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Ten year PIP reviews for people with most severe health conditions

18 June 2018

New guidance coming into effect this summer means people who are awarded the highest level of support under PIP – and where their needs are expected to stay the same or increase – will receive an ongoing award of PIP with a light touch review every 10 years.

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The change will ensure that those with severe or progressive conditions receive an award which reflects the fact that their condition will not improve.

The government will be working with stakeholders to design the light touch review process – for example, by providing information on services available and ensuring that contact or bank details have not changed.

DWP are still finalising details of the guidance and will publish it later this summer.

Ken Butler, Welfare Rights Adviser, said:

“Today’s news is very disappointing. What has been announced is that the DWP is to dedicate time and money to completely unjustified and unnecessary PIP entitlement reviews.

"Many disabled people, even if the nature of their disability or health condition has become more severe, are caused worry and stress by being reassessed for PIP. This is due to the inconsistent and substandard reports and recommendations produced by health care providers.

"What is the point of reviewing awards of those who have been given the highest possible level of support where their care and mobility needs are expected to stay the same or increase?

"The DWP has already issued guidance to halt further work capability assessments for those placed in the support group and where it is clear that they will always have a limited capability for work related activity.

"Why should disabled people claiming PIP not be afforded the same assurance and protection?

"In fact, case law already holds that PIP awards can and should be indefinite where this is appropriate.

UK/5459/2014 rules that:

  • if a fixed term award would be inappropriate, an indefinite award is to be made;
  • a First-tier Tribunal has jurisdiction to hear an appeal against a decision not to make an indefinite award; and
  • if the Secretary of State issues guidance about deciding whether a fixed term award would be inappropriate, while a First-tier Tribunal is required to have regard to the guidance it must not be treated as if it were a rule.

"The DWP did not seek to appeal this judgment that sharply contradicts the blanket award of PIP for a 10-year maximum.”

See https://www.disabilityrightsuk.org/news/2016/march/decisions-not-award-pip-indefinitely-or-longer-period-can-be-appealed