Brits should inform the DWP if they are going on holiday to avoid missing out on benefit payments

People who receive Personal Independence Payments (PIP) could lose their benefits if they leave the country for a holiday without informing the DWP. If you are leaving the country for four weeks or more – whether for a holiday, emergency trip or any other reason – you must let the DWP know.

The DWP needs to know the date the claimant is leaving the country, how long they are planning to be out of the country, which country they are going to and why they are going abroad. You can contact the PIP enquiry line on 0800 121 4433 to report a change of circumstances – lines are open from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday, reports the Mirror.

Herts Live has decided to round up everything you need to know to make sure you have all your ducks in a row the next time you decide to jet off on a well deserved break. Here is a comprehensive guide to all the changes in circumstances and whether you need to contact the DWP about them.

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Hospitals or similar institutions

DWP guidance states that both components of PIP cease to be payable 28 days after the claimant is admitted to an NHS hospital. Privately funded patients are unaffected by these rules and can continue to be paid either component of PIP.

If a claimant is in hospital or a similar institution at the date entitlement to PIP starts, PIP is not payable until they are discharged.

Care homes

The daily living component of PIP ceases to be payable after 28 days of residency in care home where the costs of the accommodation are met from public or local funds. The PIP mobility component can continue to be paid.

People who fully self-fund their placement are unaffected by these rules. If a claimant is in a care home at the date of entitlement, the PIP daily living component is not payable until they leave.

Linked spells in hospital and a care home

Spells in hospital are linked if the gap between them is no more than 28 days. The daily living component for spells in a care home is also linked if the gap between them is no more than 28 days.

There is no link for the mobility component because payment is not affected when in a care home. Both components of PIP will stop being paid after a total of 28 days in hospital.

The daily living component of PIP will stop being paid after a total of 28 days in a care home. If a claimant moves between a hospital and care home, or the other way around, these periods will also link.

Imprisonment or claimant held in legal custody

This change may affect the amount of PIP that can be paid to the claimant. The DWP needs to know the date the claimant was taken into prison or legal custody and the length of time they are expected to be there if known.

Detained in legal custody

PIP ceases to be payable after 28 days where someone is being detained in legal custody. This applies whether the offence is civil or criminal and whether they have been convicted or are on remand.

Suspended payments of benefit are not refunded regardless of the outcome of proceedings against the individual. Two or more separate periods in legal custody link if they are within one year of each other.

Change of name

This change will not affect payment or eligibility for PIP, but it is important that the DWP has the most up-to-date details for the claimant.

This change needs to be reported in writing – if the claimant phones to give these details, the DWP will ask for these details to be put in writing. The written notification must contain:

  • full details of their previous name

  • their new name

  • details of any changes made to the bank or building society account into which PIP is paid, such as the name of the account or the account number

  • their signature on the letter

Change of account PIP is paid into

The DWP needs full details of the of the name and address of the new bank or building society along with details of the new account including the name of the account, the account number and the sort code or roll number.

Change of person acting for the claimant

This refers to an appointee or someone with power of attorney for the claimant. This change is important so that the DWP can make payments to the right person at the right time.

They need the full name, address and contact details of the new person who is acting for the claimant. If the person acting for the claimant has moved or has different contact details, the DWP just needs the new details.

Change of address

This change, providing it is not a hospital or nursing home will not affect eligibility or payment of PIP. It is important that the DWP hold the most up-to-date details for the claimant.

They need full details of the new address the claimant has moved to, including the postcode and the date that they moved.

Change of doctor or healthcare professional

This change will not affect payment or eligibility for PIP and is not mandatory once a decision on the PIP claim has been made. However, if the change happens during the claiming stage it is essential that the DWP have the most up-to-date information.

This will make sure the assessment provider has the right contact details to gather any further details they may require. The DWP needs the full name, address and contact details of the new doctor or health care professional.

Full details about changes of circumstance if you are receiving PIP can be found in the online handbook here.

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HertsLive – Hemel Hempstead