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27 July update

Last Discount Coupon Plus New PIP Review Form and New Snooping App For Benefits Payments

DLA to PIP success – enhanced daily living and mobility
“Just to say a really big Thank you to this site for all the helpful information, guides and support you give. Without this site I would still be sitting reading Page 1 of the PIP Questionnaire. The dreaded brown envelope arrived on my door step today- too scared to open it so a friend did for me. I have been awarded enhanced for daily living and enhanced for mobility…Please, to all those still struggling, please use the guides, read the forums, and learn from those who have battled the system and won! despite all the odds. Once again a really big thank you to all who support this site and give their time.”


You can read this newsletter online


Dear Reader,

This will be the last newsletter before we take our summer break. So this will also be the last discount coupon for some time.

The next newsletter will be out on 14 September.

We won’t be idle over the summer though.

We’re working on updated ESA guides, which will also include information about universal credit.

We’re also updating our PIP guides to include all the latest case law, which is being created in ever increasing quantities because PIP was so hastily and badly drafted in the rush to begin cutting the benefits bill.

Back to the present though and we have news of a new PIP form, the Award Review (AR1) form. This is now being issued when a PIP award is due for renewal or where there is a change in a claimant’s condition or circumstances.

The new form is just 12 pages long and the DWP claim that it will save many claimants from having to complete the lengthy ‘How your disability affects you’ form or have an assessment when their time-limited award is due to run out.

Members can download a sample copy of the new form and we’ll be including information on how to complete it in the next update of our claiming PIP guide.

In our last newsletter we warned readers about the possibility of prepaid benefits cards being introduced for some claimants.

We have now learnt that the DWP is also trialling a new phone app, based on bitcoin software, as a way of paying benefits. A former member of the Government Digital Service has warned that the technology could be used to monitor benefit spending and force claimants to only spend their benefits on approved items.

But before the DWP starts experimenting with bitcoin software and phone apps, many claimants would argue that they ought to make sure they can get the basics right. Like paying the correct amount of benefits, for example.

A recent Freedom of Information request by Benefits and Work has revealed that there are currently “high volumes of overpayments of DLA and PIP” because a combination of slow software and badly trained staff means that many claimants are getting payments of both DLA and PIP at the same time.

Getting the basics right is still a long way from reality when it comes to universal credit (UC) as well. The DWP have announced that current benefits claimants will not now begin to be moved onto UC for at least three years.

The latest target set for transferring existing claimants is from July 2019 to March 2022.

Meanwhile, the painfully slow roll out of the full digital UC service will continue at the rate of just 5 jobcentres a month until June 2017, before increasing to 30 a month and then 55 a month.

The announcement was made by the new secretary of state for work and pensions, Damian Green.

We confess to knowing almost nothing about Green, other than that he is yet another graduate of Oxford university’s Philosophy, Politics and Economics degree course. This is a favourite course for would-be politicians. Notable former students include David Cameron, Ed Miliband and Bill Clinton. Which may not entirely fill you with confidence in Mr Green’s abilities.

But, looking on the bright side, at least we didn’t get IDS back.

Have a good summer,

Steve Donnison

 Benefits and Work guides covers

DLA to PIP award
“I would like to thank Benefits & Work for all their information. I was a DLA to PIP person I followed advice and along with many others sent off completed form and waited with trepidation... On Saturday the dreaded brown envelope arrived and with shaky hands and a feeling of doom I opened letter, High rate for both, ongoing, review in 2026, don,t quite know what to make of that but I am very relieved to at least be Ok for the moment.”


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: 75494

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


Small fall in number of ESA awards
The number of claimants who are in receipt of employment and support allowance (ESA) or incapacity benefit (IB) is continuing to fall, though only by small amounts, according to the latest monthly figures released by the DWP.

Three years before existing claimants transfer to universal credit
The full roll-out of universal credit (UC) has been delayed yet again, with the transfer of existing claimants of other benefits to UC not now expected to begin for another three years.

Large number of claimants wrongly paid DLA and PIP at the same time
Documents obtained by Benefits and Work suggest that a large number of claimants are wrongly being paid both disability living allowance (DLA) and personal independence payment (PIP) at the same time.

New PIP review form
Benefits and Work has obtained a sample copy of the Award Review (AR1) form introduced last month for personal independence payment (PIP) claimants.

Phone app for benefits payments raises snooping and spending control fears
The DWP is trialling a new app based on bitcoin software as a way of paying benefits, Lord Freud has announced, raising fears that claimants spending could be closely monitored and controlled.


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 award
“Hi, I received my PIP decision today. I was given the enhanced award for both mobility and care for four years. I would like to thank all at Work and Benefits for their invaluable help and advice...Thanks very much”

PIP Result
“I would like to thank you very much for all the information on your website. It helped my husband so much, especially knowing what the DWP are looking for and how to answer questions. He received the brown envelope today and has been awarded the enhanced mobility payment for surgery to 4 disks in his lower back and waiting for 2 hip replacement operations. Without your help and knowledge I doubt if we would have got anywhere near the top rate. Once again thank you so very much, so appreciated.”

PIP award
“My husband got the dreaded brown envelope yesterday and we are so happy. He got enhanced in both and ongoing. Thank you for your very detailed help.”

Support Group – no medical
“Dear Mods, Advisors and generally wonderful people at B&W. It was with trepidation that I sent off my ESA50 for reassessment, completed exactly as advised by your ever-helpful Guide.... Having been put in the SG for one year with no medical last time (again, thanks to B&W), I fully expected to go for a f2f this time and my stress levels were through the roof. The day came...the envelope arrived....with a trembling hand I opened it, looking for the dreaded result. I was so amazed, shocked and overcome with relief at having been placed in the SG again - for two years this time - with no medical, I actually felt faint and had to sit down. I nearly cried.
I can't adequately express how much your assistance is valued; were it not for your advice and guidance, I can honestly say I would never have been able to complete those awful forms as completely and fully as I managed to - twice! You're all amazing. Thank you so much.”

DLA to PIP success
“A big thank you for your advice about sending as much information as you can. I followed your advice, sending a letter of support from my 2 therapist, my neurosurgeon, and my GP. I was going from DLA…to PIP. My award letter came within 2 WEEKS!!! I was awarded enhanced rate for both, until 2026. A GREAT RESULT, thanks to following your advice”

PIP success
“Applied for PIP and today received an award for PIP until 2022, enhanced for daily living and standard mobility. Thank you for your guides, invaluable for making sure I had added everything and ensuring it was all covered in the medical... Many thanks again”

ESA appeal success
“Thanks to help from your guides my partner has successfully been declared unfit for work on the exceptional circumstances clause at Appeal.”

There are no words
“Just want to let you know, that just got my daughters result from her pip assessment today, enhanced care, enhanced mobility. This is due to the very helpful information sheets you provide, which guided me through the forms and process step by step. I can't believe it, my relief, well ....... There are no words that cover it. THANK YOU.”

A massive heart felt thank you
“With all the pain and suffering we the disabled all go through on a daily basis, it is so heart-warming to have someone working on our behalves, helping us for a change.
Whoever set up this wonderful site is doing so much good for all the disabled people in the UK, when life is hard enough.
May I send you a massive heart felt thank you on behalf of all of us, not just myself, who has recently used your brilliant guides to help me with both my PIP and ESA renewals.
There is no way I could have completed correctly the DWP questionaries’ without the help of your excellent guides.
It is apparent that Benefits and Work are all about giving and helping those in need.
Thank you so very much.
Keep on the good work!”


What a relief it is
“I've just received my PIP decision letter, I've been awarded the enhanced rate for mobility and care until 2026, thank goodness, what a relief it is to know that for the next ten years I'll be left alone!
My heartfelt thanks go to all of you at benefits and work for the invaluable service that you provide.”


Pleased is an understatement
“I would like to express my thanks for all the work you do in providing information and advice for all of us who use your service.
Having completed the DLA - PIP form in January, I followed your advice and put in lots of evidence from OT,Physio,GP and Consultant to back up my application.
I was referred for a Face to Face Assessment on 21st March, and again prepared myself with the help of your guides. The assessment was carried out by a Paramedic, and took over an hour. He was very pleasant and when he asked me to do some simple movements (stand on one leg, squat and go on tip toes), I told him I couldn't and why, which he accepted. It is always difficult to judge whether things go well or not, so although I thought it had, I prepared myself for the opposite.
The brown envelope came yesterday and I must admit the butterflies started but I was so happy to see that I have kept the (HigherRate) Enhanced Mobility and will now also receive Enhanced Personal Care up from middle care. Both are until 2026, so pleased is an understatement.
Your guidance is invaluable and I will certainly point anyone who needs help form filling PIP/ESA in your direction.”


I can now start getting on with my life again
“I just wanted to say that I have just had my appeal hearing for PIP and I have been awarded standard care on the living element and enhanced on the mobility. I have been fighting for the last 6 months to get this and in that time I used your guides to help me complete the forms and prepare for the actual hearing. I couldn't have done it all without your useful guides and tips.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I can now start getting on with my life again.”


Just wanted to say many thanks
“Hello there, just wanted to say many thanks for your comprehensive guide on ESA and work capability. My husband has Parkinson's and the advice was excellent in getting us to think through the detail of his daily difficulties, and avoid pitfalls that could cause future problems when the change to PIP comes along. We just got the ESA letter confirming that he is in the support group for ESA. We are really relieved and also feel confident about tackling PIP which is the next hurdle.”



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: 75494

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