PIP success
“I would just like to say a big thank you for all the info on your website about fighting for your PIP to be reinstated. My PIP was just stopped in Nov 2018 all because I physically couldn't get to the assessment…they knew I would not be able to get there as my doctor wrote a letter stating that fact, so hence money just stopped but with perseverance and the help from the forum and info, they reinstated it form Nov 2018, Thank you guys for all your help, keep up the good work”
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Dear [fname],

In this edition, we learn that the new online appeals system for PIP and ESA, far from improving things, will introduce an additional trial by text box stage before claimants can get to an oral hearing.

We also reveal that Amber Rudd’s claim that PIP pensioners would no longer be subjected to repeat assessments is neither true, nor even new.

There’s bad news for the people of Harrogate, as the DWP announce that the first pilot of the managed migration of existing claimants to universal credit is to begin there.

But there’s good news for the private sector, if no-one else, as Rudd announces that the DWP intend to get a lot more companies doing PIP and ESA assessments.

The new online appeals system was supposed to make life easier for claimants, with documents available online and video-conference appeals saving claimants long trips to inaccessible venues.

Instead, it turns out the new system is primarily about cutting costs, as well as creating yet another hoop for claimants to jump through before they can get to an oral hearing.

Under the new Continuous Online Resolution (COR) system, soon to be piloted, most PIP and ESA claimants who appeal a decision will have their case looked at by an online tribunal panel.

The panel will review all the documents relating to the appeal and will then ask the claimant any further questions they think may be relevant.

The claimant is given a deadline to respond to these questions. They do this by typing directly into text boxes in their Tribunals Service account dashboard.

Once the text box tribunal has all the information it thinks it needs, it gives the claimant its decision.

If the claimant agrees, and the DWP do not object, then this becomes the final decision.

If the claimant does not agree, they have the right to have the case heard at an oral hearing in the normal way.

The new system will not allow the panel to ask nearly as many questions as they would at an oral hearing.

It will also not give the panel the chance to meet the claimant and form an opinion about their reliability as a witness. In the vast majority of oral hearings, panels have a high opinion of the claimant’s credibility.

The success rate for paper hearings is dramatically lower than for oral hearings.

Text box tribunal results will almost certainly fall somewhere in the middle.

Meaning many thousands of claimants will have to endure a claim, a mandatory reconsideration and a text box tribunal before they can get to an oral appeal.

How many claimants will manage to cope with such a long drawn-out ordeal?

The DWP and the Tribunals Service will be hoping the answer is: very few.

In a written statement last week, a kindly Amber Rudd announced that the DWP would be “no longer undertaking regular reviews of Personal Independence Payment (PIP) awards for claimants at or above State Pension age unless they tell us their needs have changed.”

The DWP, however, rather undermined this gesture in its own press release on the subject, by explaining that rather than no reviews, PIP pensioners will have a “light touch review every 10 years.”

What’s more, this isn’t news at all.

Ten yearly light touch reviews were announced last summer, long before Rudd was in the job.

And, in January, we published DWP guidance that has been in place since last August, telling DWP decision makers that most claimants of state pension age should only have these reviews.

So, not entirely true and definitely not new.

It’s almost as if Rudd was desperately trying to win over Tory party members in advance of a leadership contest.

Spare a thought for the people of Harrogate.

They have the unfortunate honour of being selected by the DWP to host the first pilot of managed migration, the movement of claimants off income-related ESA and other legacy benefits and onto universal credit,

The pilot will probably start in July.

According to the DWP, ‘additional support will be put in place at Harrogate Jobcentre Plus, including bespoke support that will also be on hand for vulnerable claimants, including home visits.

Indeed, the probability is that claimants in the pilot areas will receive a level of support that will be far above what claimants in other areas can expect, when the full rollout takes place.

Because the main purpose of the pilot is to persuade increasingly sceptical Tory MPs that the rollout can be managed without it causing a huge loss of votes.

So claimants in Harrogate may get the best experience of managed migration, but they will still have the misfortune to be the first to be forced to move.

The DWP have announced that they are to change the assessment system for PIP and ESA.

They hope to involve more private sector companies as a result.

The aim is to have a single assessment service, which can carry out one face-to-face assessment covering both PIP and the work capability assessment for ESA and UC.

This doesn’t necessarily mean that there will be one test for both benefits, though work is to be undertaken to see if that is a possibility.

But it does mean a claimant might have both assessments carried out at the same time, with information from the first assessment carried over into the second.

And the DWP is to develop their own digital platform to carry out the assessments.

This will mean that the DWP will be able to invite many more, smaller companies to bid for local assessment contracts.

And this geographically fragmented system will, the DWP hope, drive down costs.

Whether it drives up standards is a different and, one suspects much less important, issue as far as the DWP is concerned.

Good luck,

Steve Donnison

“Hi all, I would like to say a big thank you for being able to download all the information required for moving from Dla to PIP. My daughter who has a nursing background and was able to use the correct terminology and spend a couple of weeks getting all the information on the forms. I got 20 points + 12 points. Best £20 investment.”

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: 26438

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

ESA to UC managed migration pilot to start in Harrogate
Harrogate is the unlucky town selected by the DWP to host the pilot of managed migration.

More private firms to get slice of PIP and WCA cake
Amber Rudd, the work and pensions secretary has today announced plans to involve more private sector firms in benefits assessments.

PIP pensioners WILL still be reviewed
Amber Rudd’s announcement that claimants of state pension age will no longer have regular reviews has turned out to be both not entirely true and old news, Benefits and Work can reveal.

UC identity system another digital disaster
The Verify system, which was supposed to allow claimants to prove their identity online, has turned into another digital disaster according to a report released by the National Audit Office (NAO) today.

Text box tribunals to replace most PIP and ESA appeal hearings
Most PIP and ESA claimants who appeal a decision will not have an oral hearing, according to plans unveiled by the tribunals service last month.

PIP reassessment to end for pensioners, announcement due today
Amber Rudd is to announce that claimants of pensionable age will no longer face reassessment for personal independence payment (PIP), according to press reports today.

Benefits system exacerbates mental health issues
A report by the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute (MMHPI), The Benefits Assault Course, has found that the benefits system exacerbates claimants’ mental health issues.

Paralysed claimant refused PIP on transfer from DLA
A claimant who was getting the higher rates of DLA has been refused any award of PIP, in spite of being partially paralysed after contracting swine flu eight years ago.

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
“Pleased to say my husband got awarded his pip again on renewal and has been given 10 years until his next review. Thank you for the guidance.”

PIP Tribunal won
“Thank you for all of the info you provided me in my fight for PIP with my Chronic cluster headaches. I won at Tribunal, with lots of info from yourselves and great backup from a welfare rights officer.”

PIP Tribunal success
“Had my tribunal yesterday for PIP and was awarded enhanced rate for daily living! Just want to thank benefitsandwork.co.uk - your guides are the reason this happened especially the fighting the medical evidence report. Thank You.”

PIP Tribunal Hearing
“Even though I'm a former CAB advisor, having a good knowledge of the benefits system. I still used this cracking site and its guides and recommend it to those who have been treated unfairly by the DWP's jobsworths. Therefore I wish to thank Benefits and Work for there guides to a successful PIP tribunal appeal after two DWP decision makers award my wife 9 points for the care component of PIP…After 40 odd years of getting high care, high mobility DLA to then undergo a medical at a clinic/ plus a home visit from a DWP officer checking to see if she's getting the correct benefit going back those 40 odd years...resulting in her still being awarded high care, high mobility still. Only to be transferred over to PIP in 2018 to then having a medical assessor come out, as a result of that visit to be awarded standard rate care 9 points... Went through the proper procedure i.e Mandatory Reconsideration that decision maker agreed with the first one…Tribunal took less than 5 minutes the Chairperson stating we have made our decision and disagree with the decision makers findings…Thank Steve and all benefits and work staff”

ESA Support Group
“Dear B & W team, many many thanks for your being here, your support and information are as always so valuable in fact it is life-saving, believe me. Its been a very long and stressful last few months, but I have finally been informed that I am to stay in the support group”

PIP Review success
“My son who is 35 and has severe mental health problems received his PIP review letter yesterday. Thanks to the detailed information given by this site his replies to the PIP review questionnaire were accepted. Not only was his award confirmed but thanks to the guidance given here he was awarded a mobility component as well for the first time. This was without having to go for a face to face interview ! It was the best result he could have wished for and the help available here once more proved it's immense value. Thank you.”

“Since my last post this afternoon, I rang DWP as a bit desperate and have an award for 10 years of enhanced for both so thank you B & W. It has been a worrying 4 months but it is possible!”

PIP success
“I’ve been on ESA or similar since 2003 and had a letter to change to PIP on January 4th asking me to phone them which I did. They…said they will send me the PIP application form, which I received on January 9th. I’ve been a member of B&W for many years and had downloaded all “The Best Possible” form guides from the site to enable me to fill out the form. I sent the completed form together with all my medical evidence (consultants letters etc from all my hospital notes which I’d requested previously) and sent the completed form off on January 21st with a request for a home visit if possible…a home visit was arraigned for February 4th. The medical assessment went reasonably well and lasted about an hour and the lady (a nurse) was extremely helpful. She said the DWP will take at least 7 weeks to make their decision. Had a text message from DWP on Monday 11th to say they had received the assessors report and they would be in touch. I thought I had at least 6 weeks to wait for a decision, but got home on Friday 15th to find the dreaded brown envelope on the mat. I had been on ESA support group + DLA of High Rate mobility and Middle Rate Care and felt certain I was going to lose both, bearing in mind all the horrendous stories I had heard. So, imagine my surprise when I read that I had been awarded the Enhanced Rate for daily living and also the Enhanced Rate for mobility! I don’t think I would have gotten this award decision had I not studied and used the advice on this forum. Thanks everyone.”

Pension Credit award
“Just to give people a small "ray of hope". I applied for Pension Credit and was refused. After posting my plight on this site and getting some great advice from Gordon (Admin) I downoaded the DWP's own Desision Makers Guide from "Asset Publishing" (It is free to download and use) Armed with this documentation, I made a Mandatory Reconsideration and quoted the relevant sections of the DWP paperwork. Straight away they have reconsidered and I have been awarded full Pension Credit. As I have now become a Pensioner and am on State Pension, this is so important as it is a "Benefit" and opens the door to Council Tax reduction, Mortgage Interest Support etc etc. I urge all members to check out these guides and a BIG "THANK YOUI GORDON!!”

PIP Appeal won

“Thank you Gordon. your advice has helped keep me calm and come up with a measured response. I went to the tribunal today the dwp didn't attend. on entering the room I was advised that my son should have been awarded PIP on both care and mobility and that the only question now was for which rate. after 10 minutes of questions I received the verdict there and then and was told he would receive enhanced for both. I didn't need to say anything about the report being wrong and not a true reflection of the assessment as they had worked it out for themselves. the only thing I don't know is how long the award is for yet but she said it shouldn't be a short award thank you one again”

PIP reassessment – no face to face 6 year award
“Thank you again for all the advice here, Membership a must! Today received news my PIP has been renewed at Enhanced rates until 2015, no F2F…Thankyou again Moderators”

ESA Support Group success
“Hi it’s great news been put back in support group... can I just give a super mega thanks to this site for all the support I receive”

ESA reassessment no face to face
“ Having recvd my PIP award the other day I also recvd another brown envelope this morning. I returned my ESA form the beginning & January & found out today I’m being kept in the support group without having to attend a f2f! Such a relief & the second time this has happened thanks to the info & guides on this brilliant site. So thank you so much everyone!”

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: 26438

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



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