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Helping you secure backdated benefits

Our Financial Inclusion team has recently supported two residents in their appeals to the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) for backdated Personal Independence Payments (PIP), securing them a total of over £20,000.

The first resident we supported suffers with numerous disabilities and agoraphobia, and was first referred to the team by the Housing Officer in November 2017 as she was having Housing Benefit issues. We helped her sort out the problem, and everything was going fine until her Disability Living Allowance (DLA) came to an end in February 2018 and she had to apply for PIP. She was awarded four points for the daily living component and nothing for mobility; this decision had a knock-on effect on her Housing Benefit and Council Tax payments.

When our Financial Inclusion Officer, Gary Greaves, contacted the tenant for an update he was advised that a mandatory reconsideration had resulted in the same outcome, and so he told the tenant that he would appeal the decision at tribunal on their behalf. Lodged in September 2018 the appeal was accepted by the tribunal.

The DWP finally revised their decision in December 2018 and awarded the tenant an additional 12 points for mobility from that date onwards. Gary discussed the decision with the tenant, and with their agreement decided to launch a fresh appeal explaining why he thought the original decision was wrong and asking for the revised payment amount to be backdated.

Gary accompanied the tenant to the tribunal to present their case, and a couple of weeks later heard that she had been awarded the enhanced component for both daily living and mobility backdated to May 2018. The whole process took around 18 months, but it resulted in the tenant receiving backdated PIP of over £11,000. It will also result in Housing Benefit and Council Tax Relief being backdated to the same date.

Having learned that another tenant was living on just £128 a week since their PIP payments ceased in 2015 - and having to rely on family to remain fed, clothed and warm - our Financial Inclusion team stepped in to support them in appealing the decision. The tenant was recently advised that their appeal has been successful and will result in a backdated payment of around £9,000.

A relative of the tenant said: “What a valuable and vital resource this team is to tenants. It epitomises the caring social values that emh homes has towards its tenants’ needs and their wellbeing. This will make a world of difference to him.”

If you have been refused benefits by the DWP we may be able to support you to appeal the decision and secure additional income. For more information email us on enquiries@emhhomes.org.uk

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