May 2017 – Important Disability Benefit Changes
The government has announced a rapid reclaim process for personal independence payment (PIP) for claimants returning from a temporary absence abroad of less than 12 months.
Outlining the new process (which is scheduled to start in two months) the Minister for Disabled People said claimants returning from abroad will not need to start a new claim from scratch or undergo a new face to face assessment as is currently the case for most claimants if their absence exceeds 13 weeks.
Eligible claimants will be those who:
Were in receipt of PIP prior to their absence abroad and
Were out of the country for more than 13 weeks but returned within 12 months of when they left and
Have not reached the award review date of their previous claim (typically 12 months prior to the claim end date) and
Can confirm that their needs have not changed since before their absence abroad.
The government has also confirmed changes to support for those who lose entitlement to a Motability car when transferred from disability living allowance (DLA) to personal independence payment (PIP).
Motability has agreed to extend its transitional support package for DLA claimants who are not entitled to the enhanced rate mobility component when transferred to PIP. The extension allows claimants to retain their car for up to eight weeks after their DLA payments end, an increase from the current three-week period.
In addition, claimants who are eligible for transitional support payments of up to £2,000 will be able to retain their car for up to six months, including during the processes of reconsideration or appeal.
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