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9 September 2015 newsletter

Lifetime DLA Claimants Forced Onto PIP In 29 More Areas Plus Threat Of New ESA Crackdown

From Low Rate DLA Care To PIP Enhanced Daily Living And Standard Mobility Until 2026 – No Medical
“I posted my claim form on 7th July and the brown envelope dropped through my letter box on 7th August, the date for my medical? No, my award letter!!! I was shaking whilst trying to read it, I was only on low rate daily living DLA so was expecting to get nothing. How wrong I was, enhanced daily living and standard mobility until 2026... no review before 2025.Thank you benefits and work, without the help from your members only guides I would not have received this award. I wish I had know about you when I was doing my DLA forms!!


Dear Reader,

Welcome to the first newsletter following the summer.

It’s undoubtedly a summer the DWP will be desperate to put behind it, after being repeatedly hit with bad publicity, as you can read below.

But for claimants, the two most important items of news over the summer are probably:

the early roll out of forced DLA to PIP transfers for ‘lifetime’ claimants to 29 more postcode districts; and

Iain Duncan Smith’s announcement that he wants to radically change ESA to get one million more sick and disabled claimants into work.

Whilst IDS’ vicious JSA sanctions regime has helped enormously in cutting JSA claimant numbers, he has had nothing like the same success in reducing the number of people claiming ESA. Although the news that sanctions against ESA claimants rose by 38% in just one month suggests that IDS has not given up trying.

However, over the summer IDS announced that he wants to make big changes to the work capability assessment. In a speech last month he argued that:

“We need to look at the assessment we use for ESA – and I want to look at changing it so that it is better geared towards helping to get people prepared for and into what work they may be capable of, rather than parking them beyond work.”

Whether this means an assault on claimants in the work-related activity group or the support group or both, we will have to wait and see. But there’s little doubt that, for ESA claimants, a new fight is on the horizon.

For DLA claimants the fight to hold onto their benefit has already begun. In the first 10 postcodes where claimants with an ‘indefinite’ or ‘lifetime’ award of DLA are forced to claim PIP instead, the DWP began targeting claimants in July, rather than October as originally planned.

Then, at the end of last month the DWP announced that a further 29 postcodes would also begin the reassessment process early, starting on 1 September.

The complete transfer of claimants is expected to take over two years, with the DWP saying claimants can be contacted at any time up to 30 September 2017.

But this latest announcement suggests that the DWP is already in a rush to get up to the full rate of 1,800 assessments a day of lifetime DLA claimants.

Have you had a medical assessment for PIP and obtained a copy of the report that was produced about you? Would you be willing to provide us with a copy? You can post or scan and email the report and we will pay £7.50 per report to cover your costs.

Benefits and Work wants to examine PIP medical reports produced by Atos and Capita about a range of different health conditions to help us with our training and our guides. We may publish extracts from the reports, but they will always be completely anonymised and, where necessary, details changed to ensure that you cannot be identified.

If you have a medical report and would like more details, please drop an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with PIP medical report in the subject line. Please do not post or email your report until you have heard back from us.

It’s been a bad summer for the DWP.

They have faced huge criticism over the ESA death statistics, which they unsuccessfully tried to bury over the last bank holiday.

The figures released are unclear in many regards. But what is apparent is that thousands of claimants have died within weeks of being found fit for work, leading to calls in the national media for the resignation of IDS.

The DWP were also shamed by the revelation that they had invented bogus ESA claimants who praised their sanctions regime. Leaflets featuring the fake claimants have now had to be withdrawn. The issue created even more of a scandal in the media than the deaths of thousands of claimants.

Finally, there was the leaked news that the government’s long-term violation of the human rights of claimants - and in particular the multiple cuts to benefits – are being investigated by the United Nations.

What is particularly notable about these news items is that they were all brought about by tiny, private sector or unfunded groups or individuals.

The ESA death statistics campaign is the work of Vox Political blogger Mike Sivier.

The bogus sanction claimants were revealed by Welfare Weekly – a one-person online news aggregator.

And the UN investigation has come about due to the tireless work of activist group Disabled People Against Cuts.

Add to this the story of the 49 secret DWP investigations into claimant deaths, revealed earlier this year by John Pring’s Disability News Service, and a startling truth emerges.

The DWP is now largely being held to account not by opposition politicians, not by well-funded charities such as Disability Rights UK, but by activists with virtually no income.

One of the main weapons of these new campaigners is the Freedom of Information Act. But we know that the government is already taking steps to try to dramatically curtail the use of the Act.

How long before the government – or its multinational partners - also decide to take action against the campaigners themselves?

Support for ever more harsh benefits cuts depends on people accepting that claimants are bad and the DWP is good. These campaigners are inconveniently proving that the opposite is true.

Good luck,

Steve Donnison


PIP success, enhanced both rates
“Thanks to the advice from the wonderful moderators on here and the wealth of vital resources available on this site, I am pleased to say that I have been awarded enhanced daily living and enhanced mobility until 2018!!!”

Give yourself the best possible chance of getting the right ESA, PIP or DLA decision, whether you’re making a claim, renewing an existing award or asking for a reconsideration or appeal.

Subscribe now and get instant access to all our guides.

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.

Just type the following code into the coupon box when you pay: 8842

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.
Offer ends midnight Friday


Lifetime DLA claimants forced to apply for PIP early in 29 more postcode areas
Claimants getting a lifetime or indefinite award of disability living allowance (DLA)in a further 29 postcode areas are now being forced to try to claim personal independence payment (PIP) instead.

UN investigates UK violation of disabled people’s rights
Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) says it is responsible for a previously secret United Nations (UN) inquiry into the accumulated effects on disabled people of the government’s cuts in welfare benefits and other support.

Thousands die after being found fit for work
The release of the employment and support allowance (ESA) death statistics yesterday revealed that 2,380 ESA claimants died within six weeks of being found fit for work between December 2011 and February 2014.

IDS plotting major changes to WCA to cut ESA numbers
Iain Duncan Smithy will warn in a speech today that he is planning major changes to the work capability assessment in order to make it harder to claim employment and support allowance (ESA), according to the Independent.

ESA death statistics to be cynically released over August bank holiday
The DWP have cynically arranged for the long-awaited employment and support allowance (ESA) death statistics to be released immediately before a bank holiday in the middle of the parliamentary summer recess, Benefits and Work can reveal. This is a traditional method of burying bad news in the hope it gets the minimum possible publicity.

DWP caught using bogus claimants and fake photos to justify vicious sanctions regime
The DWP has admitted to creating fake claimants complete with bogus quotes praising the sanctions regime in a recent leaflet on the subject. The leaflet had to be withdrawn after the DWP’s dishonesty was exposed by the Welfare Weekly website.

PIP now the number one problem for CAB users
Personal Independence Payment (PIP) has overtaken Employment Support Allowance (ESA) as the most common problem people come to Citizens Advice for help with, the charity revealed today.

Jeremy Corbyn backs new WOW petition
Labour leadership front-runner has given his backing to a new WOW petition calling for the government to assess the full impact of all the cuts to support and social care for disabled people.

Massive rise in ESA sanctions raises fears of new crackdown
Figures released by the DWP this week show a massive 38% rise in employment and support allowance (ESA) sanctions in the space of just one month.

As always, many thanks to everyone who takes the trouble to post in the forum or email us with news of your success. We know it’s many readers favourite, and most encouraging, bit of the newsletter.

Support group after very painful assessment
“Thank you for all your info I have been placed in the support group (unsure how long) after my very painful face to face assessment. I was in bed for 2 days after that day.”

PIP award after 2 tribunals
“Im pleased to say, after a 19 month battle with the DWP; which involved a medical, 2 tribunals and a mountain of reports, letters and paperwork I have been awarded PIP by the tribunal panel. I was awarded lower rate care which is to be paid from the 20th December 2013 - 20th December 2016.
I am so elated, which is rare and I can finally get on with my recovery and treatment.
this is in no small part thanks to benefits and works advise and guides, welfare rights and my mum and sister.”

PIP award after mandatory reconsideration
“Thanks to all your wonderful advice and this site, my MR was successful and I have now been awarded mobility at the standard rate after losing it after the transition from DLA to PIP.”

DLA to PIP, standard mobility after mandatory reconsideration
“I lost my mobility after transferring from DLA to PIP, and the decision maker phoned me to see if I was happy about the result of the claim . . . I then sent a MR request and I really explained in detail how even though I was able to attend psychiatric appointments, it could not be said that I could do this reliably, repeatedly, for the majority of the time etc. I explained that the appointments were only a few a year, and explained in great detail the stress involved building up to the appointment and how I was for days after the appointments. I really stuck word for word to the guides on what these terms, reliably, repeatedly, for the majority of the time etc really meant, and I am pleased to say the second DM agreed with me . . . “

Support group success after DWP rep told to shut up
“Had my TRIBUNAL last Wednesday for my appeal against ESA refusal. I WON!!!!!!
So delighted and releived after waiting for Soooo many months.
The Judge and the Doctor where BRILLIANT. She awarded me 15 points in the Highest Mobillity Level 3. She also told me to contact PIP and tell them the outcome of the hearing and I would receive a higher level of PIP.
The Judge during the hearing told the DWP representitive to shut up at one stage
Thanks B&W couldn't have done it without the help of all the Mods and Members.”

Zero points to support group on appeal
“Success. Went from no points to support group. Both the judge and doctor were really easy to talk to and understood my limitations. Just waiting for date for PIP appeal as only awarded low rate mobility feeling much more confident now. Thank you so muxh would not have known where to start without your excellent guides.
Will be using guides to help me with PIP appeal. Thanka again.”

Zero points to standard rate care
“Thanks to your site we have been successful at a Tribunal with my daughter. She went from 0 points to standard rate and to be honest it would not have been achievable without the information you post and the answers you give to the people who contribute to the forum.”

PIP standard rate care before hearing
“Just had a call from the DWP DM who has confirmed that they will be awarding the standard care rate. She will also get in touch with the tribunal office and confirm that there is no need for an appeal hearing. I no longer need to worry about how to pay for orthotics and podiatry care.”

Support group after 3 years in WRAG
“Anyway the upshot is that having followed the advise in your fantastic guides prior to and during my assessment,, I've been informed that I'm now being moved from the WRAG to the support group which is where I should have been in the first place 3 yrs ago, had I been armed with your very useful information back then I might not have had to endure the pressure and stress from the job centre regards finding work these last 3yrs when I knew I wasn't physically/mentally capable. Now I can focus on getting my health to a manageable situation and then hopefully return to work when I know I'm actually ready.
I can't thank you guys enough for all your help and advice.”

Enhanced mobility and care without medical
“I received my daughters letter today. I honestly sat here terrified to open it. She has been awarded enhanced daily living and enhanced mobility.
Thankfully we didn't even get called for an assessment. They made the decision based on the evidence provided. I did send a lot. It cost me a lot to post!!
I could not have tackled those forms without you and the guides on here. That is a fact. They were worse than the DLA forms.
Thank you all very very much. I am incredibly relieved and grateful.”

From DLA to PIP enhanced rate care and mobility
“I would just like to say thank you for the information you give on your site for filling in the dreaded PIP form. As my condition changed I went for PIP from DLA, I had my home visit asceesment three weeks ago I was so worried that I would have to go to consideration. But I'm extremely pleased I could not believe it when I opened the letter and I had enhanced care and mobility.. Without your advice and support I would not of been able to give all the information needed.
I can relax and continue my life. Thank you again I hope more people use your information it's well worth the money to join.”

Enhanced PIP mobility on appeal
“Hi all, had my appeal last week, and won my case got 12 points for Mobility enhanced rate.
Well I'm glad it's all over for me hopefully. I went into the tribunal thinking I am going to lose what I have already been awarded. It was very intense and I felt like I was being interigated, managed to overcome nerves got through it ok in end. Done my homework with help of this site, and noticed many flaws in my medical assessment that I picked up on and noted, also done a case study of my health from childhood.there is light at the end of the tunnel don't give up hope and good luck to everyone. Thanks”

PIP enhanced daily living and mobility – over the moon.
“Got my results through from DWP for PIP.
Had my medical interview with Atos at Haverhill which went smoothly.
I have been award enhanced rate on both sections for enhanced living and mobility.
Myself and my wife are over the moon with the results.
The results where back with us in less than three weeks.
I must thank Benefits and Works team for a brilliant site and the work that goes into it.
I will continue to subscribe all the time with you as the advice is first class.
Many Thanks all once again.”

Support group
“just a update, i rang dwp today and was informed i have been placed in support group for 3 years and that a decision letter is on the way.
Great news but cant celebrate today because daughter unavailable today and can't leave house without her help.
once again thanks for all your help from this wonderful site.”

This site - WOW !
“Thank you so much to all involved in running this site and providing such valuable information and guidance.
I was terrified at the thought of claiming benefits when I lost my job through illness. I followed the advice on the site and WOW !!! ESA Supportt Group with no medical / assessment and only 8 weeks from claim to decision !
I have absolutely no doubt that this site provided me with information and knowledge required to complete those awful forms. In fact, I recently helped my neighbour successfully claim for AA, and she got it without having any face to face assessment too..........
Thank you so much for all you do”

Standard rate daily living and mobility on reconsideration
“I have never posted on here before. I just wanted to say thanks for your brilliant guide for PIP. After a year and a half (I started my claim in Feb 2014) I have today found out that I won my PIP reconsideration and was awarded standard rates for both for 5 years
It was a ridiculously stressful process but your guides were very helpful in giving me a calm and precise way to outline my medical health for them. I'm really glad I spent the money to get them!"


From lower rate DLA care and mobility to enhanced PIP daily living and standard mobility – no medical
“After being really worried about claiming PIP for my son, form arrived through the door a week after his 16th birthday!!!! I just want to say a huge thanks to B&W for all of the advise given. My son who has Aspergers what awarded Enhanced Care (previously DLA Low Care) for 3 years and Standard mobility (previously Low mobility) for 18 months without having to attend a medical.”

Give yourself the best possible chance of getting the right ESA, PIP or DLA decision, whether you’re making a claim, renewing an existing award or asking for a reconsideration or appeal.

Subscribe now and get instant access to all our guides.

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.

Just type the following code into the coupon box when you pay: 8842

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.
Offer ends midnight Friday

Good luck,

The Office Team

Benefits and Work Publishing Ltd
Company registration No. 5962666


+1 #1 Blue Peter 2015-09-09 18:43
Just to show how bonkers and evil the sanction regime is:- Daughter on UC as looking for work. Got part time temp work, sanctioned for not attending an appointment that should have been cancelled. Working that day not a good enough reason for not attending. Yes. she went to work! Mandatory reconsideration upheld decision. They're going to look stupid at tribunal when I point out all the evidence is in her file at JC+ Regards Peter

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