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Expert Q&A: Benefits - Weds 23 October, 3-4pm

Discussion in 'Legal and financial issues' started by HarrietD, Oct 16, 2019.

  1. HarrietD

    HarrietD Administrator
    Staff Member

    Apr 29, 2014
    5,051
    London
    Hi @Helens2904 and thanks for your question :)

    Lauren is replying to questions that came through via email at the moment, and unfortunately won’t have time during this session to answer your question. However, what I can do is email you her response separately tomorrow. Does that sound ok?
     
  2. HarrietD

    HarrietD Administrator
    Staff Member

    Apr 29, 2014
    5,051
    London
    Here's another one that came through over email:

    My partner is in a nursing home with Alzheimer's and has being in care for over two years now. When responding to an annual review of costs and charges i was informed by the local authority that she was still in receipt of the care component of the DLA benefit and advised me to inform them of the fact.

    Now the point is i informed the department of works and pensions on the date she first went into care and that it was no fault of mine for the fact they carried on paying the benefit, but after i informed them for a second time What did they do but stop paying the benefit altogether, now i was under the impression that they could not stop the mobility component i have sent two letters to the works and pensions one a recorded delivery and have had no reply even speaking to them over the phone has got me no where when trying to find out what is going on, in fact i was informed that it could take Nineteen weeks to get a reply.

    I have POA for my partners finances and i am at my wits end at the rapid decrease in her bank account owing to the stoppage.

    After writing to the Local authority about it they informed me that as i had already informed them of the fact that my partner was in care this was on the eighth of August 2017 that the department of Works and Pensions may not be able to claw back the over payment of benefit.
     
  3. LaurenP

    LaurenP Registered User

    Sep 4, 2019
    12
    Sorry to hear you have been having such a stressful time. I’m sure many of us on Talking Point share your frustration of communicating with big government departments and the errors that can occur.

    Just to be clear for anyone else reading this, the mobility component of DLA or PIP may continue if you enter a care home. However, if you enter a nursing home then it will usually be stopped.
    The Care Component of DLA and the daily living component of PIP should continue if you are funding your own care fees but will usually stop if you are having any care fees funded by the Local Authority or from NHS Continuing Healthcare.
    It is important to report any changes to the Department for Work and Pensions as soon as possible. Unfortunately, lost letters and delays aren’t as rare as they should be. An option is to book an appointment at your local jobcentre when sending any information or letters across. The jobcentre can then give you a receipt (in case it is challenged) they should note on your record to confirm the change or whatever has been brought in (again this is useful in case it is challenged) and then they will send on to the processing teams at the benefit delivery centre. Then if the Benefit Delivery Centre say that you never reported a change of circumstances, you have some evidence and it’s less of their word against yours.

    In this case, it may be worth gathering together as much evidence as possible regarding the phone calls, letters, recorded delivery slips etc and asking them for a mandatory reconsideration of the situation. If unsuccessful, you can then go on to appeal. I’m not sure if this is something you have already done and the 19 week delay you mention is hearing back regarding this?
    You may be able to get some support with this process from your local citizens Advice Bureau.
    Another option may be to visit your local advocacy service or MP’s office who may chase this up on your behalf and put some pressure on getting the situation resolved. Having someone else on your side can take some of the stress away and help you feel like the system isn’t working against you. I hope you get this resolved as soon as possible.
     
  4. HarrietD

    HarrietD Administrator
    Staff Member

    Apr 29, 2014
    5,051
    London
    Another question that came through over email:

    I have been claiming Personal Independence Payments for more than 5years and every 2 years I have to go through a review lasting more than 6 months. During the review, my medical benefits are withheld and I am forced to suffer.
     
  5. LaurenP

    LaurenP Registered User

    Sep 4, 2019
    12
    There have been some changes to reviews of Personal Independence Payments recently. If you have reached state pension age or have a severe, lifelong condition where your needs are expected to stay the same or increase and you have been awarded the enhanced rate of both the mobility and daily living components, you will only have a ‘light touch’ review once every ten years.
    However, I know this doesn’t benefit everyone and the Alzheimer’s Society (amongst others) do continue to feedback to the government on the impact that assessments and reviews can have on people affected by dementia.

    If your PIP award is for a fixed period, it should be reviewed about a year before it is due to end by the case manager who can extend it. If your award is not reviewed in this way or the case manager chooses not to extend it at that point, you can make a renewal claim up to 6 months before the current award is due to end. This may help minimise the gap in payments if there are delays during reassessment. However, there is the possibility that the DWP may decide that you are no longer eligible in which case they could terminate your benefit before they would have if you hadn’t requested the renewal claim. You should see advice from your local benefits advice organisation when deciding whether to do this.
     
  6. HarrietD

    HarrietD Administrator
    Staff Member

    Apr 29, 2014
    5,051
    London
    Ok, that brings today’s Q&A to a close. I hope everyone’s found it helpful! Thanks to those who asked questions before the session, and a big thanks to @LaurenP for kindly offering your expertise today :)
     
  7. LaurenP

    LaurenP Registered User

    Sep 4, 2019
    12
    Thank you everyone
     
  8. AliceA

    AliceA Registered User

    May 27, 2016
    2,519
    Thank you, I have done this and also AgeUK. It seems councils differ. It seems unfair and contrary to the spirit of the Ombudsman decision about Pre 1997 SERPS.
     
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