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26 October 2016 update: PIP and ESA Appeal Winners Face Further Legal Threat Plus DWP Protect Their Own

ESA and PIP thanks to B&W support
“I can honestly say this year has been the most stressful of my life - changing to pip, having all my benefits stopped for 2 months due to not attending an ESA medical for which I received no appointment letter, reminder or reason for not attending letter! I very nearly lost my home as I had NO income for over 2 months which stopped my housing benefit etc. [Mod] Gordon's support when I've been able to access it (broadband cut off) whilst dealing with the UP & downs has been fantastic and greatly appreciated and last week I finally had my ESA reinstated after a mandatory reconsideration and I have finally had my PIP claim awarded at the same amount as DLA of highest rate care & mobility for 3 years! What a huge relief… Thank you Benefits & Work - fantastic guides and great support x Special thanks to Gordon xx”

 

 

Dear Reader,

The adverts were published this week.

86 new presenting officers are being recruited around the country to help the DWP try to reduce claimants’ success rates at PIP and ESA appeals.

But perhaps even worse than that, they are also going to be identifying cases which can be appealed to the upper tribunal.

This means that, for many hundreds of claimants, the months of stress will not end when they win their appeal. Instead they will then have to face the misery of more months of uncertainty whilst they wait for an appeal to the upper tribunal to be heard.

If the DWP’s further appeal is upheld then, at the very least, that will mean a return to another first-tier tribunal to try to argue their case again. In some cases, they won’t even be given the chance to do that.

We know that every presenting officer will have to meet key performance indicators. One of these is likely to be a minimum number of cases that they recommend should be taken to the upper tribunal.

If every presenting officer averages just one further appeal a month, this will still add up to over 1,000 PIP and ESA claimants a year affected.

Here at Benefits and Work, we are now starting work on a guide to defending your award at the upper tribunal.

We can’t prevent the presenting officers doing their worst. But we can ensure that our members have a clear guide through the procedure that they are forced to take part in - and a better chance of success as a result.

DWP PROTECT THEIR OWN
It probably won’t come as news to most of our readers.

But the Independent Case Examiner (ICE) has found that the DWP protects its staff by failing to properly investigate complaints against them, or even investigate them at all. This is in spite of the fact that managers have clear guidance that they should follow on how to deal with complaints, including collecting witness statements.

As a result, staff can treat claimants unfairly, rudely and even aggressively with little fear of any repercussions.

Cases cited by ICE include:

A member of staff at a Jobcentre made a threatening remark loudly to a claimant in the presence of other people, the DWP failed to gather any witness statements or investigate in any way.

A Complaints Resolution Manager for Jobcentre Plus failed to give the claimant information they asked for and hung up the telephone on them. When the claimant complained about the Complaints Resolution Manager, instead of investigating the DWP simply passed the complaint back to the same Complaints Resolution Manager.

A claimant alleged that he had experienced “threatening and inappropriate behaviour” from Jobcentre Plus staff and that they had failed to make adjustments for his mobility issues and delayed his appointment. When he complained about this, Jobcentre Plus apologised for the delay but ignored his other complaints entirely.

In each of these cases ICE upheld the complaint and the claimants received ‘consolatory’ payments ranging from £50 to £150.

But in none of these cases is there any mention of disciplinary action being taken against the staff involved.

Indeed, in the first case above, ICE went so far as to say that as it was now a year since the incident there was no point in even trying to collect witness statements.

At Jobcentre Plus, it seems, frontline staff are free to threaten claimants whilst managers can safely ignore complaints about such behaviour. The worst that will happen is that the taxpayer will have to foot the bill for a derisory ‘consolatory’ payment.

Good luck,

Steve Donnison

 

Benefits and Work guides cover

DLA to PIP result
“Hi there, we would just like to say a really big thank you to all at b&w, for your invaluable help. After weeks of worrying ourselves sick, especially after the face to face, we got the letter through today letting us know he's got the enhanced rate for both . Thank you all again”

BOOST YOUR PIP AND ESA CHANCES - 20% OFF ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP – OFFER ENDS MIDNIGHT FRIDAY.
Highly recommend this site
“I am incredibly grateful for the advice and information you provide on this site and the brilliant guides. It has helped to ensure that I did not suffer any loss when I had to transfer from DLA to PIP ,”

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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Offer ends midnight Friday

BENEFITS NEWS
PIP and ESA appeal winners to face further legal threat
Beginning next year, many hundreds of claimants who win their PIP and ESA appeals will face having to win a further legal challenge before they can be awarded benefit.

DWP protect their own – complaints against staff not investigated
A new report by the Independent Case Examiner (ICE) reveals that the DWP protects its staff by failing to properly investigate complaints against them, or even investigate them at all.

ESA numbers continue to fall
The latest statistic from the DWP show a continuing fall in the number of claimants receiving employment and support allowance (ESA) or incapacity benefit (IB).

Claimants set to lose £9 a week
The Institute for fiscal studies (IFS) has warned that the poorest claimants are set to lose £9 a week from their income because of frozen benefits, a falling pound and rising inflation.

Malnutrition quadruples in last decade
16,000 cases of malnutrition were reported by hospitals last year, a shocking 400% rise over the last ten years, the Mirror reports.

 

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.

PIP success!Benefits and Work guides covers
“After having to go through the "fun" experience of having a medical on my birthday, I am relieved to be able to report my claim has been successful and I've been awarded PIP middle rate daily living and lower rate mobility for two years. It took about five weeks for me to get the results in the post but they were very good and let me know after a couple of weeks it might take awhile, so do be prepared for a bit of a wait.
Just wanted to share this news to give hope to anyone going through the stress of claiming. And also to say that my medical was carried out in the most professional and respectful manner, so hang in there if you're waiting for your own. It's not all bad news and horror stories, thank goodness”


PIP award
“thank you all from the bottom of my heart from dla to pip with the help of your guide full award thank you

ESA Tribunal success
“i finally had my esa tribunal hearing on Tuesday. the judge and doctor were very polite and kind and it took about 5 minutes for them to award me esa. i went from 0 to 24 and qualified to be placed in the support group such a load of my head!
i didn't know about this wonderful site at the time i completed my esa50 form, i honestly believe that had i known and used the guides to fill my esa50 form i would have been spared all this hassle. the guides not only help in answering the questions effectively but also help in understanding how and what assumptions the dwp will make. i used the appeal guides (and the guide to fill in the esa50 form) so i could create an appeal based on how i should have originally filled in the form. i also acquired a letter from my GP confirming the health problems i stated.
i honestly believe it was knowing how to articulate the answers around the dwps tricks and assumptions that allowed me to win my appeal. thank you very much B&W site. your guides are invaluable and the moderators are so helpful. i would recommend this lovely site to everyone.”


PIP result
“Received the good news today, 6 weeks after the assessment. Enhanced rate for both Care and Mobility, after moving from DLA. Must compliment the male nurse who conducted the assessment in a very friendly and fair manner. And most importantly put it in writing; as we received a copy of the assessment report two weeks before the official decision.
Finally, many thanks to all at Benefits & Work, who, I believe provide ordinary people with a wonderful insight into what is potentially a nightmare. We found the site a great help and have recommended you to many people. Thanks for everything and long may you prosper”


DLA to PIP success
“Thanks to the fantastic PIP guide, I have successfully transferred from DLA to PIP with a good result ! It may be interesting for others to know that the decision maker disagreed with the nurse's medical assessment and awarded extra care points based on the paper evidence I'd provided. I couldn't have completed the form without the help of Benefits and Work so huge thanks to all”

DLA to PIP transfer
“Thanks to your excellent guide which helped me to complete the claim form, I have received the news today that I get the standard care and lower mobility. This is the same award I got on dla ..”

DLA to PIP success!!
“Just received the dreaded brown envelope which thankfully contained great news. I have transferred from DLA to PIP successfully for both Mobility and Daily Living at the enhanced rate.
I really couldnt have done it without you!! Thank you so much”


PIP success
“Top class website,did everything by reading the advice on here 4 weeks transfered from dla mrc lam to enhanced rate on both care and mobility for 3 years.thank you so much”

DLA to PIP success
“I was previously on DLA (HRM & MRC) indefinitely and have been for 15 years. In July 2016 I received letter requesting me to apply for PIP…
Today, 14th October, I received letter from DWP confirming that I have been awarded enhanced rate for both daily living needs and mobility. For the daily living needs I was awarded 17 points (I scored myself 16 points in B & W self-assessment) and for mobility I was awarded 12 points (I scored myself 12 points in B & W self-assessment). The award is for an ongoing period and they will look at it again after September 2026…
Although the task of completing PIP form was very tiring, I found the B & W help to be invaluable and if I might be able to help then it would be to confirm everything B & W has to say, especially to marry up your issues with the descriptors. Will all concerned with B & W please accept my most sincere thanks – you all do a magnificent job.”


Another victory due to B&W
“… I followed the advice on writing my day to day activities and duly went for my face to face assessment…Where as I was in receipt of Motobility Allowance ( life award) I now get Standard rate. As I never claimed for the Care component, this time I filled it in and was awarded the Standard Rate of Care. All in all I'm better off now. Thanks to B&W and their hard work.”

DLA to PIP success result
“I wanted to firstly thank you so very much for the advice pages and member only guides, and try and give some hope to others going through the transition. My mum suffers from Multiple Schlerosis, severe rheumatoid arthritis, and COPD, and had been in receipt of a lifetime award of high rate care DLA, and high rate Mobility component for very many years, until her "invitation to apply" for PIP this summer…I can only say we were over the moon to receive the dreaded envelope confirming that no assessment (neither face to face or telephone) was to be conducted, and that they will write again in five years…I cannot begin to tell you the peace of mind this has brought to her and my dad, who had been scavenging every penny he could (they are both pensioners) in case she lost her car. Thank you so very much again, and do continue with the fantastic work. Wishing all of you every good wish and success, and hope that the process goes as well for you.”

 

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: 84475

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