BENEFITS EXPERT: Watch out for a text or letter about PIP renewal changes
At the moment a renewal form will be sent three months before the current award is due to end, this would be completed and ongoing entitlement to the benefit will be assessed based on information in the form.
This will also include situations where claimants have an existing award, report a change in their circumstances such as new health conditions, increased daily living needs, etc.
However this will now be extended to 12 months, the extension will be applied 35 days before the current award is due to end. Recipients of PIP should be sent either letters or text messages from October 31, 2022. If readers don’t get either form of communication they can call 0800 1214 433 and a letter will be sent confirming their extension.
To avoid any gaps in extension, clients should consider making a new claim.
This will be for those cases not given an extension i.e. any review or renewal claims commenced before the above date.
Another change in relation to benefits which will take effect from October 1, 2022, concerns the rules for local housing allowance.
This is how much rent can be paid by either Housing Benefit or Universal Credit, and you rent from a private landlord.
Currently anyone under 35, who is single and with no dependants and who do get either PIP for daily living, DLA care at middle or high rate, will only be paid shared accommodation rates which are lower than a one bedroom rate.
Anyone aged 16 to 34 years of age, who rents, will be paid the one bedroom rate if they are fleeing domestic abuse or are the victims of modern slavery.
Currently the only way of meeting a rental shortfall due to the shared accommodation rule is to claim discretionary housing payments.
These are usually a short term solution in which claimants are expected to either find cheaper accommodation, seek rehousing with a social landlord or attempt to manage or increase their finances.
Citizens Advice is an independent organisation specialising in confidential information and advice to assist people with legal, debt, consumer, housing and other problems.