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3 October 2022 | Case Study | Article by Catherine Keeley

Court of Protection team secure maximum PIP award for client

Our client, Mr P, sustained a severe brain injury in an unprovoked assault. He had some pre-existing disablement and nil income, having previously been sanctioned in relation to his Universal Credit claim on account of his inability to deal with relevant conditionality. He was initially assisted with a late challenge against the operative Universal Credit decision, which led to the reinstatement of the award and a back payment of approximately £5,000. A further back payment of approximately £2000 was subsequently been secured, the monthly award was increased, and no conditionality is now imposed.

As part of our Court of Protection service, which includes in-house specialist assistance with Welfare Benefits’ matters, Mr P was assisted to make an application for Personal Independence Payment, on account of the consequences of his brain injury. Those consequences included unpredictable seizures, a matter on which there has been recent relevant upper tribunal case-law. Regrettably, the Health Professional assessment found no relevant disablement, despite the appointment of a professional deputy on account of a lack of capacity. The PIP refusal was confirmed by the DWP further to an initial challenge, and so an appeal was required. On the day of the appeal hearing itself, the clerk was instructed by the judge to ring our specialist advisor (who himself works in a relevant high level role in his second job) in advance to say that no hearing would be required and that the representations in the advance written legal submission were accepted: the client was made a PIP award at the maximum rates, in the sum of £145.35 per week, with that being the polar opposite outcome to that found by the health professional and 3 decision makers.

Mr P’s case is to be used as one of 3 case studies regarding a policy work approach to the relevant contracted assessment provider, with responsibility for PIP assessments in this region, regarding the drive to improve the assessment of brain injury and hidden disability matters. That approach is to be made, in the knowledge that the Headway charity for brain injury survivors, with whom the firm has links, is currently running its relevant ‘Right First Time’ campaign and has also recently met with senior delegates of the Capita assessment provider.

Catherine Keeley – a Partner within our Court of Protection team – acts as deputy for Mr P. Catherine comments:

This is a fantastic outcome for our client and he was extremely grateful for Peter’s thorough preparation and expertise. He was relieved he secured the maximum PIP award without the need to attend a formal hearing, in addition to the increased Universal Credit award. The £15,000 a year income has greatly improved his quality of life, following a long period of uncertainty with no income.

The names and identifying details of the client have been changed to protect the privacy of individuals involved.

Author bio

Catherine Keeley has worked in the Court of Protection field for 20 years and specialises in managing the financial affairs of clients who lack capacity, due to catastrophic injury or illness.

Disclaimer: The information on the Hugh James website is for general information only and reflects the position at the date of publication. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be treated as such. If you would like to ensure the commentary reflects current legislation, case law or best practice, please contact the blog author.

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