appeal due to their mistake and the time that has passed since the award. Can anyone please offer any advice about this? Many thanks.
  • woodbinewoodbine Member Posts: 3,714 Disability Gamechanger
    In my experience ongoing awards for PIP are rare, three years is pretty good, but keep in mind that for a three year award the reassessment process will start after 2.5 years, an ongoing award could be reviewed at any time they chose.
    my advice is given freely and is correct to the best of my knowledge.
  • wilkowilko Member Posts: 2,284 Disability Gamechanger
    Hello I agree with @ woodbine, the fact remains your friend receiving the award notification letter and on reading the award length was the able to complain about the mistake or error.. in which case you, they have left It to late but accept the three year award which is a long time as many get 18 months 2 years the most.
  • chiariedschiarieds Member Posts: 7,898 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @keira - May I ask how your friend found out her PIP award was for 3 years? I ask because you mention that her letter, presumably her decision letter, said she had an ongoing award. Or was this rather a copy of her assessment report? Whilst normally, if you don't agree with a decision letter, you have one month to ask for a Mandatory Reconsideration, in some circumstances you're allowed 13 months.
  • keirakeira Member Posts: 136 Courageous
    They found out because they received a letter from ESA a couple of days ago which showed that the SDP was getting taken off later in the year. The original decision letter received in 2017 showed that the award was ongoing.
  • chiariedschiarieds Member Posts: 7,898 Disability Gamechanger
    edited April 2020
    @keira - Thank you for your reply; that explains things. As your friend has a decision letter saying they have an ongoing PIP award, I would suggest ringing the contact number on their ESA letter, to say that their SDP should not be removed this year because of this. Please let us know how your friend gets on. :)
  • keirakeira Member Posts: 136 Courageous
    @chiarieds Thanks for the advice you gave. My friend rang ESA but was told that there was nothing that they could do as they are obliged to follow what PIP has input into the system! Don't know what else to do? Will my friend just have to accept this? It seems very unfair. If anyone can offer any further advice, this would be most welcome. @mikehughescq, can you give any advice? Thank you.
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 5,924 Disability Gamechanger
    An interesting one.

    1 - the letter detailing an ongoing award is just that. A letter. It might be wrong. It might be right. Internally there will be an actual record of the decision albeit at this stage that might be computer only. My first step here would be for the claimant to dig out the letter and the associated HCP report. What the latter recommends could be decisive. 

    2 - if there’s no access to either document then I’d do a subject access request under the FOI Act and ask DWP for a full computer print out and all the associated evidence around that point. If phone calls were made then ask for those too. This can take months so I’d move quickly.

    3 - IF it turns out that the award was for 3 years then that’s theoretically the end of the matter but see below. If it turns out to have been ongoing then the matter can be opened up via an any time revision on the basis of a mistake of fact. It’s like asking for a mandatory reconsideration but the ground must be a mistake of fact. 

    4 - arguably the whole thing could be opened up anyway by any time revision if there’s no obvious reason for 3 years to be set as a review date. I frequently challenge any award where for example a hospital hasn’t set a review date. 

    A good example of this might be where DWP set a review date of 5 years but a hospital set no review date but invite you to re-refer when things have noticeably deteriorated. You can assume, and I have successfully argued, that that won’t be within 5 years. The result was a 10 year award. DWP trying to argue at an appeal hearing that they know better than hospital consultants is a gloriously entertaining sight. 

    5 - there is nothing to be done about ESA removing SDP as it’s something that’s not happened yet. The PIP needs to be sorted first. ESA will then fall into line. Thus ringing ESA is utterly pointless and approaching the matter from the wrong end of the telescope. 

    6 - I must politely but firmly disagree with both @woodbine and @wilko. Ongoing awards are not that rare but you don’t get them if you don’t ask and lay out the case. An award of 3 years is good if that is medically justifiable but not good if you have an ongoing and/or degenerative condition with no prospect of improvement, treatment or cure. It shouldn’t just be accepted because of the usual inaccurate guff about “you might lose everything”.
  • wilkowilko Member Posts: 2,284 Disability Gamechanger
    @mikehughescq, thanks for that information and advise, as a MS sufferer I will try that route at my review as my condition will not improve or be cured.
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 5,924 Disability Gamechanger
    @wilko depending on your specific type of MS that would be exactly the sort of case I would explore a 10 year award. 
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