DWP increases automatic extension of existing PIP awards by up to 12 months

Mon,5 September 2022
News Benefits

In the midst of considerable delays in the processing of new Personal Independence Payment (PIP) claims, the DWP has announced making an extension to existing PIP awards approaching their end of award date.

In an email to stakeholder organisations the DWP said: “From 6September we will automatically be extending existing claims awaiting review by up to 12 months and will do this 35 days before their end date.

“The longer extension provides greater certainty for claimants and in particular help with continuing to access other support for example a blue badge.

“At present, awards awaiting review have a 3 month extension, repeated as needed, 28 days before their end date and people can request a letter confirming this and stating their continuing entitlement.

The DWP then adds: “From 31 October, a letter will be sent automatically to claimants confirming continuing entitlement for up to 12 months. Until then, we will continue to update claimants by text message that their award reviews have been extended.  

“Anyone needing a statement before 31 October can contact the helpline 0800 1214433 and we will issue a statement. Otherwise, claimants do not need to contact us unless their circumstances change.

“In line with our usual process, we may review claims before their new end date and if so will write to claimants to inform them.  PIP payments will be received as normal until we complete the review of a claim. 

“If we have not completed the review by the extended award date we may extend the end date of the PIP award again and will write to claimants to tell them about this.”

 Prior to the DWP’s announcement, in July 2022 Citizens Advice issued a report highlighting the “eye-watering” backlog of new PIP claims awaiting assessment.

At that time, the waiting list for an assessment stood at 327,000 with an average waiting time of five months.

Citizens Advice projected that this meant £294 million of payments that would be awarded were being held up.

Calling for urgent action to relieve pressure in the system, the charity called for an plan for the DWP to tackle the backlog by, for example, extending the award period so people needed to reclaim less often.

For more information see our news story PIP delays leave Disabled people hundreds of millions of pounds out of pocket.

You can also purchase our Personal Independence Payment Guide.