If you or a member of your family are in receipt of Disability Living Allowance or Personal Independence Payment the award will be reviewed from time to time and this may mean that the amount of benefit that is paid to you stays the same, goes up, goes down or that you lose your entitlement to benefit. This review is likely to involve you in attending a medical to reassess your entitlement to the benefit.
Because Disability Living Allowance and Personal Independence Payment awards can trigger additional allowances paid as part of other benefits (usually called premiums or elements) as well as trigger an entitlement to Carers Allowance, the impact of a reduction in the rate of these benefits can lead to huge reductions in the level of other benefits that are paid.
When will Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or Personal Independence Payment (PIP) be reviewed?
There are a number of circumstances which can lead to an award of DLA or PIP being reviewed:
- As part of a renewal application if the original award was time limited
- As part of the managed transfer of Disability Living Allowance claimants to Personal Independence Payment
- As a result of a DWP decision to review an existing award.
- As a result of your request that the award should be reviewed
It should be noted that there are some restrictions which may prevent DWP doing early reviews of awards made by Tribunals (as opposed to awards they have made themselves). If DWP are reviewing early an award made by a tribunal you should seek advice.
The first three of these options are all within DWP control and the last is to some extent within your control. It is always advisable to take advice before requesting a review of an existing award as there is a risk of the award reducing as well as increasing. An experienced advisor will help you evaluate the level of this risk and enable you to make an informed decision before starting a review.
What should you do if your DLA or PIP has been reduced or if your entitlement has ended?
If your have lost all or part of your DLA or PIP award, you should consider asking for the decision to be reviewed. If you already have a partial award (even if it is less than you had before) you need to consider carefully whether or not you want to challenge it as you are running the risk of losing your existing award rather than increasing it. For this reason it is always best to seek advice when challenging these decisions. If you decide to challenge the decision you will need to ask for a mandatory reconsideration and then an appeal.
What to do if your award of DLA or PIP is reduced?
If your award of DLA or PIP is reduced you need to make sure that you notify any benefit paying office which is paying you an addition to another benefit which was linked to the previous award . For example if you receive Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) which includes Severe Disability Premium because you had an award of middle or higher rate care component of DLA and you have now lost this award as part of the conversion of DLA to PIP you will need to send a letter to ESA to let them know about the change. You might need to write to ESA, Income Support, Job Seekers Allowance, Tax Credits, Universal Credit and/or Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support depending on which other benefits you receive. It is important to do this in order to avoid an overpayment of benefit.
If your mandatory reconsideration or appeal is successful then these additional sums can be reinstated and backdated.
Effects of DLA and PIP on other benefits
More information about this is available in the post How Disability Living Allowance and Personal Independence Payment can help you get an increase in other benefits