Following today’s Written Ministerial Statement by the Department for Work & Pensions (DWP), the Department for Communities can confirm that we have been applying the new guidance to ensure those who are awarded the highest level of support whose needs are unlikely to improve or will deteriorate receive an ongoing award with a light touch review at the 10 year point.
We have also commenced a review of existing claims awarded the highest level of support to identify those individuals who, in light of the new guidance, should have their award changed to an ongoing award with a light touch review in 10 years.
The administrative review exercise to look at all current PIP claims to check if customers are eligible for more support under PIP as a result of two upper tribunal judgements in Great Britain which changed the way PIP is assessed started on 28 June 2018. At the end of November Around 10,900 cases have been cleared;
Around 400 payments have been made to qualifying customers;
The total amount of additional payments the Department has paid out is around £1.3 million with average additional payment around £3,500. Given the complexity of the exercise the Department expects to complete this administrative exercise in a similar timescale to DWP by 2020.
The Department will also mirror the approach announced today by DWP in relation to the OM judgment and will commence a review exercise in the new year to ensure that anyone who had their DLA ceased, has it reinstated in any case where the Department accepted they had ‘good reason’ for their failure to comply with PIP processes. It is estimated that around 35 cases in Northern Ireland will need to be reviewed. Any arrears of PIP due as a result of these review exercises will be backdated to the date of the judgements or the date of the PIP claim, whichever is later. Each customer will be contacted directly, so there is no need for customers to actively contact the Department.
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