PIP payments: DWP confirms cash will go to next of kins where deceased claimants miss out

PIP claims are currently being reviewed by the DWP as the Government prioritises cases of terminally ill claimants. However, beyond this the Government will be focusing on how payments will be managed in the cases where claimants have passed away. Recently, David Linden, the Scottish National Party MP for Glasgow East, pushed the Government on its plans in the Commons.

Mr Linden said: “To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, with reference to the Written Statement of 20 September 2021, Personal Independence Payment (PIP) Update, HCWS294, whether her Department plans to review the PIP claims of deceased claimants as part of the Administrative Exercise; and whether posthumous backdated payments will be made to the family of claimants where it has been found that more support should have been given.”

In response, Chloe Smith, the Minister for Disabled People, Health and Work at the DWP, said: “As part of this exercise we are prioritising cases of terminally ill claimants.

“The remainder of cases will be reviewed in chronological order, starting with the earliest cases first.

“I can also confirm it is the Department’s policy to review cases where the claimant is now deceased to ensure that their next of kin receive payments.”

READ MORE: PIP assessment process ‘not fit for purpose’ – Britons missing out

What changes are coming for terminal claimants?

In July, the DWP announced fast-tracked access to benefits will be extended to more people diagnosed with a terminal illness, increasing the support for those nearing the end of their lives.

The current “Special Rules for Terminal Illness”, which fast-tracks benefit applications for those with a terminal diagnosis of six months, is to be replaced with a new 12-month, end of life definition.

The Government explained this will ensure people in their final year of their life will receive vital financial support quicker than they can do at present and at the highest rate through revised Special Rules.

Justin Tomlinson, the Minister for Disabled People, welcomed these developments.

Mr Tomlinson said: “Being diagnosed with a terminal illness is devastating and this change will increase much needed support for people who are nearing the end of their lives.

“The new 12-month approach will ensure people get the financial help they need as quickly as possible in the most challenging of times.

“We have carefully considered the best approach and I am grateful to everyone who has contributed to our work in reaching this outcome.”

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How will the changes work?

At the time the DWP broke down how the new system works in practice: “Under the updated rules, clinicians still have discretion and will be supported by a realistic and straightforward definition, which aligns with current NHS practice.

“Ministers plan to implement the 12-month end-of-life approach across five DWP benefits, beginning with Universal Credit and Employment Support Allowance next year and Attendance Allowance, Disability Living Allowance and Personal Independence Payment when parliamentary time allows.

“It follows a DWP evaluation which heard the views of people nearing the end of their lives, their families and friends, the organisations supporting them and the clinicians involved in their care.”

There are different rules for claiming PIP where people are terminally ill.

How much is PIP?

PIP is made up of two elements, a daily living and mobility part. whether a claimant gets one or both of these elements depends on how severely their condition(s) affects them.

The daily living part of PIP will pay either £60 or £89.60 per week. Mobility payments will be either £23.70 or £62.55.

Claimants will get the higher rate of the daily living part if they’re not expected to live more than six months. PIP claimants may also qualify for other forms of financial help.

This includes Carer’s Allowance or help with housing or transport costs.

If a person gets PIP while working, they may also be able to get the disability element of Working Tax Credit, which is worth up to £3,220 a year, or up to £4,610 if their disability is severe.

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