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27 January 2016 newsletter

“I swear I haven't cried so much in the whole rest of my life!” DLA to PIP

After having been in receipt of the lowest component for Care on DLA for a few years (with no mobility award), I received the dreaded letter telling me that I had to reapply as I was being changed over to PIP…In due time I received the decision in between Christmas and new year. I have to admit that I was shaking and crying before I could unfold and read the letter as I was utterly convinced that I was going to lose even the basic component of the Care that I received before. So, when I eventually unfolded the letter and read it, I had to read it seriously five times before the information penetrated my brain. I have been awarded both the daily living and the mobility components at enhanced level, and for TEN YEARS. More tears followed, of utter relief at the thought of not having to appeal, keep this dragging on etc. I swear I haven't cried so much in the whole rest of my life! I put my success down to a combination of my Consultant's letter and the utterly invaluable information given in the members only guides on this site…PLEASE if this helps one person not to give up, it's worth it. I …wish I could give something back for the invaluable advice I've received from this site's guides. Thank you again.”

 

Dear Reader,

In this edition we have the first results of our request for information about Atos personal independence payment (PIP) face-to-face assessment centres.

So, if you’re assuming that you’ll be able to get into the building without difficulty when you attend for your medical.

Or that the examination room will be on the ground floor, rather than the sixth floor.

Or that there will be accessible toilets you can use after a very long journey and possibly a further wait to be seen.

Then you may want to read what members have told us so far.

But there’s still over a hundred centres that we don’t have any information on.

So please use the links below this article to tell us anything you can about the assessment centre you attended, if you have already had an Atos PIP medical.

Knowing what they are up against in advance could make someone else’s face-to-face a lot less distressing.

Elsewhere in today’s newsletter we reveal that you have only a short time to opt out of having your identifiable, confidential GP medical records sold, with the help of Atos, to drug companies and who knows who else?

Meanwhile, there’s bad news for the DWP as they finally have to give up making people in receipt of carers allowance subject to the benefits cap.

But they will be happier about the fact that number of ESA/incapacity benefit claimants finally seems to be going down slightly, something it has taken the DWP years of ever harsher tests to achieve.

And the department probably aren’t desperately upset by the revelation that hundreds of thousands of ESA claimants in the support group may be missing out on PIP.

So, if you want to ruin their week, you have until 10am this Thursday 28 January to respond to the Public Accounts Committee. They are conducting an enquiry into the big three benefits assessment companies – Atos, Maximus and Capita – and how well the DWP are managing their contracts.

The committee have said they want to hear from claimants who have had a PIP or ESA assessment, so why not drop them a quick email or even send them a tweet?

Good luck,

Steve Donnison

 Thank you B & W – ESA Support Group
“I would just like to thank the team at B & W for the comprehensive information and support on this site. I have just made a ESA claim and following my assessment have been placed in the support group. I could not have achieved this without your help.”
 

Benefits and Work guides covers

 

BOOST YOUR PIP AND ESA CHANCES - 20% OFF ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP – OFFER ENDS MIDNIGHT FRIDAY.
PIP Tribunal win
“We won our Tribunal today Higher Rate Living 15 points from 6 , thanks for all the advice on the forum and Guides”

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: 97583

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

 

ATOS PIP ASSESSMENT CENTRES
Can you tell us anything about an Atos PIP assessment centre or confirm information that someone else has given us?

You can find the Main index page here or you can go directly to one of the regional indexes:

East of England

London

North East England

North West England

Scotland

South East England

South West England

Yorkshire and Humberside

 

BENEFITS NEWS
You reveal the truth about PIP assessment centres
Are you assuming that you’ll be able to get into the building without difficulty when you attend for your Atos PIP assessment?

Snooping and sale of your medical records unless you opt out very soon
A GPs’ leader has accused the DWP of snooping on patients.

DWP U-turn on benefit cap for carers
The DWP has been forced to scrap the benefits cap for people who get carer’s allowance after being defeated in the courts two months ago.

IDS launches new attack on ESA claimants
Iain Duncan Smith has told the Daily Mail that he is to launch a new policy document in the next few weeks to end the ‘perverse incentive’ given to ESA claimants not to work.

Hundreds of thousands of ESA claimants may be missing out on PIP
Statistics released by the DWP following a freedom of information request show that almost 380,000 people who are in the support group of ESA are not getting an award of PIP or DLA

Fewer claimants being awarded ESA
The DWP latest statistical release claims that the number of people getting an award of ESA or IB has begun to fall.

Atos, Capita and Maximus to be investigated by MPs
The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) is to investigate next month whether the taxpayer is getting value for money from the benefits assessments carried out by Atos, Capita and Maximus.

 

GOOD NEWS FROM THE FORUM
Benefits and Work guides coversAs 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 after Mandatory Reconsideration
“Applied for PIP for my 16 YO autistic son. Got enhanced care for 2 years, no mobility.... Had filled in the Ap following the guide lines that you give. Asked for a mandatory reconsideration backing it up with letters from his previous and current schools. Got enhanced care and enhanced mobility for 2 years 10 months. Thanks you for your guides. I am sure we would have struggled without them.”

ESA Support Group success
“Hello All. This is my first post. Thank you for your great website, guides, and all mods. I had been on ESA CB and was eagerly! awaiting my renewal. It arrived on January 8th, I completed it, and enclosed 71 pages of consultant reports, and GP evidence. Sent back Royal Mail Special Delivery, on January 18th. I phoned the medical assessment centre this afternoon. The gentleman told me my claim had been looked at, and they were not sending me for a face to face assessment. He said they had sent the recommendation to the DWP for me to be put into Support Group. What a great relief. Thanks again to B + W.”

ESA Support Group – no medical
“…I had to start from the beginning and make a new claim. I naturally anticipated a medical, returned the form and waited. It wasn't too long at all, three weeks max' for a reply. I was placed in Support group, No Medical. I have to put this down to following the excellent advice from this website, and the one thing I would strongly back up is to send as much medical info' as you possibly can along with the ESA50…Thanks to Benefits & Work and all the people like myself, who really suffer mentally with this type of scenario, thanks for posting your experiences”

PIP enhanced daily living and enhanced mobility and ESA success
“Thanks to the wonderful advice from B&W, I was awarded EDL and EM in my PIP assessment…having been placed in the SG for ESA”

ESA Result
“My wife…applied for ESA and upon receiving the forms was unable to complete the same. I downloaded your guides and completed the forms her using your guides. Three weeks ago received notification that she had been placed in the support group without the need for any medical examination. She was overjoyed. Thank you once again for your brilliant guides without which my wife would never had gone ahead with her claim for ESA. With that result she has also just completed her claim for PIP from DLA and again using your guides is confident of a positive result. Fingers are crossed.”

ESA Support Group renewal
“Just a quick note to say thank you. Just been put back into the support group at renewal time. Used ESA guide to answer each question. DWP decision took 21 days (including Christmas and New Year. No medical, no reconsideration, no tribunal. Don't think I could have done it without the guide”

Thank you B & W – PIP awarded
“Thank you so much for your guides that have helped me to word my problems of the difficulties I face taking care of myself day to day. Because of your guide I am awarded enhanced rate daily care and standard rate mobility for Pip.”

Huge Thanks
“Just wanted to say a huge, huge thanks to the boards here and to everyone who kept answering my endless questions over these past few months. The dreaded brown envelope arrived with a positive result and I firmly believe that were it not for the guides and everyone's support; the result would have been very different... What everyone does is priceless...! Thank you somehow doesn't seem enough.”

ESA Support Group success in the end
“hello again. Just an update. I am in the assessment phase of ESA and posted up when I had queries regarding WFI letter - thanks to those who replied (Foss27-Gordon-Bud-Elisa). Had a thorough, but fair, WCA assessment with capita. Brown envelope day today - got put in support group. The mods would be proud of me - I threw "reliably" in answering every question, query or example”

ESA renewal success
“I posted off my ESA renewal form in the middle of December and the brown envelope arrived this morning with the result I'd obviously been hoping for, "You have been placed in the Support Group"
I was originally placed in the Support Group 3 Years ago without a face to face following my transfer from Incapacity Benefit, so to continue in the same Group is obviously a huge relief…A huge thanks goes out to everyone concerned with the Benefits & Work Forum for all their hard work in providing such useful and up to date guides and information, we really would be lost without you. I also hope this post will give hope to the folk out there who find themselves in a similar situation with no current medical support to rely on”


DLA to PIP success
“Hi. My husband has today received his dla to pip award, of enhanced for both care and mobility.
I would like to say a big thank-you to this site and all the mods for their great guides and help that they give, without this I don't think he would of got this great result”


PIP reassessment success
“I first claimed PIP in 2013 and initially didn't use your guides, I was a first time claimant not having had DLA or PIP before. I was awarded enhanced mobility and eventually ,after a huge struggle, they added standard daily living. I just have had a reassessment over a year in advance of my PIP claim end date and used your claim guides right from the beginning and have had news today I have received the enhanced rate of both parts straight off. I was much better prepared for the actual ATOS assessment this time. No need for appeals MR's or anything else. Its for 3 years. I cannot express in words how grateful I am to you all at Benefits and Work.”

BOOST YOUR PIP AND ESA 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: 97583

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