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PIP awarded at Enhanced rates
“Once again, I want to convey my thanks to Benefits and Work and the Forum. I've been awarded Enhanced rates for mobility and care until Dec 2020. I have severe ME and chronic migraine so feel this is a real result. If you have this illness, follow the PIP guide on this site to the T and use the CFS diary as that enabled me to identify the truth about my needs and be firm when giving my answers on the form and at assessment...”

 

Dear Reader,

It looks so easy.

The shortened PIP renewal form (AR1) with its simple tick boxes, and encouragement not to provide any further information if your condition hasn’t changed, makes it seem like renewal is a formality.

But we asked you for feedback about the process and were sent accounts like this:

“she filled in the form saying things were either the same or worse than before. She had an assessment at home and it was appalling . . . she went from the enhanced rate for the daily living section and standard rate for moving around to nothing at all.”

And like this:

“I indicated on the form that there had been no change in my ability to carry out activities, or I had worsened. However, I was then required to attend a face-to-face assessment at which the health professional in my opinion did not accurately report my conditions, resulting in my PIP being stopped.”

Even claimants who indicated that there was no change in their condition, rather than a deterioration, can’t count on being spared a face-to-face assessment.

One member commented that they “completed the AR1 form stating things had not changed” but still had a face-to-face assessment. In addition:

The assessor didn’t have my AR1 form, said he wasn't familiar with the form and preferred to work from the original application form.”

The result was that even though our reader had arrived on a mobility scooter they had both components reduced from enhanced to standard rate.

The reality is that that just ticking ‘No change’ does not in any way guarantee that you will have your award continue or be spared a face-to-face assessment.

It is also clear that explaining that your condition has got worse does not ensure that your award won’t be reduced or stopped altogether.

The purpose of the AR1 is not to make life easier for claimants, it’s to speed up the renewal process and cut costs by not involving Atos or Capita where possible.

So your job when completing the AR1 is initially to try to convince, not a health professional, but a DWP case manager that your evidence is sufficiently accurate and detailed for a decision to be made

This is likely to apply whether you are arguing that your condition remains the same or that it has deteriorated. So, making your case as persuasive as possible, rather than simply ticking boxes, makes good sense.

The fact is that we have no way of knowing what percentage of claimants who tick the ‘No change’ boxes are referred to a health professional, but clearly some are.

If this happens to you and you have not given any details of your current difficulties on your form or provided any supporting evidence, then you are at a huge disadvantage.

Even if the health professional ignores your detailed evidence, that doesn’t mean it was a waste of time. A tribunal will almost certainly read it and they will give particular weight to evidence that has been clear and consistent from the very start of the renewal process.

So, we would argue that the safest course of action is to give as much evidence as possible, both your own and supporting evidence, including medical evidence, regardless of what the DWP advise.

There’s lots more about providing persuasive evidence in the PIP guide in the member’s area.

And we’ll be updating the PIP guide in relation to PIP renewals over the coming week, to take account of members’ feedback.

As we were writing this newsletter yesterday we read through good news posts in the forum and came across this one from before Christmas, which seems to prove the point:

PIP reassessment success
“Dear all at benefits and work: I wanted to share the fantastic news with you that following my PIP reassessment on the new AR1 form my PIP was reawarded for a further 5 years and I didn't even need to go for an assessment this time. As before, I used your invaluable members only guide and I made sure I included as much evidence as possible in terms of letters of diagnosis, x-ray/scans results etc. I can't tell you what a weight off my mind it was not to have to go through the trauma of another assessment, especially as the last one was so horrific it left me very unwell indeed. My membership is worth its weight in gold, and I can't thank you all enough for the quality of the information you provide and the overall support that can be obtained from using your fantastic site, I cant recommend your membership highly enough.”

You can read the full article on PIP renewals and comment here.

Good luck,

Steve Donnison

 

Benefits and Work guides covers 

DLA to PIP success
“Thanks so much to this website for the guides and the forum. Got my brown envelope yesterday and awarded enhanced rate for both till 2026. Couldn't have filled out the form without all your help. Thanks again and good luck to everyone currently going through this.”

 

GOOD NEWS FROM THE FORUM
PIP review resultBenefits and Work guides covers
“November I received the new pip review form to be returned by 3rd December. As my condition has not changed I ticked the no change box and included copies of letters from doctor and hospital. My doctor also wrote me a letter of support which I included. On sat the dreaded brown envelope dropped on the mat and I was convinced that they would at least be wanting me to attend another face to face as I had 2yrs ago. Much to my surprise they had renewed for another 4yrs and will be contacted 12 months prior to this for another review. To say I am relieved is an understatement. Thank you to the moderators and guides for all your help.”

ESA appeal success
“Was on ESA (Support group) and after an assessment in May 2016 I was found fit for work. I went through the Mandatory reconsideration process with no change and had my court appeal today. I'm glad to say that the DWP decision was overturned. I didn't have to even wait for the decision, was told instantly…I did feel like not appealing as I found the process after the mandatory reconsideration was received impossible. DWP had totally backed the WCA. But with help from a close friend and the information on this site, I decided to appeal. I'm glad I did.”

PIP from DLA
“My wife just awarded high rate PIP for both mobility and care. Your help with this claim was invaluable. Many thanks.”

ESA Support Group & PIP
“I would like to say a huge thank you for all the valuable help and every single piece of information and advice you gave us that I followed to the letter. Without it I would not achieve such a great result: placed in the ESA support group for two years and PIP for four years - high mobility rate and a low care rate! With best wishes to you all”

Thanks B&W
“… I got my PiP assessment back (in two weeks)! I have been awarded standard rate care…and good news is, I had a F2F the following week and this morning the results have come and I am in the support group. Such a relief. Thank you to all for the readily available information on the site..”

PIP award
“Thanks to your guides my pip claim was successful ( and it is the correct level ! ). My inquisitor was quite human, ( after all the horror stories I'd heard I thought it might be a trick ! ) I couldn’t have done it without the magic spells on your site…thanks again”

DLA to PIP success
“Thanks to this Wonderful site I have been transferred from DLA to the Enhanced Rate Of PIP in both Care And Mobility. Thank You All So Very Much”

PIP & ESA Results
“I just wanted to thank Benefits and Work Forum for all the information I collected for my claim for PIPs and ESA. I went for my face to face which was a gruelling experience for me as everyone is tarred with the same brush as they say. when I came out of the face to face I thought to myself well if I don't get my benefits I will just have to retry another time. I waited two weeks and on last Saturday morning the two brown letters arrived through the letterbox. I stood there looking at them for a while, then opened them and I got the answer I was waiting for I got the enhanced PIPS and my ESA. I am now on them for a few years before it all starts again. but it was such a relief and would not of been able to do only for this site (Benefits and Work Forum). Thankyou Thankyou to you all”

I won my tribunal!
“I won!! - I am astounded ..the judge actually told me straight away in the room - after the questions and before they even had a chance to talk about what I had said..- so I think they had probably made the decision before I even arrived ..and just used their questioning to confirm things.. I feel really weird because I was ready for a fight and I didn’t have to.. I am SO SO SO grateful to the wise words and encouragement from the people on this site - and also for all the information in your booklets.. I would not have done this without you, I would have just turned away obediently in silence”

Good luck,

The Office Team
Benefits and Work Publishing Ltd
Company registration No. 5962666