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6 April 2016 update

DLA to PIP success
“My wife got her PIP decision today, and she has been given the enhanced rate for care and mobility until 2020…A big thank you to all at Benefits and Work for the super guides and helpful advice. A great result”

 

Dear Reader,

What will life be like for claimants with Stephen Crabb as secretary of state for work and pensions?

We should get our first real indication on 12 April, when Crabb will give a speech setting out his vision.

Meanwhile, the Sunday Times is claiming that Crabb plans to try to get out of the current work capability assessment contract with Maximus and also look again at the PIP assessment contracts held by Atos and Capita.

At this stage a renegotiation looks more probable than simply sacking Maximus – who else is likely to be willing and able to take on the job now?

So, any changes to the current WCA contract are more likely to be aimed at saving the DWP cash than making things fairer for claimants.

Crabb is apparently also instructing the DWP to stop blocking freedom of information requests relating to universal credit. But this is almost certainly not the dawn of a new age of openness at the DWP. Instead, it is a chance for the government to discredit IDS by showing just what a mess UC is currently in.

Nor is it likely to be the beginning of the end for universal credit, just an opportunity to increase the timescale for full roll-out even further whilst heaping the blame on IDS.

According to the Times, Crabb will also say that his aim is for work coaches delivering universal credit to be held in the same esteem as NHS nurses.

Given the role of work coaches in pushing people onto forced labour schemes and helping to impose sanctions on claimants which have led to suicides, this seems like a bizarrely far-fetched idea.

And it is, perhaps, this IDS-like disconnection from reality that gives us the best indication of what a dire secretary of state Stephen Crabb is going to be. There’s definitely no point in looking to him for any understanding of what life is really like for sick and disabled claimants.

In the meantime, the work of dehumanising claimants continues at every level of the DWP.

The Mirror carried a story this week showing a huge poster in a jobcentre plus entitled ‘Yardley ESA challenge’. ESA claimants are depicted as aliens in an old style Space Invaders game, being destroyed by shots from what must be Jobcentre Plus staff.

One of those saintly work coaches pulling the trigger, perhaps.

Finally, we have the unsurprising news that PIP is turning into another grand DWP failure, with the intended 20% savings compared to DLA now being predicted to be just 5%. After the costs of the PIP assessment regime and additional appeals are taken into account, the final savings are likely to be tiny.

Good luck,

Steve Donnison

DLA to PIP success
“I have been awarded PIP from Dla for ten years both components at the enhanced rate. Naturally I am thrilled as I was on middle rate for care with DLA.  I would like to thank you all for your help and advice/I am certain it helped with pre knowledge what to expect at my medical assessment by ATOS.”

 

BOOST YOUR PIP AND ESA CHANCES - 20% OFF ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP – OFFER ENDS MIDNIGHT FRIDAY.
From WRAG to Support Group
“Thank you so much I have been placed in the support group for two years without a medical.! Followed your guides sent off questionnaire on 2nd march got word today. Thank you so much best £20 I have spent”

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.

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BENEFITS NEWS

PIP is another DWP failure – predicted 20% savings slashed to 5%
Personal independence payment (PIP) has turned out to be yet another failure for the DWP, as promised cuts of 20% have been reduced to a forecast 5%. The failure to cut costs mirrors the transfer from incapacity benefit (IB) to employment and support allowance (ESA), which also did not produce the promised savings.

Dehumanising image raises prospect of Jobcentre targets to get claimants off ESA
The Daily Mirror has published a photo of yet another example of the dehumanising of claimants by staff at Jobcentre Plus. The huge poster displayed in a Jobcentre also raises the spectre of secret targets being set to get claimants off employment and support allowance (ESA).

IDS replacement to target Maximus
The Sunday Times is reporting that the new work and pensions secretary, Stephen Crabb, is aiming to end the current contracts with disability assessment firms, especially Maximus.

MPs condemn PIP and ESA medical system
MPs on the public accounts committee (PAC) have issued a report which concludes that companies carrying out personal independence payment (PIP) and employment and support allowance (ESA) assessments are still failing to meet acceptable performance standards.

GOOD NEWS FROM THE FORUM
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.

Success story
“I am writing to thank the B&W team. I was turned down for PIP, when I was eventually interviewed in August 2015. I had initially applied in the March of that year. I immediately asked for a mandatory reconsideration, and signed up for your guides - and provided the decision makers with further information, based on your advice. I was very relieved to find out that the incomprehensible decision was overturned, and I was then awarded PIP at daily standard rate for 10 years. I was also subsequently put into the ESA support group without an interview (apparently to be reviewed in around 1 year.). Again, this happened after I followed the advice in your guides. Thank you so much. I couldn't have got this far without you”

PIP success
“Hi all, firstly can I say a big big thank you to all for the wealth of useful info on the site, simply invaluable, recently awarded PIP std daily & mob at the 1st attempt, and the decision came within 2 weeks too !!”

Brilliant help -Thank you
“Just wanted to say a huge thank you for the brilliant guides which have helped me secure my son's transfer from SDA to ESA Support Group. A huge sigh of relief!”

PIP Award
“Just had the 'brown envelope' of the decision on my transfer from DLA to PIP. I've been awarded Mobility at enhanced rate.(same as DLA) Personal care - at enhanced rate. ( from lower rate DLA).........and didn't have to go for a medical - all done over the phone. Thanks to the advice on this wonderful web site, I was able to supply the DWP with enough written & photographic evidence to avoid the necessity for a medical interview. I'm sooooo relieved I could cry!”

DLA to PIP success
“Hi. I like to thank you for your guides to pip which helped me to do a full impact health report on my transfer from dla to pip…I received 10 years ER [enhanced rate] care and mobility. I would advise anyone to read the guides and think through how you can use the information to improve your answers…Again a BIG THANK YOU”

DLA to PIP Appeal success
“I have been lurking here for a while now as a paid member, having read many success stories, as well as reading through all the supplied materials and guides. Today, I have a letter in hand from DWP stating that they will be depositing back payments due after successful Tribunal appeal…Thank you, Benefits and Work, for being here when we needed you! And thank you to all the people on the forum who have shared their experiences. It has been such a huge help. Never give up!”

ESA Support Group – thanks to B&W
“Hello All, Got the letter today informing me that I will continue to remain in the support group for ESA.
I wanted to say a BIG THANKS to Benefits & Work. I don't know how I would have managed without it. Thanks for the guides and all the information. Thanks to the moderators. Thanks to the creators of the site! The subscription is a very modest request considering all the help I have received. For as long as the government and DWP seek to obscure the mechanics of a process that is supposed to be helping to safeguard vulnerable people in our society, Benefits & Work is absolutely essential.”


Successful PIP Tribunal Result
“Two weeks ago I had my PIP tribunal as I had been awarded standard rate for mobility and daily living, and felt in was wrong. After a six month battle through the appeals service, and feeling like everything I was saying was ignored by the DWP, at the tribunal I was awarded enhanced mobility and enhanced daily living for the next three years. I put that down to the help and resources available on this forum which enabled me to build my case on points of legislation that could not be disputed. Thank you so much to everyone that makes this possible, I hope you have some idea of the positive impact you are having on people's lives with what you do. For everyone else, don't give up, there're hoping that you do.”

ESA Support Group success
“Thanks so much for your ESA guides - they really are essential and the advice offered so detailed. Just three weeks after submitting his ESA50 form (and without having to undergo a face-to-face), my son - who has autism - has heard that he is to remain in the Support Group…Thank you.”

PIP Appeal Victory!
“Hi everyone. Thank you so much to the B&W team as well as the forum posters!!!!! Honestly, if there is a way I can nominate B&W for a Pride of Britain award I would, the moderators are truly deserving, Thank you for always answering our questions and educating us. I was awarded enhanced rate care & mobility by the Tribunal last month. Surprisingly, DWP backdated my payments within 2 weeks of the Tribunals decision.
Initially, I was only awarded low care by DWP unjustly. The guides on this site are fantastic! Definitely worth every penny. I will encourage everyone on this benefits journey to follow the guides carefully…. Above all do not give up! Only you know what you're going through, Fight for your case.. Good Luck!”


PIP success
“I just wanted to update you all and thank all the mods on here for their dedication and help and of course to the fantastic guides, without which i am sure i would have had a nervous breakdown by now. I received the decision today, the same rates as i was on, not to be reviewed until 6th march 2026!!!!
I cant believe after 10 months of stress it's over, for now and perhaps i can think of other things rather than PIP and my family can be less stressed! I would like to again thank everyone involved with this site, the endless information and knowledge is priceless and has been more helpful than i can ever explain. Best wishes to you all and i hope that people going through this are as lucky as me to have a compassionate assessor. Many thanks”



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: 83472

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