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7 October 2015 newsletter

All Lifetime DLA Claimants Can Now Be Forced Onto PIP As Roll-Out Goes Nationwide

Successful transfer from DLA to PIP
“Hi I've just been successful in transferring from DLA to PIP. Standard rate care and Enhanced rate mobility. That means I'll be able to keep my motability car. It's been so stressful even though I know I'm entitled. Thanks to benefits and work for the help with filling in the forms”

 

Dear Reader,

PIP Guide cover, click to download sampleIn this edition we learn that all working age DLA claimants with lifetime awards can now be forced to apply for PIP; warn of possible plans to merge PIP with ESA and wonder whether more ESA claimants are to be called for reassessments, as Maximus offer £84,000 salaries to new assessors.

We also report on the disability charity working with Maximus and discover how the DWP are desperately trying to cover up the deaths of vulnerable ESA claimants.

LIFETIME DLA TO PIP
The DWP have confirmed that any working age DLA claimant with a lifetime award can now be ‘invited’ to claim PIP instead of DLA, regardless of where they live. This means that the pilots are over and any DLA claimant can be chosen at random between now and September 2017.

At the height of the transfer process, Capita and Atos will, between them, be assessing almost 2,00 claimants a day around the country.

PIP TO MERGE WITH ESA?
As if that wasn’t sufficient cause for concern, Iain Duncan Smith has now told the Guardian that he’s considering merging PIP and ESA into a single benefit. Or at the very least having a single assessment for both benefits – meaning that one badly trained ‘health professional’ could lose claimants both benefits in a single interview.

ESA REASSESSMENT DRIVE?
Maximus are currently recruiting and training more staff to carry out work capability assessments, with huge salaries on offer: £84,000 for doctors and £44,500 for nurses. The recruitment drive raises the possibility that reassessments of claimants already on ESA may be about to restart on a large scale.

Regular readers will recall that reassessments were mostly halted back in early 2014. We’d like to hear from you as to whether you had your reassessment on time or whether you are still waiting.

MAXIMUS TO GET DISABILITY TRAINING
You may be heartened to know, however, that Maximus staff involved in doing work capability assessments for ESA are all to benefit from a two hour workshop on disability equality delivered by Disability Rights UK. DRUK are said to be getting somewhere in the region of £100,000 for delivering the workshops and Maximus will be now able to point to their close co-operation with the UK’s premier disability rights charity.

There again, heartened may not be the best description for your reaction. Let us have your comments.

ESA DEATH COVERED UP
Staying with ESA, cover-ups by the DWP of the circumstances surrounding the deaths of claimants are becoming almost commonplace.

Benefits and Work has now carried out a detailed examination of the report written by the DWP for the coroner in the Michael O’Sullivan case. The coroner found that the trigger for Mr O’Sullivan’s death was the wrongful finding that he was fit for work.

It is clear from the DWP’s report that they deliberately misled the coroner about how many people were involved in that wrongful finding. There were three separate missed opportunities to prevent Mr O’Sullivan’s death. The DWP only highlight one in their report.

Indeed, the department goes so far as to imply that they actually made the correct decision and that, in any case, they do so many assessments that they can hardly be expected to worry too much about the odd mistake.

We have now asked the DWP for proof of when and how sent out reminders of proper procedure to staff following the coroners findings in this case – they don’t appear to have been in a terrible rush considering a man had lost his life.

MORE ESA DEATHS COVERED UP
Benefits and Work has applied to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), again, following the DWP’s refusal to reveal how many of their enquiries into ESA related deaths involved claimants they had designated as ‘vulnerable’.

The fact that the DWP are so desperate not to reveal this information, which they admit they possess, suggests that a significant number of those who died had mental health conditions which should have entitled them to additional safeguards.

We’ll let you know when we get a response from the ICO.

Good luck,

Steve Donnison

Benefits and Work Guides covers

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PIP Tribunal success
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BENEFITS NEWS
£84k Maximus salaries raise repeat WCA fears
Maximus is offering salaries of up to £84,000 for doctors, and £44,500 for nurses, to carry out medicals for employment and support allowance (ESA).

ESA and PIP to be merged?
The Guardian has reported that Iain Duncan Smith is considering merging personal independence payment (PIP) and employment and support allowance (ESA) into a single benefit or, alternatively, merging the two tests.

ESA claimants hit by unlawful HB stoppages
The DWP have had to issue an urgent bulletin to all housing benefit staff to try to prevent them unlawfully stopping housing benefit payments to sick and disabled claimants who have had their employment and support allowance (ESA) sanctioned.

Lifetime DLA claimants now being forced to apply for PIP nationally
The DWP has confirmed that claimants getting an indefinite or lifetime award of disability living allowance (DLA) throughout the UK will now start being transferred to personal independence payment (PIP).

Disability charity wins major cash boost from Maximus
Disability Rights UK (DRUK), a charity set up to fight for disabled people’s rights, has signed a major contract with Maximus, the company which carries out the medical tests for employment and support allowance (ESA).

DWP continues to cover up vulnerable claimant deaths
The DWP have confirmed that they will not change their decision to refuse to provide information on vulnerable claimant deaths.

DWP deliberately misled O’Sullivan coroner in order to cover up WCA failings
The DWP deliberately misled a coroner about three missed opportunities to prevent the death of Michael O’Sullivan, a claimant with mental health conditions who committed suicide after being found capable of work. As a result, they continue to put claimants lives at risk.

 

GOOD NEWS FROM THE FORUM
Benefits and Work Guides covers
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.

PIP Brown envelope day. Great result!
“Hi, Its another success.! I want to say a big thank you for putting me straight with the insight into the form filling for PIP. Today I received standard rate Mobility and Standard rate Living component. Paid till 2021 !!!! I most certainly would never have got this without the help of this site, you guys have been marvellous in not only supplying the correct information but updating it too.”

Attendance Allowance success
“Thank you for the information on this site regarding claiming attendance allowance . Using the guide I recently helped my very sick father put in a claim. He has been ill for 6 years but had put off applying due to the fear of a medical and horror stories in the press. In less than 2 weeks he had a decision granting him attendance allowance with no medical needed and the back pay has already been paid in to his account. He was very tearful when he told me and he felt sure it was down to the guides. I am so relieved for him and only wish he had applied sooner. Thank you all for the continued hard work”

ESA appeal success
“After initially being turned down for ESA, i went on to win my appeal with the help of this forum and the B&W guides, thank-you very much”

Support Group success at tribunal
“hi all I wanted to post to thank everyone at benefits and work (especially Gordon) for their endless support and advice and for all the people who post on the forum as I could not have done this or gone to the tribunal without your help and support so thanks a million”

DLA reassessment success!!!
“I have just received a letter advising that I have been awarded Indefinite DLA (on mental health grounds) with no medical! .. just so grateful to B&W for the invaluable guides and help from the forum. A big heartfelt thank-you!!”

ESA Support Group success
“I Telephoned ESA for an update on my claim. They told me I have been put into the support group because of my disability. With no face to face assessment.. Times was so hard for ME 6 month when my ESA was suddenly stopped I cannot thank B AND W enough for its wonderful guides and advice”

ESA Appeal won!
“In May this year I had my medical assessment and given 0 points ESA declined. I decided on advise.. to get a Representative and appeal the decision. With the help of this site and my Rep I Had my ESA appeal tribunal hearing yesterday... good news is the decision was overturned going from 0 points to 39 points and Regulation 35 granted and placed into support group…Goes to show it's very stressful and tiring, not to give up hope and for many it is worth the appeal process. Still can't quite believe it !!!”

PIP success!
“Hi all. I recently subscribed to this Website. Having completed my application, with the aid of the PIP Guide, I was given a Home Assessment date which was within two weeks of receipt by DWP.
On 14th September I was assessed. Yesterday (21st), I received a letter informing me that I had been granted Enhanced awards for both the Living and Mobility elements.
I completed the application form, using all the information that was available to me through your excellent PIP Guide. I don't think I would have put forward such a strong case if it hadn't been for your Guide! Real value for money! Many, many, thanks!”


Success!!!!
“Thank you so much for your guides. I was able to get standard and mobility rate despite worries that the assessors would not understand the effects of Ehlers Danlos Syndrome. I didn't even have to go to appeal! It made a confusing and emotionally draining process so much easier because I was able to speak their language”

ESA and PIP success!
“thankyou for this site you are amazing. I have been put into the ESA Support Group without the need for a medical…and I got pip at the enhanced rate for care 17 points without a medical”

PIP successful outcome
“Well a really happy up date after having a phone call last week from dwp received letter Sat to say payment for care and standard for mobility not to be reviewed till 2018… thank you to this wonderful site for all there help don't give up hope”

New to B&W
“Hi everybody. We have just found your site while looking for advice about PIP and we found the advice really useful… the chance to get honest helpful advice is vital. Thanks for running this Site”

Won written PIP appeal
“Thank-you and the website for all your helpful advice through what has been an extremely stressful episode in my life”

 

BOOST YOUR ESA, PIP OR DLA CHANCES - 20% OFF ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP – OFFER ENDS MIDNIGHT FRIDAY
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: 5232

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
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