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The DWP has recently announced that a dedicated team now handles telephone claims for terminally ill people (Bulletin 239, p2); and that medical professionals in England and Scotland can now submit DS1500 forms electronically, which is intended to reduce the time taken to decide claims.7 The National Audit Office and the Work and Pensions Select committee have both recently produced scathing reports about delays in processing PIP claims (Bulletin 239, p2).This seems to be an issue with processes within both DWP and the assessment providers.Not knowing that you could claim benefit earlier will not normally be considered as a good reason.However, not claiming because you were in hospital or had severe health problems or a close relative had died could be considered as 'good reasons'.However, advisers will not need telling that the process of claiming PIP is (for most claimants) fraught with delays.This article reviews the implementation of PIP to date.The normal method of claiming is by telephone, although paper claim forms can be sent to people unable to claim by phone.

You must tell us the period you want to backdate your benefit for and tell us why your claim is late.

We will need to see proof of your income, savings and rent payments for the period you want to backdate your benefit for and any proof to support your reasons (for example, medical certificates or hospital letters). You can also get help from an advice agency, such as a Citizens Advice Bureau.

Unfortunately, the Benefit Regulations do not say what are, and what are not, good reasons so we look at each case individually.

'Good reasons' must apply for the whole period you're asking us to backdate your benefit for.

If you, or your partner, are of state pension credit qualifying age and qualify for Housing Benefit/Council Tax Support we can backdate your benefit up to 3 months before the date your claim is received (as long as you were entitled to benefit for that period).

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