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PIP: Britons must report certain issues ‘straight away’ to avoid a penalty charge

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PIP is a payment available to those who have a disability, or long term ill-health, and is designed to help with extra costs. Britons can receive the payment whether they are working or not, however, there are certain eligibility criteria to bear in mind. A person must be aged 16 or over, and usually must have not reached state pension age.

Individuals will need to have a disability or health issue where they have had difficulties with daily living or getting around for three months or more.

They will also need to expect these difficulties to continue for at least nine months.

But there is an important matter for PIP claimants to bear in mind, and it is vital to pay attention to avoid a penalty.

Britons must report any changes in their circumstances to the DWP as soon as possible.

The government website has outlined the consequences if these rules are not followed.

It states: “You could be taken to court or have to pay a penalty if you give wrong information or do not report a change in your circumstances.”

This is particularly serious as deliberately misleading the DWP is considered as benefit fraud.

As such, there are a number of changes where people will be required to keep the DWP in the loop.

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These include if personal details such as name or address change, if a person goes abroad, or if they are in hospital or a care home.

In addition, if the help a person needs, or their condition changes, they must provide an update.

Finally, if a person’s condition has worsened and they are not expected to live more than six months, reporting this is key so Britons can receive the right support.

Changes in circumstances should be reported as they may affect the amount of support a person is entitled to.

Citizens Advice has urged Britons to report changes, even if they aren’t sure whether these affect their payment, just to be on the safe side. 

To report such changes, claimants can reach out to the PIP enquiry line, with all information accessible through the government’s website.

The line is open from the usual hours of 9am to 5pm on Monday to Friday to offer support to PIP claimants.

If a person cannot call themselves, they can get someone to do so on their behalf, but the claimant will need to be with this person when the call is made. 

Britons can also write to the DWP, with the contact address found on a person’s original decision letter.

Citizens Advice has also told PIP claimants it is a good idea to keep a written record of a change being reported, in case the matter is disputed later down the line. 

Those who report a change by phone can ask the DWP for a transcript, and those who write are encouraged to keep a copy of their letter. 

It is worth noting, however, that a change in circumstances may result in the DWP wishing to assess a PIP claimant again.

If so, Britons can expect to receive a new claim form to complete, which should be filled out in full and returned by the specified deadline on the correspondence. 

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