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13 July update

Prepaid Benefits Cards Move Closer Plus New WCA Handbook Published

Won my DLA to PIP tribunal today – from nothing to enhanced rates for PIP!!
“After being told that I didn't qualify for PIP when I migrated from DLA. I appealed and had my tribunal this morning. My points were increased from 7 points to 12 for Daily Living and 4 points to 12 for Mobility until 2019. So, now on Enhanced Rate for both. As was previously on Lower Rate Care & Higher Rate Mobility when on DLA, this was a double victory as not only won my tribunal, but was given a better Daily Living than I was expecting. I couldn't have done this without all of the brilliant information on this site. Over the last 6 years you have helped me go from no benefit to where I am today. Thank you so so much.”

 

Dear Reader,

In this newsletter, amongst other things, we ask if prepaid benefits cards are a good idea, reveal the truth about two of the 49 peer reviewed benefits deaths, warn about the abolition of attendance allowance (AA) for new claims and alert readers to a new edition of the work capability assessment Handbook.

PREPAID BENEFITS CARDS
The possible introduction of prepaid benefits cards moved a step closer last week, after the DWP published a study of a pilot scheme carried out in Kent.

The study found that prepaid cards were helpful for vulnerable claimants who are in debt and whose benefits would otherwise be swallowed up by overdrafts and debt repayments.

They also allow claimants who do not have a bank account to buy cheaper products and services online and to set up direct debits to reduce costs on utility bills.

The study recommended that a larger scale trial be carried out.

We’re asking readers whether prepaid cards are a good idea or the start of a slippery slope towards preventing you deciding how you spend your cash? And, judging by your responses so far, most of you are not keen.

BENEFITS DEATHS
We can also reveal that it has taken the DWP over a year to admit to Benefits and Work that two of the people who were amongst the 49 peer review deaths were ESA claimants who were on the work programme - or had been shortly before they died.

One of the claimants was classed as vulnerable by the DWP, raising further questions about the degree to which the DWP failed in its duty of care towards claimants with mental health conditions.

The disclosure came about only after the intervention of the Information Commissioner.

AA UNDER THREAT
Plans to abolish attendance allowance for new claims, which we warned readers about in January are getting closer to being put in place. The DWP has now opened a consultation on handing responsibility for financial support over to local councils. The consultation ends on 26 September.

PIP REVIEW
A consultation on PIP has also opened this week.

The second independent review of PIP is going to focus in particular on how effectively the DWP make use of further evidence, such as care plans and specialist reports, when these are submitted as part of a PIP claim. Paul Gray, the independent reviewer, is keen to hear from claimants, carers and support workers.

WCA HANDBOOK
For ESA claimants we have the news that the DWP have published a new version of the WCA Handbook. We’ll be going through it to make sure we warn members about any changes in the guidance to health professionals carrying out assessments.

Meanwhile, you can download a copy from the link in our article

Good luck,

Steve Donnison

 

Benefits and Work guides covers

 

Enhanced PIP rates until 2026
“I want to say a big thank you for all your help and advice, and after a home assessment five weeks ago the brown pip decision letter arrived today, and as per recommendations in the PA4 HCP assessment report, I have been awarded enhanced daily living, and enhanced mobility
for an ongoing period, not to be reviewed before may 2026. such a relief that I finally know and can relax a little, and get some sleep.”

 

BOOST YOUR PIP AND ESA CHANCES - 20% OFF ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP – OFFER ENDS MIDNIGHT FRIDAY.
WRAG to Support Group success
“…i was a bag of nerves opening that dreaded letter about the result of my esa reassessment. Then immense relief as it sunk in i have been moved from WRAG to Support. All thanks to B.W guides thank you so much.”

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: 77582

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

 

BENEFITS NEWS
Independent PIP reviewer wants to hear from you
Paul Gray, the independent reviewer of personal independence payment (PIP) has issued his second call for evidence.

Claimants forced onto work programme were among 49 peer review deaths
Having fought for over a year to keep the information secret, the DWP have finally been forced by the Information Commissioner to reveal that claimants on the work programme were among the 49 people whose deaths were peer reviewed by the DWP.

Sale of NHS records scrapped – for now
The NHS has announced that it is scrapping the controversial Care Data scheme, which would have obliged GPs to pass on your personal medical data via Atos to the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC).

Misuse of jobcentre funds to cut claimant numbers
In a report produced last week, the National Audit Office (NAO) has found that staff at Plaistow jobcentre were involved in misusing the flexible support fund in order to inflate the number of claimants they had forced off benefits.

Consultation on abolition of attendance allowance begins
The government has begun a consultation on abolishing attendance allowance (AA) for new claims in order to pads the responsibility on to local councils.

Benefits prepaid cards move a step closer
The DWP have published the results of a new study which supports the introduction of prepaid cards for vulnerable benefits claimants.

New WCA handbook published
The DWP have published updated guidance for healthcare professionals carrying out the work capability assessment.

 

Benefits and Work guides coversGOOD 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 mandatory reconsideration success!!
“Just got text to say the DWP have overturned their 0 points PIP decision to say I have now qualified! I don't have the details but I am absolutely crying with relief. Thank you so much...I could not have achieved this without this tremendous site.”

Thank you – enhanced PIP awarded at tribunal
“First of all, a very big THANK YOU for the support on the forum and the excellent guides. My sister was only awarded 5 points at her initial assessment for PIP, increased to 7 points for daily living (i.e. still nothing) and 10 points for mobility (i.e. basic rate) on mandatory reconsideration, but was awarded ENHANCED RATE for both sections at our recent Tribunal …on both parts of PIP”

PIP enhanced daily living and mobility – thank you so much for your help
“Where do I start - first of all may I say without the help of this site I would not have been awarded PIP.!!! I got the award letter today enhanced Daily Living and enhanced mobility… I got the brown envelope today!!!! daily living 15 points and 14 points for mobility. I am sure I wouldn't have scored any where near that if I hadn't read the guides so THANK YOU VERY MUCH, don't know how I would have done it without you!.”

Won our PIP appeal!
“I followed the advice on this website and went to the PIP appeal tribunal today with my son, who received higher level DLA for 13 years but was originally awarded only 4 points for mobility .. Ultimately, the panel decided that he was entitled to the enhanced rate for mobility and, bizarrely, an unspecified number of points for daily living, which he has never claimed. Thanks to everyone who contributes valuable information to this website.”

Support Group success!
“Hello All. Just wanted to let you know I received the dreaded brown envelope this morning, opened it with shaking hands and my heart in my mouth... and I've been put in the Support Group !!! I'll also be getting the Disability Income Guarantee, which I wasn't expecting, so that's going to be a big help… I really don't think I'd have got this far without this excellent site and the mods advice. It would never have occurred to me for example to inform them of a deterioration/change in condition - what they call a Change of Circumstances - so I'd strongly urge other members to do this, however small or slight you might think it is. So, thank you thank you thank you for all your efforts, support and hard work from a very grateful member”

PIP Tribunal won!
“I won my PIP tribunal!! I really didn't think I stood a hope in hell. So grateful to B&W for all your detailed guides, which helped me throughout the whole process of assessment, mandatory redecision and going to Tribunal…I appealed on numerous grounds, including the Assessor not having any knowledge or training in mental health or that my variable MH conditions had not been taken into account. The Tribunal was terrifying, despite the panel members being friendly and kind, and took over an hour. I got the letter today, saying that I'd been awarded 13 points for daily living; however, my mobility award had been reduced. But it's the principal that counts! I wouldn't have known where to start and how to phrase my appeals without the B&W guides! Thank you!”

DLA to PIP success
“All thanks to your advice guides which I followed slavishly, I had my letter this morning advising indefinite Enhanced DLA for both elements converted to Enhanced PiP for both elements for 5 years...I had read and heard of such negative experiences... All in all so much better than anticipated. My membership over the years has been a really worthwhile investment because I feel you need to start preparing a good 12 months before the anticipated review date. Reading the experiences of other Members has been a reality check but I hope this post will give other Members reassurance of both your Guidance and the process”

PIP award
“Have recieved the letter awarding me PIP, Surprised it is for Daily needs allowance as they think I can walk 50 m and no more than 200 but i am not going to challenge this... if it wasn't for this site I wouldn't have got this award as I was unfimilur with the use of having to use aids… Thanks all for the information in this site as it has helped me over many years and recomend anybody disabled to get on board and become a member”

DLA to PIP success
“Just a short note to let you know, I have been awarded PIP. The highest for mobility and lowest care, for 3 more years. Although I was on an indefinite award, I was really worried that I wouldn't be awarded the highest for mobility. I needn't of worried as I followed all of your advice and sent huge amounts of information… at least I don't have to worry for 3 years. Thank you all so much”

 

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: 77582

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