Severe Disability Premium hasn't been paid for years!

I'm hoping this is the correct Forum for me to ask for advice.

My adult child (aged 28yrs) is in receipt of PIP both highest rates of mobility and care.
They also receive Income Related ESA.
They receive full housing benefit and full council tax benefit.
They moved out from my house aged approximately 19 or 20 so approximately 8 or 9 years ago. Initially my child lived alone for approximately 2 years. They then moved into a 'shared' house with their friend. The housing benefit they receive has always been for 2 bedrooms, 1 for my child and a spare bedroom for me to stay in as required as their carer. The first house they lived in alone had 2 bedrooms. The house they moved into to share with their friend has 3 bedrooms. Two are for my child's use. Their friend had their own separate bedroom and they slept on separate floors. My child is a wheelchair user and doesn't manage stairs so their bedroom is downstairs. This was the arrangement for approximately 3 years. Then their friend moved out and went to live with their partner.
I spoke to the estate agent when my child's friend moved out and they said my child could either continue the tenancy alone but pay for the whole house (the 3rd bedroom) or they were happy for someone else to move in and have the house as s 'shared' home still. 
We knew of another friend of my child's who was looking for somewhere to live as their housemate had also moved out and they were unable to stay in their current property alone as they couldn't afford it. So it was agreed with my child's Estate agents that their friend moved in and then took over the same terms of the previous tenant.
This was about 4 years ago and again the same arrangements are in place. My child's bedroom is downstairs, their friends bedroom is upstairs and the housing have paid for my child to have a 2nd bedroom for the use of a carer (which is me)
I do visit every day to help care for them however I do not get carers allowance for them. No one gets carers allowance for my child. They do not have any savings either.
I have only just came across the Severe Disability Premium and realised that my child dies not get this.
I've done a benefits calculation online and sure enough it tells me that they should be in receipt of Severe Disability Premium Benefit.
As my child's legal representative and appointee I called the DWP and they've gone through the application process of filling in the forms for Severe Disability Premium Benefit. I asked them why my child had not been receiving it and they said this was not an automatic thing and you could only get it by applying and also that meant they would not be willing to look at backdating any of it.
They also questioned my child's address and said they had my child as still living with me. Thus should not be the case as I attend and represent my child on every single assessment they gave ever had and I sat with the assessor myself and informed them that my child was moving into their own home imminently and gave them my child's full address which they said would be updated onto the DWP system. The same happened when they moved from living by themselves to living with their friend, my child had a home assessment that time and they came to my home where I told them that my child was moving to their new address the following week and again they said that would be noted.
I've never thought anything otherwise as all if my child's letters cone to my address to me as their appointee so I can manage their care appropriately.
They've also clearly had full housing benefit and council tax benefit for 8 or 8 years solidly so how could anyone not know that my child was living in their own property and not living with me.
I guess what I am wanting advise with is, if my child is awarded thus benefit and I see no reason why they should be refused it especially as the turn 2 us benefit calculator also tells me they should be getting it...... do I have a right to ask for them to backdate any of it and if so how far going back would I need to ask them for? I'm presuming there's a limit if 6 months or so.

I hope someone can help advise me. But if a complex question and lengthy explanation I know and I do apologise but I hope I've made it clear for people to understand the current situation with regards to my child's living arrangements.

Thank you
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Replies

  • poppy12345poppy12345 Forumite
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    They are correct in telling you that the SDP is not automatically paid because of the criteria involved.
    A benefits calculator is only as good as the information you put into it, it wouldn't know the criteria of those specific benefits.
    The change of addresses should have been reported to DWP theirself and not to the health assessment providers because they are nothing at all to do with DWP. They deal with the assessments only, after this it's entirely down to DWP. As his appointee then you should have reported the changes to DWP.
    Whether he's entitled to the SDP going back all those years will totally depend on whether the people he house shairs with have their own tenancy agreement. If they did/do then yes the SDP can be backdated to the date he became entitled to it, regardless of how long this was.
  • BratfinkBratfink Forumite
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    Thanks Poppy.
    As I was told both times that the changes to address would be applied I would never have thought to phone DWP as well. The assessment lady the second time even took the new address details from my child's new tenancy agreement so I presumed this meant everything would be done by them. 
    I know a change in circumstances has to be reported but as I'd told the advisors who we saw face to face and the details were taken and I were told it would all be changed then I honestly thought that was it. 

    The tenancy agreements have always been separate.
    My child gets full housing benefit and council tax benefit.
    The other tenant in the house works and gets no benefit entitlements. He pays a council tax bill and 1/3rd of the rent.
    My child has no council tax to pay and gets housing benefit for 2/3rds of the rent.

    When I called and made the assessment on the phone, they made the change of address whilst speaking to me and said they'd date the change of address to the correct address but that the SDP is not allowed to be backdated.
    They said the form they filled in with the details I gave to them on the phone would take approximately 6 working days to be looked at and a decision made on entitlement and then I'd get a letter through the post.

    Would you advise waiting for the letter to see what that says first or should I call them again?
    I made the application for my child 6 working days ago today.
  • cattiecattie Forumite
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    Not sure if it helps you, but a friend wasn't aware she qualified for SDP along with her DLA, so at  my urging, she contacted DWP  to apply & she was awarded 3months back payments, which at the time she was told was the maximum they could backdate. Not sure if things have changed since then, but friend was very happy with getting the payment for the 3 months backdated SDP.
    The bigger the bargain, the better I feel.

    I should mention that there's only one of me, don't confuse me with others of the same name.
  • poppy12345poppy12345 Forumite
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    cattie said:
    Not sure if it helps you, but a friend wasn't aware she qualified for SDP along with her DLA, so at  my urging, she contacted DWP  to apply & she was awarded 3months back payments, which at the time she was told was the maximum they could backdate. Not sure if things have changed since then, but friend was very happy with getting the payment for the 3 months backdated SDP.

    This is definitely not correct and it can be backdated as far back as the person was/is entitled to it. I've known many many people to be backdated several years.
  • BratfinkBratfink Forumite
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    I think I'll wait for a couple of weeks to see if I get a letter from them and see what it says.

    I know they definitely have an entitlement to it. I just wasn't aware before.
  • poppy12345poppy12345 Forumite
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    It may take a while to have a decision on all those years because checks will need to be done.
  • BratfinkBratfink Forumite
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    Hi poppy

    Thanks.
    Would they write to us first though just to let us know what is happening do you think? 
  • poppy12345poppy12345 Forumite
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    Bratfink said:
    Hi poppy

    Thanks.
    Would they write to us first though just to let us know what is happening do you think? 

    Once a decision is made they will send you the decision letter. If successfully awarded then money is usually received into the bank before the letter is received. Any money owed will be disregarded as savings for 1 year from the date it's received.
  • BratfinkBratfink Forumite
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    Thank you Poppy. You've been really helpful.
  • Just to pick up one point everybody pays some council tax now, the % varies from council to council.
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