Welfare Reform Helpline

A client phoned the Independent Welfare Reform Helpline for advice on a PIP decision that was taking a long time.

The client had migrated from DLA to PIP and in doing so had asked for a paper assessment.

This man suffers from both physical and mental health issues including PTSD as a result of being shot during The Troubles. The client had difficulty with mobility and could not cope with going to unfamiliar places. When he contacted us, the client had been waiting for 17 weeks for a decision. He asked our adviser if there was anything he could do at that stage.

The client was advised to phone PIP and ask to speak to a team leader or case manager. He was advised to check if his assessment was being worked on with a view to making a decision. The client could then inform them of the affect the delay was having on his mental health. The adviser offered to make the call on the client’s behalf but only with his explicit consent. In this case the client preferred to make the call himself.

The client was further advised that he could make a complaint to the Department for Communities online – he did have access to the internet. If he was not happy with the outcome of his assessment then he could request Mandatory Reconsideration and appeal the decision. He was given a clear overview of the appeal process and supplementary payment for any loss of DLA, paid every four weeks in arrears and advised of the face-to-face referral process.

The adviser asked if the client could let them know of the outcome of the decision when it was received. The client agreed and contacted the helpline when it came through.

It turned out that he received the top award of PIP in both daily living and mobility. He thanked the adviser for their help.