We reported recently that the vast majority of appeals against the refusal of Universal Credit are currently successful. Now, for the second time in recent months, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has agreed that it needs to review thousands of claims where claimants may have been underpaid or refused benefit altogether.
These claims relate to another type of benefit, Personal Independence Payment (PIP). The Work and Pensions Secretary, Esther McVey, has now withdrawn appeals in three test cases where the First Tier Tribunal had ruled that claimants with chronic conditions that required regular monitoring or medication were entitled to PIP. These claimants had previously been refused PIP on the basis that their applications did not satisfy criteria relating to the descriptor “managing therapy or monitoring a health condition”, which forms part of the “Daily Living” component of PIP.
This comes only five months after a High Court ruling that required the DWP to review 1.6 million PIP claims.
More in the pipeline
With many more appeals in the pipeline by claimants who have failed to satisfy other descriptors, this is far from the end of the road for the DWP. The message coming through loud and clear from these rulings is that if your claim has been unsuccessful, don’t give up. Certainly, the judiciary seem to be adopting a far more common sense approach towards the application (and fairness) of the descriptors.
If you are making any application for benefit, the information and tools from Citizens Advice and available via this link are invaluable.