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17 December 2014 newsletter

ESA New Form, Long Waits And Dirty Tricks Plus PIP Stats Latest

PIP success
“I just want to say a huge thank you to benefits and work for their invaluable guide to pip. I have been awarded enhanced care and standard mobility. I am vastly relieved that it is all over and cried when I got the letter. Thank you to benefits and work”

Dear Reader,

Today sees the release of the latest personal independence payment (PIP) statistics, giving details of how many claimants are still waiting and how many new claimants and DLA transfer claimants are getting an award.

Today also brings the first mandatory reconsideration statistics. These suggest that DWP dirty tricks have managed to cut the number of employment and support allowance (ESA) challenges by more than half. And they still won’t tell us how many of those challenges are successful.

We explain how to beat the dirty tricks, whether your mandatory reconsideration – the new first step in the appeals process – is for ESA, PIP or another benefit.

The DWP have also announced that a new ESA50 questionnaire is due out early next year which will place more onus on claimants to provide supporting evidence.

Meanwhile, it will come as no surprise to readers to discover that IDS continues to twist statistics, mangle facts and bluster his way out of every hole he finds himself in.

He claimed on the BBC on Sunday that benefits are now paid on time in 96 – 97% of cases compared to 88-89% under Labour.

This contrasts with the reality that only 20% of people who claimed ESA in January to March of this year have had an assessment. 40% are still stuck on the assessment rate of ESA waiting for a medical and another 41% got better or died before Atos got round to them.

It also contrasts sharply with the finding by the Office for Budget Responsibility that the DWP will have to spend an extra £1bn on ESA this year because of delays with processing claims and an extra £1bn on disability benefits because of delays in the roll-out of PIP.

The ‘on-time’ statistic was produced by IDS during his fight-back against a report by the Church of England which found that that benefits problems are one of the main causes of the rapid rise in food bank use in the UK.

IDS also argued that Germany is a much richer country and pays more generous benefits and yet has higher food bank use, proving that the increase in UK food banks can’t be due to benefit changes.

In fact, anyone googling “German foodbank use” will find as the very first result an article by the London School of Economics. It explains in detail how the meteoric rise in food bank use in Germany since 2005 is due to cuts to unemployment benefits which have, in turn, been used to fund tax cuts.

Sound familiar at all?

Still, at least all the fuss about food banks has allowed IDS to distract attention from the revelation last week that the Treasury still hasn’t signed off the business case for universal credit and that it is also on the amber/red warning list of the Major Projects Authority.

This is in spite of IDS telling MPs in a written ministerial statement in October that UC had been “assured by the Major Projects Authority and signed off by HM Treasury”.

It seems that IDS can fail in almost every endeavour, twist statistics and lie to his heart’s content yet still keep his job, so long as he continues to convince the press that the Coalition are cracking down on claimants.

Forum Christmas closure
We're going to close the forum on Tuesday 23rd at 10pm and re-open on Monday 5th January to give our moderators a very richly deserved Christmas break. We can’t thank our mods enough for their dedication and the enormous support they give to members. If there’s anyone out there interested in joining their heroically small ranks, please do get in touch.

Meanwhile, we’ll be back in January with all the latest news.

Have a happy and peaceful Christmas.

Steve Donnison

 

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DLA renewal success
“A massive THANK YOU THANK YOU to the people who give us this site, and the guides you give use, I have just got my DLA renewal letter back and I have been awarded High rate mobility and middle rate care for an indefinite time. Thanks to following your guides. So Happy and a massive weight off my shoulders from worry, Thank you”

If you’re not already a member, join the Benefits and Work community before midnight on Friday and you can get 20% off the cost of your annual subscription.

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Claimants and carers get an annual subscription for £15.96, down from £19.95. Professionals get an annual subscription for £77.60, down from £97.00.
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BENEFITS NEWS
Latest PIP statistics show hundreds of thousands still waiting
The DWP today released the latest quarterly statistics for personal independence payment (PIP). These show that hundreds of thousands of claimants are still waiting for a decision, in spite of a rapid increase in the number of assessments being carried out.

Over 50% fall in ESA challenges under mandatory reconsideration dirty tricks system
The DWP has finally published very limited statistics on mandatory reconsiderations which show a massive drop in challenges to employment and support allowance (ESA) decisions since the new system was introduced.

Work programme increases mental health support needs for 86%
Mind is calling for all people with mental health problems to be taken off mainstream Government back-to-work schemes and moved onto a specialist programme.

80% of January to March ESA claimants still waiting
ESA statistics released by the DWP today show that only 20% of people who claimed employment and support allowance (ESA) in January to March of this year have had an assessment.

Treasury has still not signed off universal credit
Universal credit is still on the amber-red warning list of the Major Projects Authority and the business case for the new benefit has still not been signed off by the Treasury, it was revealed at a public accounts committee meeting yesterday.

Food banks: Duncan Smith promises positive response after critical report
Iain Duncan Smith has promised to respond positively to a Church of England-backed report on the spread of food banks in the UK, saying he was looking at how sanctioned claimants that lose jobseeker’s allowance need not lose housing benefit as well.

Benefit problems main cause of food bank rise says Church of England
The Conservative party is seeking to avert one of its biggest rifts with the Church of England for decades as an all-party report on food banks warns that Britain is stalked by hunger caused by low pay, growing inequality, a harsh benefits sanctions regime and social breakdown.

Delays add £2bn to the cost of Chancellor's planned benefits bill
The Government will have to spend £2bn more on benefits than it planned a year ago because of delays to two flagship projects, official documents have revealed.

Autumn statement fails to reveal where benefits cuts will fall
George Osborne’s autumn statement seems to have left out a great deal about where cuts are likely to fall if the conservatives win the next election. What is certain is that times will be a great deal harder for working age benefits claimants.

FEEDBACK FROM THE FORUM
Please keep your feedback coming, we know that it’s a source of encouragement and hope to an awful lot of our visitors.

PIP Tribunal success
“I just wanted to say thank you for your advice and the help guides and resources on here have helped me massively. I had my PIP tribunal hearing today and was awarded the lower rate care component, finally ending what has been a hellish 16 months.”

DLA Renewal – result finally!
“Hi…I have been waiting for nearly 3 months for a decision on my DLA renewal claim. Thankfully today it came through and I have been awarded high rate Mobility and Care until early 2019. I would like to say thank you again to this site that points out things that I would never have been aware of otherwise. Thanks again”

DLA renewal
“Firstly I would like say thanks so much for all the information you provide on the website, I have just had my DLA RENEWED for two years and the relief is just immense, I couldn't have done it without you! … I know that we all would be worse off without your help!”

Thank you – ESA Support Group
“I just want to thank everyone at B&W for your wonderful guides. I have been awarded ESA Support Group without a medical for 3 years!! Thank you for your advice to attach as much relevant information as possible…Thank you, thank you so much for your guides, this site and the information/advice/ encouragement that you generously share with people struggling to make sense of the benefits system.”

PIP result
“Just received the "Brown Envelope" I have been awarded standard rate care and enhanced rate mobility…I would like to thank "Benefits and Work" for the help and advice which I'm sure has made the difference in getting this decision from DWP”

DLA success
“hi to all mods on the forum thanks for all the helpful guides for DLA on this site, mine was up for renewal end Sept 2014, doctor came out 2 weeks ago and had the brown envelope this morning to say I keep my HRM and LRC until sept 2016... so I’m very very pleased, I’m in northern Ireland where PIP has not been introduced yet... so thanks again B&W!”

PIP successful result
“Well the dreaded brown envelope dropped on the floor this morning and my hands were shaking so much I could barely open it. To my relief I have been awarded standard rate for both daily living and mobility for 3 yrs... Thanks to all for your help with the guides”

DLA renewal success
“DLA awarded HR care L rate mobility. This site is a god send when the brown envelope lands on the mat, knowing you can look on forum to give you hope from other people's success and the guides are so helpful. I have been a member for a while and recommend lots of people as you need all the help you can get on the forms... Merry Christmas to all”

Thank you! PIP awarded without medical
“just wanted to say thank you so much, I used your guide to help with every aspect of my PIP claim and getting the evidence I needed with my application back in May. I am overjoyed that I have been granted PIP (enhanced daily living, standard mobility)…so much stress and distress has been lifted from my shoulders. Now I’m actually looking forward to Christmas instead of feeling just overwhelming dread. Thank you again, I couldn't have done it without your guides!”

SDA to ESA transfer success
“Well after being a member for several years I have had to do my first post. Thank you all so much for your time and support to all who have to go through this process…Today I received a brown envelope 3rd of December, after looking at it for a while I decided I had to face the contents but the speed of this process was giving me no confidence that it would be good news. WRONG! Thanks to the guides and the sharing of others both Mods and people willing to share their news I was awarded the support group without a face to face…just be glad I found B/W.”

PIP result – success
“I applied mid August '14, returned my forms mid Sep, Assessment was November 28th. 12 days after the assessment the dreaded brown envelope arrived. I have been awarded enhanced rate for both components... I have to thank B&W for all of the support documents. They most certainly helped in the way I completed my form and answered the questions at assessment. Thank you very much and keep up the good work.”

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Comments  

#1 micksville 2014-12-17 15:12
Thanks to Stdfe and all the mods who do a great job Have a good holiday. Steve...theres no mention of the news which broke yesterday re the upcoming change of descriptor 1 in esa form, caused by ut decision on manual wheelchair availability.
Bro 58 posted a link to this decision yesterday evening on my forum post but though I am more literate than most when it comes to reading legal jargon, even I couldnt quite fathom exactly what this tribunal decision was saying and why the descriptor change was prompted. A clear explanation of it would be appreciated..
Thanks and have a good xmas

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