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Welfare Supplementary Payments for loss of Disability Living Allowance

This advice applies to Northern Ireland

If you’ve moved from Disability Living Allowance (DLA) to Personal Independence Payment (PIP) and got a lower rate or no PIP at all, you can get something called a Welfare Supplementary Payment from the Department for Communities (DfC).

To get a PIP Welfare Supplementary Payment you’ll need to:

  • have been getting DLA on the day you claimed PIP. It doesn’t matter whether you were told to claim it or you chose to claim it
  • be resident and present in Northern Ireland - that means you normally live in Northern Ireland and you are actually here when you get your Welfare Supplementary Payment
  • not qualify for PIP because of the medical assessment, rather than any of the other PIP conditions.

There are 3 kinds of Welfare Supplementary Payment for PIP - which one you’ll get depends on your circumstances. You can only get one kind at a time.

You don’t need to apply - you’ll be paid automatically.

You’ll be paid every four weeks in arrears, starting on the day after your DLA stops. The DfC will pay the money into the same account as they paid your DLA into.

The payment is for a fixed amount- it won’t increase if PIP rates increase.

You can’t get any payments after 31st March 2020.

You haven’t been given PIP

If you appeal the DfC’s decision not to award you PIP, you’ll get a Welfare Supplementary Payment equal to your award of DLA while you’re waiting for your appeal to be heard by a tribunal.

You’ll get a Welfare Supplementary Payment if you:

How much you’ll get

The DfC will be told when you lodge your appeal with the Appeals Service - they’ll contact you about your Welfare Supplementary Payment.

The Welfare Supplementary Payment will be for the same amount as your DLA. It’ll start the day after your DLA stops, as long as you have lodged your appeal.

What you’ll get after your appeal

If at your appeal the tribunal gives you the same or a higher rate of PIP as your DLA award, you won’t be worse off so you won’t get any more Welfare Supplementary Payments.

If they don’t give you any PIP or you get it at a lower rate than the DLA you were on, you may be able to get a different Welfare Supplementary Payment. The DfC will contact you.

Contact your local Citizens Advice if you’re not happy with the outcome of your appeal.

You’ve been awarded less PIP than your DLA

You’ll get a Welfare Supplementary Payment of 75% of the difference between your DLA and PIP for up to a year as long as you’re getting at least £10 less PIP than you were getting for DLA.

You’ll be paid every four weeks in arrears, starting on the day after your DLA stops. The money will go into the same account as your PIP is paid into.

Example

You were getting DLA high rate care of £329.20 every four weeks.

You were reassessed for PIP and were given the standard rate daily living component of PIP of £220.40.

The difference is £108.80, which is more than £10 per week less.

You’ll get a Supplementary Payment of 75% of the difference:

£108.80 x 75% = £81.60

You’ll get £81.60

Your payment will stop if you lose your entitlement to PIP, or the difference becomes less than £10 per week.

If the DfC looks at your PIP award again and increases it, they’ll reduce or stop your Welfare Supplementary Payment. If they reduce the amount of PIP you get, your Welfare Supplementary Payment won’t go up - it’ll stay the same.

If you are unhappy with your new PIP decision, you can appeal it at the same time as getting this Supplementary Payment.

You aren’t given PIP but get 4 points or more at your assessment

If you got between 4 and 7 points for either the daily living or mobility activities part of your PIP assessment, you might get a Welfare Supplementary Payment for up to a year if you were physically or mentally injured because of the Northern Ireland conflict since 1966.

The DfC will ring you within four weeks of your PIP decision to discuss your options.

They’ll either have already got information about you from the Victims and Survivors Commission or they’ll ask you to send them evidence that your illness or disability is as a result of a conflict-related incident.

If you need to give the DfC more information, you could send a report from:

  • the PSNI
  • your GP
  • a registered nurse
  • a registered occupational therapist or physiotherapist
  • a victims and survivors group funded under the Victims and Survivors Order 2006.

You should send them the evidence within a month of them contacting you unless there is a good reason that you need longer. Get in touch with the Welfare Supplementary Payments Team if you can’t send a report in within a month. Send the evidence to:

Welfare Supplementary Payments Team
Castle Court
Royal Avenue
Belfast
BT1 1HR

Telephone: 0300 123 3382
Textphone: 0300 123 3383

They’ll look at the evidence you send in and contact you to tell you whether or not you’re eligible for a Welfare Supplementary Payment.

How much you’ll get

If you got at least 4 points in your PIP assessment for the daily living activities, your Welfare Supplementary Payment will be for the same amount as the standard rate of PIP Daily Living Component.

In all other cases your Welfare Supplementary Payment will be for the same amount as the standard rate of the PIP Mobility Component.

You can challenge your PIP decision at the same time as getting this Welfare Supplementary Payment.

If you challenge your decision and are awarded PIP, your Welfare Supplementary Payments will stop as you’ll get PIP instead.

If you’re awarded less than 4 points, your Welfare Supplementary Payment will stop.

Contact your local Citizens Advice to discuss your options.

If your circumstances change

You need to tell the DfC if:

  • you’re away from Northern Ireland for more than 4 weeks - you’ll stop getting payments after 4 weeks outside the country.
  • you’re away from Northern Ireland for more than 13 weeks for medical treatment - you’ll stop getting payments after 13 weeks outside the country.
  • you go into hospital or a care home (unless privately funded) or into prison - your Welfare Supplementary Payment will stop after 28 days. It’ll start again when you come out.

You should tell the PIP Centre about changes to your medical condition.

If you’re not currently getting PIP you’ll need to make a fresh claim.

If you’re currently getting PIP and your condition gets worse you can ask for your award to be looked at again. The PIP Centre will look at your whole award and they can put it down as well as up. Contact your local Citizens Advice to get help if you’re not sure what to do.

Welfare Supplementary payments and benefits

Welfare Supplementary Payments aren’t benefits and aren’t counted as income for benefit purposes. Only Welfare Supplementary Payments which replace taxable benefits are taxable, eg the Welfare Supplementary Payment for loss of Carer’s Allowance.

If you stop getting DLA or PIP you’ll lose any extra amounts on other benefits that you got paid because of your disability or illness, eg a disability premium on your Employment and Support Allowance.

You can get another sort of Welfare Supplementary Payment so that you aren’t worse off.

If you don’t get PIP and someone has been getting Carer’s Allowance for looking after you, they won’t be able to get Carer’s Allowance or the Carer’s premium on their other benefits any more. They might be able to get a different Welfare Supplementary Payment for up to one year instead - the DfC will contact your carer directly.

Welfare Supplementary Payments aren’t benefits, so they don’t automatically entitle you to other help such as a reduction in road tax, the Blue Badge or discounted travel. Even if your Welfare Supplementary Payment is equal to your DLA mobility payment, you can’t use it to keep on paying for your Motability car if you have one. The Motability Scheme website has information about their transitional support package if you’re no longer eligible for the Scheme following a reassessment.

Getting a Welfare Supplementary Payment doesn’t mean you’re exempt from the Benefit Cap.

Challenging a Welfare Supplementary Payment decision

If you disagree with the decision on your Welfare Supplementary Payment you can ask for a review by phoning or writing to the DfC.

You’ll find their contact details on your decision letter.

You must ask for a review within one month of the date of your decision letter.

If you get an overpayment

Overpayments of Welfare Supplementary Payments are recoverable - that means that if you’ve been paid too much the DfC will ask for the money back.

The DfC will write to you to tell you how much you have been overpaid, why the overpayment happened and how they plan to take the money back. Your local Citizens Advice can help you if you’re not sure about the overpayment or how the DfC will recover it.

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