Mistakes happen – We help people to have them put right

Mistakes happen. For instance, people who have been receiving a disability benefit might suddenly find that it has been reduced or suspended and don’t understand why this has happened or how they can challenge it.

Disability benefits – Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for children, Personal Independence Payment (PIP) for those of working age and Attendance Allowance (AA) for those of retirement age. They are not means tested.

Money received – is to help with the extra costs if you have a long-term physical or mental health condition or disability. The amount you get depends on how your condition affects you.

We recently helped a lady who lives in the Farnham area of Waverley to recover a substantial amount of money on two occasions after mistakes had been made.

Jane* had been receiving PIP in 2020, but this had been suspended after a questionable reassessment interview. She came to Citizens Advice, and we helped her to get the benefit reinstated. A back payment of £7,000 was paid into her bank account. To her surprise, in January of 2021 Jane received a letter from the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) saying that her PIP was still suspended, but the award had been continued until 2024.Jane then received another letter from the DWP advising her of the new PIP rates which would apply from April of 2021.     

Jane now checked her bank statements and realised that she had not been receiving the reinstated payments of almost £500 per month. She brought her bank statements into us for an adviser to see and our adviser agreed that she had indeed not been receiving the monthly payments which she had been told were reinstated. The adviser rang the DWP for Jane and when her case record was opened, it was clear that the case had remained suspended after the reinstatement while the figures were checked, but no one had lifted the suspension after the amounts had been confirmed.

The DWP officer lifted the suspension immediately and confirmed that a second back payment would now be calculated and issued.

A few days later Jane rang to thank her adviser and to tell her that she had received just over £7,000 as a second back payment and she had checked that the monthly payments were now coming into her bank account. She said ‘I am absolutely delighted!’

*Name has been changed to protect confidentiality.

If you are having difficulty with your existing benefit, or need help applying for benefits, we can help with:

  • Completion of Application or reassessment forms
  • Preparation for assessment interview
  • Submission of evidence
  • Challenging a decision

Please contact your local Citizens Advice Office.

By Phone 0808 278 7980 (free) to speak to an adviser
By Email: use our enquiry form
Self-help: search by topic
Office opening: details
South West Surrey Domestic Abuse Outreach Service 01483 898884, swr@swsda.org.uk
Both Dorking and Leatherhead Citizens Advice offices are closed due to coronavirus, please either telephone our adviceline 0800 144 8848 or email leatherhead@camv.org.uk / dorking@camv.org.uk

Contact East Surrey Domestic Abuse Services on 01737 771350 or email: support@esdas.org.uk

Surrey Domestic Abuse 9am-9pm Helpline – 01483 776822
In an emergency always dial 999
Phone Adviceline: 0800 144 8848 (free) to speak to an adviser (Monday –
Friday 09.00 – 16.00)
Email: Use an enquiry form
Self help: search by topic


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