There has been a huge and unexplained drop in the success rate of mandatory reconsiderations for disability living allowance (DLA) to personal independence (PIP) claimants. There has been no similar fall in the success rate of challenges to new PIP claims, where the success rate has been lower all along.
Mandatory reconsideration s the process where claimants wishing to challenge a benefits decision have to ask for it to be looked at again by the DWP before they can appeal directly to a tribunal.
The DWP give figures for awards changed, but not whether this was an increase or decrease in the award. However, in the vast majority of cases the award is likely to have been increased.
DLA to PIP
The proportion of mandatory reconsiderations that resulted in a change to the claimant’s award where they were moving from DLA to PIP was initially very high. In the last three months of 2014 it was running at 50% of all mandatory reconsiderations.
However, since then it has fallen repeatedly, until by July of this year the proportion of awards being changed had dropped to just 22% and still falling.
New PIP claims
The situation for mandatory reconsiderations for new PIP claims is very different.
In the last three months of 2014 the proportion of awards changed on mandatory reconsideration was running at 16% – 17%.
By July of this year the figure stood at 14%. Still a fall, but nothing like the over %0% drop for DLA to PIP challenges.
There is no obvious explanation for the fall in successful challenges, other than the DWP’s desire to reduce the cost of disability benefits by 20%.
However, as we reported last week, the success rate for PIP appeals is currently rising every quarter and now stands at 57%.
So, for claimants, the important thing is not to be ground down by the DWP’s endless refusals, but to try to fight your way through to a tribunal, where your chances of success remain very high.