August 2020 PIP Reviews

In 2016, a First-tier Tribunal awarded the claimant personal independence payment (PIP) consisting of the standard rate daily living component from January 2016 to January 2019.

In January 2018, the claimant completed a disability questionnaire and was then interviewed and examined by a healthcare professional (HCP). On the basis of their report, it was decided that the claimant was no longer entitled to PIP from May 2018.

The only difference between this decision and that of the tribunal in 2016 was that the claimant did not score points for engaging with other people face to face. On appeal, the tribunal restored the daily living component at the standard rate until 18 May 2023.

In making their decision, the tribunal said that where the existing award was as a result of a tribunal decision, there was no power that allows a supersession by a first instance decision-maker simply relying on a new medical report, grounds for supersession must be established by identifying a change of circumstances, ignorance of a material fact or an error of law.

The Secretary of State appealed to the Upper Tribunal, holding that the tribunal was wrong on two levels when it found that a first instance decision-maker could not supersede a tribunal decision by simply relying on a new medical report.

Firstly, the tribunal misunderstood the relevant regulations, their respective roles and how they operate together, and the significance of the new medical report in that process. Secondly, regulations do not limit powers to supersede on any other permissible ground.

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