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15 June 2016 update

PIP and DLA Appeal Success Soars But ESA Reconsideration Wins Plummet Plus Cassette Recorders Back For Benefits

“The sheer relief was indescribable
“I would just like to thank the talented people who have written the PIP guides of how to try to make a successful claim. I had an indefinite Low Rate Care and High Mobility award under DLA. The DWP started to transfer my area of "indefinites" to PIP in March/April this year. A tense 7 weeks has passed and today the dreaded brown envelope landed on the doorstep, saying I would get Standard Care and Enhanced Mobility until 2020. The sheer relief was indescribable… Thank you again for all your advice. My annual subscription to this site is worth its weight in gold. You have no idea how much keeping our car has meant to me. I feel like I've won the lottery. I would urge anyone reading this forum to pay the annual site subscription, read through the PIP guides very carefully, and keep returning to them when filling out your PIP claim form…Thank you immensely!”


Dear Reader,

ESA mandatory reconsideration success rates have fallen from 70% to a shockingly low 12% since they were introduced – but not if you’re trying to get into the support group.

PIP and DLA appeal success rates, on the other hand, are at an all-time high.

And disability benefits claimants may have less need to appeal in the future, as award lengths are set to increase – unfortunately, this only applies if you live in Scotland.

But, wherever you happen to be, it seems it may be time to dig out your 1970’s cassette recorder as the DWP takes claimants back to the future.

ESA reconsiderations
Mandatory reconsideration success rates for ESA have plummeted from 70% to a shameful 12% since the system was introduced.

But the type of decision being challenged makes big difference.

If you are placed in the work-related activity group and ask for a mandatory reconsideration because you think you should be in the support group, there is a 47% chance that you will be successful.

But if you are found fit for work and then ask for a mandatory reconsideration, there is only a 10% chance that the decision will be changed in your favour.

The good news is that the success rate for ESA appeals, if your mandatory reconsideration is unsuccessful, currently stands at a whopping 58%.

DLA and PIP appeals
We don’t have any figures for DLA or PIP mandatory reconsiderations.

But we do know that the success rates for DLA and PIP appeals should be a source of shame to the DWP and hope for claimants.

A record 63% of PIP appeals are successful, whilst DLA claimants, like ESA ones, currently win 58% of the time.

Considering that mandatory reconsiderations now apply to all PIP and DLA decisions, the fact that the DWP are getting it wrong in such a high percentage of cases should set alarm bells ringing.

But, from the DWP’s point of view, the aim of the new system was simply to discourage as many people as possible from appealing, and in that regard mandatory reconsiderations have been an enormous success.

Devolution dividend
It’s hard for claimants to find much to be optimistic about right now.

But the Scottish parliament have at least proved that hatred of claimants by a ruling party, or a craven fear of upsetting the tabloids by saying anything positive about them, is not inevitable.

The Scottish parliament has just announced a package of measures which, within the limited scope they have for making changes, should improve the lot of many sick and disabled claimants. They include promises to:

“reform the assessment procedures to ensure they work for the people claiming disability benefits”, including setting clear timeframes for assessments, decisions and appeals and ensuring that claimants are not repeatedly assessed if they have a long-term condition that is unlikely to change;

ensure that disability benefits are increased at least in line with inflation and are not means-tested;

allow any child in receipt of disability living allowance to continue receiving it until they reach 18 years old if they wish, to reduce the stress of transferring to personal independence payment;

extend winter fuel allowance to children on higher rate disability living allowance;

increase carers allowance by £600 a year so that it is paid at the same rate as jobseeker’s allowance.

The return of the cassette recorder
Scotland’s attitude to claimants may remind readers of happier times, when hatred was not so rife. But the DWP is not averse to a touch of retro either.

We’ve heard from an astonished ESA claimant who told us that when his ESA assessment was recorded at his request:

“I thought I'd stepped back in time as the dual recording equipment was an audio cassette deck not CD, just thought you'd like to know of this happening in 2016.”

Not only that, but a government minister has now confirmed that PIP claimants can record their assessments with either CD or cassette recorders, as long as they give notice and can provide a copy of the recording to the health professional at the end of the assessment.

Though, of course, any claimant who manages to make it into an assessment carrying two cassette recorders, and then successfully presses all the right buttons, will probably have failed their assessment before it even begins.

Good luck,

Steve Donnison

 Benefits and Work covers

DLA to PIP – better off than before PIP result
“Thanks for all the help and advice helping me to segway almost seamlessly from DLA to PIP. I was sure I would lose my Motability car but I've just been awarded Enhanced Mobility and Standard daily care making me actually better off than before!”

Continued in ESA Support Group
“I'm very pleased to report that after sending in my ESA 50 duly completed I am continuing in the Support Group. This can only be due to the vast range of excellent resources this site offers members, and the painstaking examples of how to fill in the boxes. Time and money well spent!
Many Thanks!”

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: 26438

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

PIP outcome!
“I can only grin! After 6 weeks, I got my PIP determination yesterday - enhanced for Personal Care, and enhanced for mobility! (same as my "lifetime" award of DLA). So with a bit of luck I can sign over the amount to motability and become mobile again! WHOOHAY!!!”

“I am truly sorry”, Baroness Altman forced to issue humiliating apology over PIP mobility
DWP minister Baroness Altmann has been forced to issue a humiliating written apology after entirely misleading the House of Lords about the criteria for the mobility component of personal independence payment (PIP).

Cassette recorders can be used for PIP medicals, minister confirms
DWP minister Baroness Altmann confirmed in a written statement last month that personal independence payment (PIP) claimants can ask to record their medical assessment.

Massive fall in success rates for ESA mandatory reconsideration
The chances of a getting a successful mandatory reconsideration for employment and support allowance (ESA) have plummeted from 70% to 12% since the system was introduced figures released by the DWP show.

Back to the age of the cassette for recording benefits medicals
The DWP have gone back to the future and taken to using old fashioned cassette recorders for taping of medical assessments, our members have revealed.

Disability benefits assessments to be made fairer and payments higher - but only in Scotland
The Scottish parliament voted last week overwhelmingly to improve disability benefits assessments and to increase and extend a range of benefits payments for sick and disabled claimants and carers.

PIP appeal success rate hits new all-time high
The latest statistics from the Tribunals Service reveal that almost two thirds of personal independence payment (PIP) appeals are successful.

Benefits and Work guides cversGOOD 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.

PIP for 6 years
“Thank you so much to everybody involved in the site. I had a PIP medical after sending in my form with a lot of supporting evidence…I was petrified but the person I saw was really nice and seemed to be on my side. Three weeks after the dreaded brown envelop hit the door mat. . I cried my eyes out I couldn't believe they had given enhanced rate mobility and enhanced rate care for 6y years”

Successful PIP result with no medical!
“I'd just like to thank all who contribute to the websites awesome guides and support.
My son has Aspergers and just turned 16…I used the members guide to fill in his form and asked that they take any medical reports from his DLA claim into account. Today I received the result in the post and he has been awarded Enhanced Daily Living and Enhanced Mobility (he only got standard mobility in DLA) without a medical for 'an ongoing period' to be reviewed 2026. Its like a weight has been lifted, Many many thanks!!”

ESA Support Group Success
“I just wanted to say thank you so much for the guides that you provide. After submitting my reassessment form months ago,I have previously been in the ESA Support Group, I received a letter last week telling me I had been put back in the support group for another year, no medical required. I am so relieved and happy. Good luck to everyone else awaiting their decisions”

Successful paper based PIP appeal
“I received an email from [the tribunal service] to notify me that my appeal has been allowed and decision notice in post. It does not say what the decision is, but…I am happy with whatever they have upheld as it has taken 19 months and exactly 1 year from mandatory reconsideration and is the principle really. I would like to THANK the mods of this site for the invaluable documents which helped me to succeed.”

ESA & PIP renewal success
“Renewal esa and still in support group and enhanced pip for 6 years. Thank u sooo much for all the help and advice . Invaluable and life can be a little less challenging now”

Thank you B&W
“Hello to all who run this very helpful website as without it I truly believe we would have given up along time ago...we are still stressed out and exhausted as what seems to be the never ending maze of benefit changes and of form filling and Atos assessments. Just when you get through one lot of changes another lot seems to begin, but Thank you for remaining with us and providing guidance and help”

PIP success No medical
“My health seriously suffered with all the stress of filling, this pip 2 form. I absolutely filled it. Thankfully I was awarded Enhanced rate daily activities and Enhanced mobility on an ON GOING basis. I didn't need to attend a medical, or have a home visit. I later received a letter stating they had all the info that they needed to make a Decision. My thanks to this website for your inspiring files and thanks so much ALL other claimants for your advice”

DLA to PIP enhanced on both
“A great big thank you to all moderators of B AND W and also forum members from which I was able to glean advice and complete the form in detail with lots of supporting evidence. My husband had his assessment from DLA to PIP with myself in attendance late April. ..The report was very balanced and fair some minor omissions on his medication dosages, however, but apart from that it was detailed and gained him an award…Initially, he was on lower rate care, high rate mobility so a great result. The award is for 6 years so he will be reassessed in 2021. Once again a big thank you to all that contribute to the forum and the great moderators who are passionate about getting the information and advice out to those like my husband. Without the guidance of the guides, I would not have been able to complete the form on behalf of my husband.”

PIP – from basic to enhanced
“Since march 2009 I have received the basic care allowance and no mobility. I had my first PIP medical 6 weeks ago and heard today that finally have been awarded enhanced care and enhanced mobility. Could not have done this without the guides from yourselves. Thank you. Finding your site was the best thing I did!”

PIP result within 2 weeks
“Hi i just wanted to say a massive thanks to everyone at B&W i have been on ESA support group but suffered a massive heart attack 6 weeks ago ,When i came out of hospital i looked at your website and applied for PIP. I had a home assessment 2 weeks ago and yesterday i got a txt telling me i had been successful and the money would be paid into my account within 2 weeks ! ..Thanks again for all the invaluable information ,and good luck to anyone who is going through the process.”

ESA reassessment success
“I have just received the dreaded brown envelope and have been put back in the support group without a medical…I would like to thank benefit and works with the excellent information in filling in the dreaded forms and also answering any queries”

PIP success
“let me thank the team for their help and guidence for my application and PIP assessment the notes and PIP guidence forms you have helped me complete my application and face to face interview I have just been awarded PIP at enhanced rate and motability until June 2020 thank you”

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: 26438

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