Wrong advice being given by DWP? — Scope | Disability forum

Wrong advice being given by DWP?

anxiousbird
anxiousbird Member Posts: 159 Pioneering
edited November 30 in PIP, DLA, and AA
Hi again 
so taking the advice from here, I requested on my journal for an upload link so that I could upload my MR. (For context, just been awarded PIP backdated to June 2020 and UC is now denying carer addition back payment even though at the time of claiming UC we stated that my husband was my carer). 
Anyway, so I wasn’t getting any replies from UC so I called their helpline to ask them for an upload link on my journal. The guy who attended the call asked me what it was for, I told him my situation and he said the following: 
1) we should’ve asked for carers addition to be added to our claim back in June 2020! (I told him we couldn’t have, as we weren’t eligible for it then 
2) he then told me that carers addition is only paid once the disability has been confirmed , and in this case, the date on the PIP award letter (which is a few weeks back from now) is the date that the disability was confirmed n therefore we have only now (after the PIP letter) become eligible for carers addition. I told him that PIP award letter says that they’re giving me backdated money from June 2020 so surely they’ve established that I was disabled back then, he said ‘no that’s not how it works’
3) he then said to me ‘oh you’re getting PIP award backdated so your husband can’t get carers addition backdated, as you guys can only get one benefit at a time’. I was like what? Surely PIP and carers are two separate things, one is for the disabled , the other is for the carer of the disabled! 

He kept going on and on about how I shouldn’t protest against their decision as I’m in the wrong. Call last probably about 45-50 mins and then he gave me a postal address for DWP complaints to send my MR to. Is that the right place to send the MR? And what’s with the advice he was giving me; it makes me wonder whether all UC officers have the same thinking and therefore even if I submit an MR it will be refused? Our journal entries are being responded to very late (week long waits between replies) and we’re worried that at this rate we’re just going to run out of time to even consider another route 

Comments

  • calcotti
    calcotti Member Posts: 3,441 Disability Gamechanger
    DWP complaints are not the right place Tom send an MR to.

    You can either
    i) Post a note in your journal that you wish to submit the MR and can they send you a link to upload it, or
    if) Ring again and see if you get a more helpful response, or
    iii) Post a note on your journal clearly headed Request for Mandatory Reconsideration and post your argument into the note.

    An MR will be considered by a Decision Maker. Decision Makers do not answer the phone calls and those who do answer calls are often wrong.
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • anxiousbird
    anxiousbird Member Posts: 159 Pioneering
    Thanks @calcotti I have already asked on the journal but UC are really slow in replying there and I was wanting to speed things up. 
    I called the carer’s allowance helpline and they said that we can apply for the backdated carers allowance but should do that ASAP, and we don’t want to do that until we know that UC will definitely replace it with carers addition (once they take away the carer’s allowance back payment as debt). 
  • calcotti
    calcotti Member Posts: 3,441 Disability Gamechanger
    edited June 5
    Going forward there is no advantage financially in claiming CA as it is deducted from the UC. You would get Class 1 NI credits rather than Class 3.

    If you claim CA within three months of the date of the PIP decision you can get it backdated to the start date of the PIP claim. If CA is applied for more than three months after the PIP decision then the CA can only be backdated for three months.

    If CA is claimed and awarded that should force UC to backdate the carer element for the full period.

    The carer element of UC would not replace the CA. You would receive the CA. You would also receive UC would include the carer element in the calculation with a deduction for the CA received.
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • anxiousbird
    anxiousbird Member Posts: 159 Pioneering
    Thanks calcotti. Yes we’re aware that UC will take all that carer’s allowance back payment as overpayment. Do you really think that getting backdated carer’s allowance will trigger UC backdating carrrs element as well? Or will they still maintain their current stance and deny carer’s element (while also taking away the whole of carer’s allowance as overpayment debt)? 
  • calcotti
    calcotti Member Posts: 3,441 Disability Gamechanger
    Thanks calcotti. Yes we’re aware that UC will take all that carer’s allowance back payment as overpayment. Do you really think that getting backdated carer’s allowance will trigger UC backdating carrrs element as well? Or will they still maintain their current stance and deny carer’s element (while also taking away the whole of carer’s allowance as overpayment debt)? 
    I would expect it to - but it may not. But if they don’t initially  I would expect you to get full backdated eventually even if you have to go to a tribunal to get there.

    I can’t recall whether you originally told UC at the time of the claim that you were a carer. If you did you should get full backdating eventually regardless of whether or not you claim CA. If you did not tell UC that you were a carer then claiming CA may be a more reliable process. The downside is that you will get a large CA arrears payment which will result in a retrospective UC overpayment which will then be recovered by deduction from future UC payments.
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • anxiousbird
    anxiousbird Member Posts: 159 Pioneering
    @calcotti yes we did tell UC at the time of applying to UC last year that my husband was my carer. However, UC is saying that that wasn’t enough and that we had to also ‘report a change’ at some point (which is just bizarre - why would we report a change to declare my husband is caring when we’ve already declared it anyway!). Following UC’s advice, we’ve also ‘reported a change’ about a week back to declare (again) that my husband is my carer, but it seems like now UC is using it against us and saying that we’ve only just reported a change - which isn’t true! 

    I think we should do an MR to get the carer’s element, and if the reply is taking longer than 2 months then we’ll apply for carers allowance just so we don’t miss that deadline. 
  • anxiousbird
    anxiousbird Member Posts: 159 Pioneering
    @calcotti also I should mention that when I was on call with somebody from UC yesterday (the same person who gave the other wrong info), n he asked me why we hadn’t ‘reported a change’ to declare my husband was my carer, I told him that nobody ever told us that we had to do that additional step (since we had ALREADY declared him as a carer), to which he replied that ‘oh this would be in your claimants commitments’. After the call I check the claimants commitments and there’s no such thing there. In fact, all the claimants commitments from that time say ‘you do not have any commitments during covid’. 
  • calcotti
    calcotti Member Posts: 3,441 Disability Gamechanger
    edited June 5
    anxiousbird said: I think we should do an MR to get the carer’s element, 
    Yes that’s definitely what you need to do - if you can just get past the gatekeeper mentality you met when you rang!

    Options as noted in my earlier reply.
    anxiousbird said: if the reply is taking longer than 2 months then we’ll apply for carers allowance just so we don’t miss that deadline. 
    Good fallback.
    anxiousbird said:..he asked me why we hadn’t ‘reported a change’ to declare my husband was my carer, 
    I think that the change you are reporting is the award of PIP rather than the caring itself.
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • anxiousbird
    anxiousbird Member Posts: 159 Pioneering
    I think that the change you are reporting is the award of PIP rather than the caring itself.
    Yea you’d think that, but they’ve made us choose the ‘caring for someone’ option, so basically now it means that my husband has only just ‘reported a change - caring for someone’ 🙄 ah well, let’s see how this MR turns out 
    thanks so much for your help @calcotti
  • anxiousbird
    anxiousbird Member Posts: 159 Pioneering
    Still waiting for UC to respond to our messages.. they’re doing everything else but just completely ignoring our request for an uploading link or anything related to carer’s. I know we can just post it on our journal with the heading REQUEST FOR MR but we’re now worried that they’re going to completely ignore that as well and it won’t be passed on anywhere. What do we do? 
  • Alex_Scope
    Alex_Scope Posts: 336

    Scope community team

    Hi @anxiousbird I'm so sorry no one has been able to answer your last question!

    Can you update us on how things are going? Hopefully there has been a successful outcome for you :)

    Let us know if we can help any further.

    Alex
    Online Community Coordinator
    Scope

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