“Just got my brown envelope today. Was on dla mobility only now have PIP standard daily living allowance and enhanced rate mobility. For ten years. Without the Web site info don't think I would have managed many thanks.”


Dear Reader,

Last month’s statistics from the DWP and the Tribunals Service are full of percentages that matter enormously if you are a claimant.

It desperately matters, for example, whether you are one of the almost 50% of DLA to PIP claimants who have so far had their benefits stopped or reduced.

Or one of the 70% of new PIP claimants who did not get any award at all.

Or, if you did get a PIP award, you were one of the 71% whose award lasts two years or less

More happily, you could be one of the nearly 60% of new ESA claimants who are put in the support group.

And, even more happily, you may be one of the over 75% of PIP and ESA claimants who are now winning their appeals.

Ending the flood of statistics, we also have news of small changes to the appeals process which are part of a much larger plan to get almost everything online.

And finally, we reveal that the fight for justice for Jodey Whiting isn’t over yet.

Up to October 2019, a lucky 39% of claimants have had their benefit increased when they moved from DLA to PIP.

But set against that is the fact that 25% have lost their entire award on being moved.

And a further 22% have had their benefit reduced but not stopped altogether.

In total, up to October 2019, those percentages mean that 657,000 individual claimants have had to cope with the misery and distress of a sudden, and often dramatic, drop in income.

Claimants most likely to have their awarded stopped are those with mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression, where 40% have had their award stopped and 13% have had it decreased.

But claimants with any condition can find themselves losing out.

16% of claimants with arthritis, for example, lost their award altogether and 35% have had it reduced.

The DWP would like you to believe that the massive changes in who gets an award, and at what rate, is based on a more accurate assessment system.

The reality is that it is founded on a randomly altered set of criteria whose only aim is to reduce the benefits bill, regardless of the effect on individual claimants’ lives.

Meanwhile, the success rate for new pip claims continues to plummet.

Only 30% of new claimants got an award in October 2019, down from an average of 42% since PIP was introduced.

In the last three months for which figures are available, the award rates for all new claims, excluding terminal illness, has fallen dramatically:

August 2019 37%

September 2019 32%

October 2019 30%

There has been no explanation from the DWP as to why this is happening.

PIP Claims Training Birmingham 27 FebruaryMOST NEW PIP AWARDS LAST LESS THAN TWO YEARS
Another aspect of PIP that is causing concern is the brief nature of many awards.

71% of new PIP claimants were given an award lasting only up to two years in October 2019.

Again, it is claimants with mental health conditions who are most likely to get the worst deal.

The government has said it intends to double the length of the minimum PIP award, from 9 to 18 months, but this may not reduce the number of awards that last two years or less.

On a happier note, the latest DWP statistics show that, for the quarter to June 2019, 58% of new ESA claimants were placed in the support group,

This is an increase of 5% on the previous quarter.

17% were placed in the work-related activity group (WRAG), down 4% on the previous quarter.

26% were found fit for work, unchanged from the previous quarter.

For repeat ESA assessments:

80% were placed in the support group

13% were place in the WRAG

6% were found fit for work.

There’s another piece of positive news for claimants and deeply shaming news for the DWP.

The success rates for PIP and ESA appeals are continuing to rise.

The success rate for claimants who appeal against a PIP decision now stands at a colossal 76%. The rate has risen by 1% every quarter since the beginning of 2018/19.

For ESA, the figure is even higher. The success rate has jumped 2% since the last quarter and now stands at 77%.

For DLA the success rate is 69%.

For UC the figure is 61%.

However, the DWP will take great comfort in the effectiveness of their campaign to cut the number of claimants who actually make it to an appeal.

Overall, the number of social security appeals has dropped by 22%, compared to the same quarter a year ago.

The most dramatic fall has been in ESA appeals, which have plunged by 54%. In part, this can be explained by the replacement of some ESA awards with UC.

But PIP appeal numbers have also fallen by 15%.

One thing we can be sure of: the fall is not due to an improvement in DWP decision making.

Staying with appeals, we have news of impending changes to the process as the Tribunals Service continues its race to digitise everything it can.

The current changes are small but they are part of a programme that will lead to a very different appeal system over time.

Later this month a new paper appeals form, the SSCS1PE, will replace the current SSCS1 form for people who do not make use of the ‘Appeal a decision online’ service.

The layout of the new paper form will mirror the sequence of screens used in the online form. This will allow appeal forms to be bulk scanned and digitised by the Tribunals Service.

Current forms will still be accepted, but will take longer to process. So, agencies with stocks of the old form might want to replace them as soon as the new form appears.

A new ‘Manage Your Appeal’ service is also due to go live soon.

It will allow appellants not only to submit and track their appeal online, but also to carry out other actions that are currently only possible on paper. This will include submitting further evidence and withdrawing an appeal.

Finally, we have news that the indomitable mother of Jodey Whiting is still fighting for justice for her daughter and to protect other claimants.

Jodey was a vulnerable claimant who took her own life after her ESA was improperly stopped.

Many thousands of Benefits and Work readers signed the Justice for Jodey Whiting petition calling for an independent inquiry into the benefits-related deaths of claimants.

However, even though the petition received over 55,000 signatures and the DWP admitted they had made mistakes, they refused to hold an inquiry.

At Jodey’s inquest the coroner also refused to consider the role of the DWP in Jodey’s death.

But Jodey’s mother, Joy Dove, has now gained the support of solicitors Leigh Day in a bid to hold a new inquest into her daughter’s death.

The family are arguing that new information exists which wasn’t available to the original coroner.

This includes a report by the Independent Case Examiner, who found a large number of failures to follow proper procedures and safeguarding rules by the DWP.

Leigh Day have applied to the Attorney General for a new inquest to be opened into Jodey’s death.

We’ll let you know what happens

Good Luck,

Steve Donnison

DLA to PIP success after MR
“Today I got my pip mandatory reconsideration letter, I’d like to thank everybody for their help. This site is a godsend. My original decision was standard for both, I was 2 points off of enhanced for both.
Today I got the letter saying they had changed their decision to enhanced for both what a relief.”

Give yourself the best possible chance of getting the right PIP, ESA or UC 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: 22748

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

PIP Claims Training Thursday 27 February, Birmingham
“Excellent course. Feel more confident in completing PIP forms.” Andy Smith, Futures Housing

“Really enjoyable course and trainer.” Maria Taylor, Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Trust

“Covered everything I needed to know.” Paula Halkic, Lancs & Morecambe MS Society

Places are now available for our next PIP open training day for professionals.

Get more details and download a booking form.

Birmingham too far away? Complete our brief training request form and let us know where you’d like us to run a training day and what subjects you’d like covered.

Changes to appeal process
The Tribunals Service is introducing further changes to the appeal process as part of its drive to move tribunals online.

Almost 6 out of 10 new ESA claimants put in support group
Figures released by the DWP last month show that almost six out of ten new employment and support allowance (ESA) claimants were placed in the support group.

Legal fight for new inquest into death of Jodey Whiting
The family of Jodey Whiting, a vulnerable claimant who died after her employment and support allowance (ESA) was improperly stopped, have launched a legal bid to have a new inquest examine the role of the DWP in her death.

PIP and ESA appeal success rates rise again
The success rate for personal independence payment (PIP) and employment and support allowance (ESA) appeals has risen yet again, statistics published last month by the Tribunals Service reveal.

Almost half of DLA to PIP claimants have benefit stopped or reduced
Almost half of disability living allowance (DLA) to personal independence payment (PIP) claimants have had their benefit reduced or stopped altogether according to data published by the DWP last month.

Most new PIP awards last less than two years
Figures released by the DWP last month reveal that the vast majority of new personal independence payment (PIP) claimants receive only a short-term award of up to two years.

PIP success rates plummet to fewer than one in three
The success rate for new personal independence payment (PIP) claims continues to plummet according to figures released by the DWP last month.

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.

DLA to PIP success at MR
“Thrilled today to receive MR decision letter detailing Enhanced awards on both Daily Living and Mobility for Ongoing Period. Has been a hard slog. Took x2 face to face assessments the first in late July resulting in 2 points only for daily living, Zero for mobility. I complained formally to Capita directly after the assessment for the exceedingly poor report and inexperienced, incompetent Assessor . . . Thanks for your advice to complain and for the excellent guides which makes horrible form filling in a tad more doable.”

Great news
“sent my esa50 renewal back about 14 weeks ago and just got decision letter still in support group without a medical. used the guides and sent supporting letters and brilliant outcome.”

Support Group without WCA
“After a lot of hassle. Thank you for all the help on here. After 7 years I was sent a new ESA to fill in. Used the guide on here again, sent it back with all my medical evidence and an up to date consultant report. Was told I had to go for a WCA. Needed to postpone the date due to a death in the family…So I didn't go. And then worried as I'd had nothing in writing. 3 weeks later I had a decision and am still in support group.”

PIP Review success
“Hello Gordon and colleagues and a big thank you for all your help, After a successful PIP review for my husband [moved up to both enhanced care and mobility on the mental side of things]”

PIP award
“I have received my PIP decision, paper based decision from submission to receiving decision three weeks, awarded for 6 years. Excellent site! Thank you.”

PIP and Support Group
“Thank you for all the advice in your documents so far. I've used it to good effect and my friend, who has a brain injury, is in receipt of PIP (both enhanced) and ESA in the support group.”

DLA to PIP success
“Thank you so much for the guides, they were great, i spent a week filling in the forms along with my wife for her pip assessment.we managed to obtain written statements from some of the the people who are treating her on an ongoing basis. the step by step guidance was amazing in helping to change the way we filled in the forms as it helped us to understand how not to overlook important details which some may find very private and not want to include. On the day of the assessment the nurse who assessed my wife was very understanding and although she was very thorough and professional with some really probing questions she made the process less stressful for my wife by making sure she was coping ,offered a short break and fetched her some water. maybe we were lucky but i got the impression that she truly cared about her job in a fair manner. After a tense six weeks the dreaded brown envelope dropped through our letterbox,it was opened with a bit of trepidation but my wife was awarded the same as she had on DLA. Thank you from the both of us.”

PIP award
“Gary I would just like to say thank you for you advice, I received my award letter enhanced rate on both counts for three years.”

ESA success
“Had to complete an ESA50 booklet to be returned by early July 2019. I carefully answered each question with help of your excellent guides in the hope I would not need A WCA. I'm now 62 and suffering from Anxiety/Depression, chronic Fibromyalgia and Osteoarthritis. Heard nothing until September when I was informed I had to attend f2f interview. I was terrified at the thought as 2 years ago the HCP 'lied by omission' which led to downgrade to WRAG and subsequent MR......so this time I asked for the interview to be recorded. After only 3 weeks wait (I was told 6-8) the dreaded brown envelope arrived. Must be bad news I thought. Its too quick. Sat and stared at it for 20 minutes before I dared to open it. Couldn't believe result. I remain in Support Group for next 2 years! Many many thanks to B&W for your help and advice. I also believe that a recorded interview leaves no room for information to be distorted or misconstrued as happened previously. Once again thank you. Couldn't have done it without you!”

DLA to PIP success
“Hi,just a message to say I have transferred from DLA to PIP after a home visit assessment. I didn't request this but never mind.The face to face went reasonably well but as a lot of members probably feel I thought I would loose my award. In fact I went from middle rate care to standard rate care and I was even awarded standard mobility. The letter stated the award was for an on going period to be looked at again in 2029 when I will be 77. I am over the moon about this and it will take a lot of stress away which makes my health problems worse. I would like to thank the site for all the information that has helped me over the years with ESA when I had to give up work because of serious heart problems. I have just renewed my subscription and intend to do so every year for the benefit of other people who may need the site.Once again thanks to everyone at the site.”

PIP decision
“Just rang PIP …I have been awarded Standard rate Daily Living but no Mobility until 2023. I am very pleased with the outcome as I was only on low rate DLA for Daily Living and Mobility so I am a bit better off… Thank you to Gordon, BIS and Gary for your invaluable support during the period of my PIP claim.”

Give yourself the best possible chance of getting the right PIP, ESA or UC 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: 22748

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

Fill in the brief form to let us know if you'd like us to put on an open training day where you are. It doesn’t commit you to anything at all.

Good luck,

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


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