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23 November 2016 Update: PIP Enhanced Mobility Awards Plummet Plus DWP 45p Per Minute Call Charges To Continue

Sleepless nights since June
“I lodged my appeal following the model submissions in the members guides about the vital evidence overlooked by both the HP and DM. This was submitted mid October. Today, to my amazement, I received a letter from the DWP to say that they had looked at my case again and changed the award back to what it was last time, that my appeal was over and the back payments would be in my bank account by Monday. I never imagined that they would change their minds at this stage and had been having sleepless night since June about the thought of a tribunal hearing. It's purely down to the advice received here in formulating my appeal submissions that led to this outcome. Now I know where to come from now on. Thank you!”

 

 

Dear Reader

The longer PIP is around, the less sense it makes.

This is especially true if you have a very serious physical health condition that can only get worse.

Because if you have, under PIP, not only are you up to two thirds less likely to get an enhanced mobility award than you were under DLA. . . but, you might even miraculously get better.

The BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire show has obtained some startling figures using the Freedom of Information Act.

These show that for multiple sclerosis (MS), 93% of DLA claimants got the higher rate of the mobility component, but under PIP this has dropped hugely to 50%.

For Parkinson’s, 82% of DLA claimants got the higher rate of the mobility component, but under PIP this has more than halved to 40%.

For rheumatoid arthritis, 83% of DLA claimants got the higher rate of the mobility component, but under PIP this has plummeted by more than two thirds to 24%.

Not only that, but some claimants, such as Wendy who has early onset Alzheimer’s, get an award of PIP and then eighteen months later are found to have improved to the extent that they no longer qualify for anything.

It was clear from the outset that PIP’s main purpose was to cut costs. It is now equally clear that the DWP don’t care who has to pay the price for those cuts.

PLEASE HOLD
“We are sorry but all our customer service agents are busy at the moment. Please hold.”

These are the words that callers to DWP helplines dread. And for some of those on the lowest incomes, with access only to a pay as you go mobile, they come at a serious cost.

Mobile providers charge up to 45p a minute to call an 0345 number – like the PIP enquiry line.

And the average wait before you speak to someone about your PIP claim, according to a government minister last week, is six minutes and 25 seconds.

So that’s getting on for three quid before you’ve said a word. And many people spend a great deal longer than six and a half minutes on hold.

The Social Security Advisory Committee have urged the DWP to provide free 0800 numbers for lines used by vulnerable and low-income claimants. But the DWP, in a response published last week, have refused on the grounds that it would cost them £7 million to do so.

But there’s another reason that they also let slip in their reply to SSAC. In relation to universal credit, their policy is to “redirect people to digital channels through cost incentives”.

In other words, they want claimants to manage their claim online and they will punish those who are unable to do so by making them pay a small fortune for phone calls.

ESA SANCTIONS, ESA CUTS, BEDROOM TAX VICTORY
In other news, ESA sanctions are on the rise again. They have almost doubled in the course of this year, up from 900 in January to 1,749 in June.

Staying with ESA, 127 MPs - including 5 Tories - voted unanimously in favour of a motion calling on the government not to introduce cuts to ESA scheduled to be introduced in April 2017. But the vote has no legal force and it looks unlikely, at the time of writing, that the Autumn budget statement will offer a reprieve.

Finally, Paul and Susan Rutherford who look after their severely disabled 13 year old grandson, Warren, in their specially adapted home have won their fight against having to pay the bedroom tax.

The government vindictively pursued the couple all the way to the supreme court, in spite of the fact that the Rutherfords save the state a huge amount of money by caring for Warren themselves.

The ruling is expected to mean an end to the bedroom tax for several thousand families who also need a spare room for a carer for a disabled child.

Sometimes, though nowhere near often enough, justice does prevail.

Good luck,

Steve Donnison

 Benefits and Work guides covers

Support Group success
“Hi, Just wanted to say a massive thank you to everyone who makes the guides on here. I just got my brown envelope this morning, less than a month after my medical giving me support group for esa! (Pip took 18 months so this was amazing!) To say I'm relieved would be an understatement! Thanks”

BOOST YOUR PIP AND ESA CHANCES - 20% OFF ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP – OFFER ENDS MIDNIGHT FRIDAY.
After 5 months wait Mobility success
“Many thanks to Benefits to work Forum for their invaluable advice, The PIP tribunal has just re-enstated my wife with higher rate Mobility for 5 years.”

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: 95937

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
Higher rate mobility awards for physical health plummet under PIP
The percentage of claimants with degenerative physical conditions who get awards of enhanced rate personal independence payment (PIP) mobility has fallen by up to two thirds when compared with disability living allowance (DLA), the BBC has revealed.

DWP will continue making claimants pay up to 45p a minute to call them
Vulnerable and low income claimants will continue to pay up to 45p a minute to make calls about their benefits, the DWP announced last week.

MPs vote unanimously in favour of pausing ESA cuts, but nothing changes
MPs voted 127 to 0 in favour of a motion to pause cuts to employment and support allowance, due to be introduced in April 2017.

Stop PIP videos released
A group campaigning against the unfairness of PIP assessments has released a series of 3 short documentary videos on Facebook.

ESA sanctions on the rise again
Employment and support allowance sanctions have risen month on month throughout 2016, from 900 in January to 1,749 in June, the latest figures from the DWP reveal.

Campaigners win bedroom tax victory
Bedroom tax campaigners won a major victory in the Supreme Court last week, as judges ruled in favour of Paul and Susan Rutherford, who have been fighting for years against a ruling that they have to pay the bedroom tax.

 

GOOD NEWS FROM THE FORUM
Benefits and Work guides coversAs 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.

Yesterday the brown envelope arrived
“hi..after failing in my efforts to claim esa I didn't hold out much hope of claiming pip. I..have been on dla for 8 years. I visit your forum often, and have read many horror stories about claiming pip. I decided to subscribe to your site, and downloaded your guides. yesterday the brown envelope arrived, and to my amazement I have been awarded the enhanced rate for both care and mobility. without the guides I have no doubt that the outcome would have been very different. it is without doubt the best twenty pounds I have ever spent thank you. to anybody out there these guides are priceless I cant thank you enough keep up the good work.”

PIP success
“Following the moderators advice contacted DWP for a copy of the Atos medical report. This came a few days before the DWP's decision. Spent a few days reading the Benefits & Work Guide. The best and worthwhile £19 I have ever spent. Took three days to complete the PIP application. With the emphasis placed on that word "repeatedly". Without the guide I reckon I would have struggled getting the Benefits…I have been awarded enhanced care and mobilty payments for a period of 10 years. I would certainly endorse the Guide provided by Benefits & Work it goes a long way to providing the answers to completing the application…Many Thanks.”

PIP success – thank you
“I would just like to say a big thank you for the support that has been given to me. I know that I have not asked many questions, but what replies I have had have helped.. Well today I got the brown envelope on opening it is have been awarded the enhanced rate for both daily living and mobility”

PIP Tribunal won
“Hello guys. I was failed in my assessment this April …appealed…and I got my decision today, after the second meeting of the tribunal… on the 15th November. Found in my favor on both counts. I was receiving standard daily living, which was reinstated, and to my surprise I was awarded 10 points for mobility. I want to say thank you to the staff here for their guides and time, and also to the members who post because it helps to realize you're not alone. Thank you.”

Thank you – PIP success
“I would firstly like to say thank you to B&W . Having been on Dla for the last 5 years I was invited to apply for pip. I downloaded the guides and carefully studied them… imagine my horror when two weeks after my assessment I received the assessor's report recommending the standard rate of care and high mobility. I was very disappointed.. I did however call the dwp to lodge an objection to a particular point that I strongly disagreed with.. I didn't think it would make any difference but at least i got it off my chest. Well two weeks went buy and I hadn't heard anything so I rang them to be told yes a decision had been made I had been awarded high rate care and high rate mobility ongoing with a review in ten years. I couldn't believe it..From reading through the forums I am aware that very rarely do the decision makers stray from the recommendation of the assessor so I am feeling very thankful right now and would like to use this to encourage others to persevere with their claim. Once again thank you to all a B&W I really would have not had a clue where to start without their help”

PIP & ESA Support Group success
“Hi i just want to post about having success with applying for pip and ESA support growp for CFS. As i had a long stressful time over a year but i finally got the reward dealt with good outcome…I just wanted to say to all others out there not to give up.”

Thanks B&W
“Hi! Thanks for the help of this brilliant site… - it's really helped me to feel that applying for PIP and ESA are not only appropriate for me, but has given me confidence around the process...Thanks for your ongoing help!”

PIP Renewed
“I was reassessed for pip on 20th October. Last december I was awarded standard care and enhanced mobility at Tribunal. I recieved decision today standard care and standard mobility the award is for five years which is a relief…I would like to say thanks again to this guide. The process this time was much less stressfull. Thanks again.”

ESA Reconsideration success
“i would like to thank everyone on the forum and all the information that was available to me for download. all the guides helped me write a letter and successfully i have been placed back in the support group for another 6 months..thanks again.”

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: 95937

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