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Crackdown on DLA to PIP challenges means failure rates soar

There has been a huge and unexplained drop in the success rate of mandatory reconsiderations for disability living allowance (DLA) to personal independence (PIP) claimants. There has been no similar fall in the success rate of challenges to new PIP claims, where the success rate has been lower all along.

Mandatory reconsiderations
Mandatory reconsideration s the process where claimants wishing to challenge a benefits decision have to ask for it to be looked at again by the DWP before they can appeal directly to a tribunal.

The DWP give figures for awards changed, but not whether this was an increase or decrease in the award. However, in the vast majority of cases the award is likely to have been increased.

DLA to PIP
The proportion of mandatory reconsiderations that resulted in a change to the claimant’s award where they were moving from DLA to PIP was initially very high. In the last three months of 2014 it was running at 50% of all mandatory reconsiderations.

However, since then it has fallen repeatedly, until by July of this year the proportion of awards being changed had dropped to just 22% and still falling.

New PIP claims
The situation for mandatory reconsiderations for new PIP claims is very different.

In the last three months of 2014 the proportion of awards changed on mandatory reconsideration was running at 16% – 17%.

By July of this year the figure stood at 14%. Still a fall, but nothing like the over %0% drop for DLA to PIP challenges.

Tribunals work
There is no obvious explanation for the fall in successful challenges, other than the DWP’s desire to reduce the cost of disability benefits by 20%.

However, as we reported last week, the success rate for PIP appeals is currently rising every quarter and now stands at 57%.

So, for claimants, the important thing is not to be ground down by the DWP’s endless refusals, but to try to fight your way through to a tribunal, where your chances of success remain very high.

Comments  

#7 Daniels 2015-11-24 22:37
My adult son suffers with UNPREDICTABLE bouts of epilepsy, only recently after 4 years diagnosed as Todds Paresis, post-ictal.
He also has had cognitive high tensity therapy sessions all year for mental health issues, which were preceded with home therapy for social isolation. After his recent medical assessment for PIP before his DLA award expires, he was astonished to be awarded NIL points, even though he is awaiting surgery for gall-bladder removal. He is now job-seeking and I fear he may have several episodes in employment, but insists with family to support unable to afford loss of disability benefit.
+2 #6 Wonko 2015-09-22 01:00
Quoting Quintus:
We had my wife's claim for PIP Enhanced Mobility rejected on mandatory reconsideration but when we lodged the papers with the Tribunal Service the DWP reconsidered and made the award. Why they had to put us through all that I don't know. It just goes to show that you should never give up!

It appears to be standard procedure to reject MRs and only look at a claim properly when the paperwork is pulled together immediately prior to an appeal.
+1 #5 Quintus 2015-09-21 16:22
We had my wife's claim for PIP Enhanced Mobility rejected on mandatory reconsideration but when we lodged the papers with the Tribunal Service the DWP reconsidered and made the award. Why they had to put us through all that I don't know. It just goes to show that you should never give up!
#4 Paul Richards 2015-09-19 22:26
Hi all: possible problem with this web address.
If you cannot get on I suggest that you leave off the 'http://" bit and just go with the: www..... bit !
+2 #3 Paul Richards 2015-09-19 19:05
Although not directly related to the above article - the link referred to is well worth having a look at and at last, due to a Coroner's report finding a definite link between an unfortunate suicide and the WCA test - this may well open up the door for more action to be taken at last.

http://www.disabilitynewsservice.com/coroners-ground-breaking-verdict-suicide-was-triggered-by-fit-for-work-test/
+7 #2 Jim Allison 2015-09-18 10:50
As a former DLA Tribunal Member for over 10 years, I can only agree with what Steve has written:

So, for claimants, the important thing is not to be ground down by the DWP’s endless refusals, but to try to fight your way through to a tribunal, where your chances of success remain very high.

A Tribunal is a complete rehearing of your claim by three members appointed by Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunal Service. There has to be 3 members or the Tribunal cannot go ahead. There has to be a Tribunal Judge, a Medical Member (usually GP's but sometimes a Consultant) and a Disability Member (with a good knowledge of disability conditions, and/or be disabled themselves)

Tribunals have wide powers to accept the appellant's evidence rather than that of a DWP Health Care Professional, if they feel the appellant's evidence is stronger.

Tribunals are a 'Court of Law' and have the power to require evidence be given on oath if necessary. Decisions can be unanimous or a majority decision i.e. 2-1. All members are equal on a DLA/PIP Tribunal,so the Medical Member and the Disability Member can make a decision of 2-1 and the Tribunal Judge cannot alter that decision.

Good luck to all facing a Tribunal, where you are guaranteed a fair hearing under Article 10 of the Human Rights Act 1998.
+7 #1 Bill24chev 2015-09-17 14:00
Son just has MD for PIP. No change in decision Nil points for all activities. DM stated that they had looked carefully at his claim but could not have done because they stated no new evidence. He could not have looked "carefully" because the was a raft of new evidence including medical evidence.

Also we made references to the law ( HCP had not even considered Mobility Activity 1 because she said it only applied to learning disability/cogn itive impairment.) This is important in my sons case because he suffers from Mental health issues.

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