Login FormClose

Free ESA, PIP and DLA Updates

With over 140,000 subscribers our fortnightly updates bulletin is the UK's leading source of benefits news. Get the facts about what's changing, how it affects you and how to prepare.   Get your free benefits updates now.

Went from 0 points on both to 19 & 12 for PIP
“Just wanted to say a massive thank you for all the guidance and info you've given on here. Put my application in October last year, had assessment December, for given 0 points for both. Put in a mandatory reconsideration and was changed to 6 for daily living and 4 for mobility. Put in for an appeal, and they've looked at my case again before even being given a tribunal date and found out I've now been award 19 for daily living and 12 for mobility. I'm so relieved. It's been a fight and felt like giving up so many times, but it really is worth pursuing and spending the time reading through everything on here to help your case. Been awarded till 2019 too. Thank you all so much!”
Read more feedback

 

USE YOUR 20% OFF ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP COUPON BEFORE MIDNIGHT FRIDAY, 26 MAY 
More details

 

Dear Reader,

In today’s newsletter we reveal the DWP’s unlawful targets for turning down mandatory reconsiderations, look at what the election manifestos offer to claimants and ask for your help in challenging the recent change to the law relating to personal independence payment (PIP).

 

MANDATORY RECONSIDERATION TARGETS
The DWP have as good as admitted that mandatory reconsiderations are a sham.

In response to a recent Freedom of Information query, the DWP revealed that they have a target of upholding the original decision in 80% of all mandatory reconsideration requests.

Worse still, they managed to exceed that target in the year to March 2017 by turning down 87.5% of all applications.

The DWP have since claimed that PIP is not included in the 80% target.

However, it remains the case that over 80% of PIP mandatory reconsideration requests also fail to get the decision changed – however coincidental the DWP might claim that figure is.

Having a target for the percentage of requests that should fail almost certainly renders the mandatory reconsideration process unlawful.

In legal terms, the DWP is fettering the discretion of decision makers, who should be free to decide every case on its merits, rather than worrying about being disciplined if they fail to hit their targets.

Just how rigged mandatory reconsideration decisions are is made absolutely clear by one other statistic.

63% of claimants who have their mandatory reconsideration request turned down and who then go on to appeal to an independent tribunal, win their case.

So, no matter what the decision is on your initial claim, and no matter how utterly you are turned down at the reconsideration stage, don’t lose heart. You have a very good chance indeed of winning your appeal.

 

MANIFESTO COMMITMENTS
We’ve now all had the chance to see what some of the main political parties are offering claimants in their manifestos.

It’s fair to say that there was nothing at all in the Conservative manifesto to cheer sick and disabled claimants.

The Lib Dems did rather better with offers to, amongst other things:

  • reinstate the work-related activity component of employment and support allowance
  • scrap the bedroom tax
  • scrap the work capability assessment and replace it with a new test administered by local authorities
  • raise the earnings limit for carers allowance to £150 a week.

But it is Labour who are trying the hardest to win over claimants, south of the border at least. They say that they will:

  • reinstate the work-related activity component of employment and support allowance
  • scrap the Bedroom Tax
  • scrap the Work Capability and Personal Independence Payment assessments and replace them with a personalised, holistic assessment process
  • scrap the sanctions regime
  • implement the court decision on PIP, so that there is real parity of esteem between those with physical and mental-health conditions
  • End the privatisation of assessments
  • End the pointless stress of reassessments for people with severe long-term conditions

A number of people contacted us to complain about our use of the word ‘tiny’ to describe Labour’s chances of winning the election in the last newsletter.

After Monday’s massive U-turn on social care fees by Theresa May, we’re happy to upgrade our estimate of Labour’s chances from tiny to small. Which is not intended to discourage anyone from getting out and voting.

On the contrary, we think it’s vital that claimants do so in massive numbers. A small chance is a great deal better than no chance, which is what many claimants feel they will have if the Conservatives return to power.

 

PIP CHALLENGE
Billie, a claimant with severe mental health issues, has launched a legal challenge against the recent changes to PIP. The new regulations have made it much harder for people with mental health conditions to get an award of the mobility component.

In January of this year the DWP lost a case before a panel of upper tribunal judges.

Rather than accept defeat, the government rushed through new regulations which came into force in March.

The effect is to make it much harder for claimants with a mental health condition to get an award of the mobility component of PIP.

Billie (not her real name) has severe mental health problems which mean that she is extremely vulnerable when travelling. She needs a lot of support to do this reliably and safely.

Billie was refused an award of the mobility component of PIP under the new regulations.

She has launched her High Court challenge on the basis that the change in the law discriminates against claimants with mental health conditions and also on the grounds that the DWP should have carried out a proper consultation before deciding whether to bring in the changes.

Billie and the Public Law Project are collaborating with human rights barrister Aileen McColgan of Matrix Chambers, who is working on a no-win no-fee basis.

However, £3,000 is still needed to cover court fees and other expenses.

We know the government is desperate to slash the benefits bill.

This time it was claimants with mental health conditions who were targeted. Next it could be an claimants with an entirely different condition.

Whatever your health condition, everyone has an interest in ensuring that the DWP learns that it can’t just change the PIP regulations whenever it chooses.

At least, not without facing a serious legal backlash.

If you can afford a small donation, Billie’s Crowdjustice page is here

Good luck,

Steve Donnison

 

Benefits and Work guides covers

PIP awarded
“Hi all I live in northern Ireland and have been going through the process of being transferred from dla to pips .well I got my brown letter today and without having to do a medical I received enhanced care and enhanced mobility until 2021.I would like to thank this site for all the information provided without which I could never have filled my form in so again a big thankyou.”


BOOST YOUR PIP AND ESA CHANCES - 20% OFF ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP – OFFER ENDS MIDNIGHT FRIDAY, 26 MAY
Thank you – PIP awarded
“Pleased to say I was awarded PIP until 2021, after change over from DLA. I followed all your advise and was award the same as your self assement form. Your advise was invaluable Big thank you.”

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: 84376

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, 26 May

 

LATEST NEWS
Can you help overturn the PIP changes?
Can you help? Billie, a claimant with severe mental health issues, has launched a legal challenge against the recent changes to PIP.

Labour promise to scrap PIP and ESA assessments and sack Atos, Capita and Maximus
Labour have made a wide range of promises to improve the lives of claimants in their manifesto published today.

DWP staff expected to turn down 80% of mandatory reconsiderations
A Freedom of Information Act request has revealed the shocking truth that DWP staff are expected to turn down 80% of all mandatory reconsideration requests.

 

GOOD NEWS FROM THE FORUM
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.

Benefits and Work guides coversSupport Group success
“Thanks for all these fantastic information on your site. I have just been placed in the support group. Its taken 1 year to get their with constant updated App letters from all my hospital clinics
I was asked to attend an assessment and when inquired about recording it was told it had been cancelled. Happened twice before i recived a letter saying i know longer need to come.
Followed by a letter from the jobcentre saying i was placed in the support group. Thank you very much again for all your information”


Thank you again
“having started the transfer from DLA to PIP in Febuary, and dreading having rates reduced i have found out today that i have been awarded enhanced rates for both daily needs and mobility until 2023.. has just made our day”

Thank you B&W
“I wanted to Thank this site for the support of the online Guides in completing the new PIP claim. Our local Mencap office advised using B&W to access the online guides - I am so glad I took their advice. Our son was contacted last November regarding the migration from DLA to PIP; we finally received the outcome letter this week. Our son would never be able to understand or make sense of any of this without an advocate. He has Autism, learning disability and dyspraxia…We received the letter this week to say he has been awarded enhanced PIP - we hoped that if anything it would stay the same but the assessor felt his original claim was not correct. The assessor did mention that they are not told the claimants original rate, and in talking I mentioned that we had felt as he has got older that he should be on a higher rate. Without the online guides I really don't know how we would have got our heads around this - we were expecting this awful situation but I have to say the DWP and the assessor have treated us with nothing but empathy and kindness…Thank You B&W - you really did make a situation that along with caring for our son, that little bit more manageable.”

PIP awarded
“Pip awarded for my MS to the enhanced rate for both mobility and daily living, from my dla lower care and higher mobility. Both on an ongoing period ..Thanks for your help.”

0 points to PIP award
“After Capita had assessed me my lifetime award of Middle rate care and Higher rate mobility was stopped as I was awarded no points on both sections. Having read stories from others in the same position on this site it gave me to courage to continue to fight for what I was entitled too. At appeal I was awarded the lower rate for care and Higher rate for mobility which is equivalent to my DLA award. It was a lot of hard work and it has taken its toll on me health wise, but leaving the appeal knowing that I had won was such a wonderful feeling of achievement. Having the use of this website was of so much help in all areas from filling in the forms too the appeal process. I couldn't have done it without the help

DLA to PIP award
“I just wanted to write in to say a very BIG thank you to Steve and all of you wonderful people at Benefits And Work. I [Finally] received my "brown envelope" on Sat 13.05.2017. I have at last reached the end of my [nightmare] journey…HOORAH! I received notification that I have been awarded PIP at the same rates as my current DLA. [STANDARD] PERSONAL CARE & [ENHANCED] MOBILITY This will be until I hit 70 in 2027. So Thank you again Steve & all at B & W without your truly awesome guides I would have lost all hope of fighting for Success. I just don't know what will happen to my Pip award in 2027 if I am still around then.. Nevertheless, I will continue my yearly membership to benefits & work regardless. A very big thank you from a Very grateful member.”

Big Thank you
“Just like to say a big thank you I followed all your advice when filling out my PIP form. I had to go for a f2f which was a bit stressful, the assessor was very nice but to the point. Asked for my report 7 days after my f2f. This was very far. Today I received my award and got standard care and enhanced mobility so very happy the review is in 2021. This is the same award as I scored in your assessment for pip. So thank you”

PIP Result
“I got the results thru for my PIP. Its been about 2 weeks and i have been awarded 5 years enhanced rate for daily living needs and 5 years enhanced rate for mobility needs. Im so relieved that this is over, the stress is truly awful and i know that i will be able to just "not worry" about the postman arriving every afternoon. This site was invaluable in explaining the process and the pitfalls of this whole process. It helps people understand whats happening. Like to thank all you guys responding to all the emails. You all do a fantastic job. THANK YOU!!!”

PIP success!
“Just received my letter and I'm delighted that I've been awarded enhanced rates for both Mobility and Care. Was previously on lower rate mobility so they've actually read the report and listened to the assessor for once… I'm really impressed with the service I received and to top it off I've been awarded it for 10 years.....phew, what a relief!!!”

PIP success
“Just to say after a long stressed out process got awarded standard care and enhanced mobility until 2019. Not got letter yet… Thank you to this site for the fantastic guides but most importantly all the post on the forum which I am always reading. I wish everyone going through this process the best of luck with their claim”

PIP appeal success
“My son had o points following his medical assessment for pip ! Last week we went to appeal court and he won back what he originally had as DLA. Thank you B and W for your guidance and descriptors to use in the submission statement . using these helped my son win his appeal !”

Good news – ESA Support Group
“I found out yesterday (through phoning the ESA helpline) that I have been put in the support group for 18 months. I still haven't had the letter but l, wonderfully, my backdated money appeared in my bank account today. I want to thank Benefits and Work”

Listened to and believed at tribunal
“Hello I just wanted to thank you for your excellent guide to PIP forms and how to appeal. I had a very judgmental assessor and a DWP worker who ignored my medical conditions in my mandatory reconsideration. they awarded me 8 points for care and 4 for mobility. I was very stressed going to the tribunal and so when i went in i was ready to bamboozle them with my situation. However after they introduced themselves and then they told me and my partner that due to the amount of detailed personal and medical information i had given and the DWP had not attended, they were awarding me enhanced care and enhanced mobility. I was so stunned that both myself and my partner burst in to tears and thanked them. And that was that, we left. i am now waiting for PIP to get back to me. I am still stunned by this. Thanks again Benefits and Work i have been a member for a few years and have found you so helpful . I definitely wouldn't have this result with out you.”

PIP success
“Finally my son received his PIP decision today after attending a f2f in March. He has awarded 8 points (from13) for Daily Living and 12 points for Mobility. Thank you guys for all the help on this forum its been a tremendous help.”

Victory with a capital ‘V’
“Just wanted to let you know that I've had my Mandatory Reconsideration Notice through the post this morning and I've had my Enhanced status for daily care for PIP reinstated. I am so happy and relieved. I'm now back to where I have been since 2009 with DLA, the highest rates for mobility and care. I would like to thank you so much for the excellent guide to Mandatory Reconsiderations and Appeals, which set out what you need to do so clearly and concisely. This is the second scrap with ATOS/CAPITA that I've won, thanks to you, with no other assistance, the first being an appeal for ESA to reinstate my Support Group status and now this. Enormously relieved that I haven't got to engage in a bigger scrap in the form of an appeal! Thank you so very much, you are worth every penny of the modest annual membership fee.”

DLA to PIP – Hooray!
“Thanks to the B&W team, I have "migrated" from DLA (high mobility, low care) to PIP (enhanced mobility, enhanced care)!!! I followed your guides & advice to the letter. I sent evidence ie gp letter, repeat prescription form & extra information about my needs. For my face to face assessment I took my mum... The building was anonymous, grey windowless room, 1984 comes to mind. My award is '"ongoing'"=2027! Amen”

DLA to PIP success
“I wanted to say thank you for your advice. My daughter has both ankles fused and had a lifetime award for higher mobility rate of DLA, but on being assessed for PIP was given just a few points. However, she asked for mandatory reconsideration using one of your letter templates and, four weeks after having to hand back her car, has been awarded enhanced mobility for four years! Equally thrilling and exasperating - all that worry and stress of finding and affording another car, tax and insurance for nothing. She is a 4th year medical student and absolutely depends on her car. So thank you again. I'm 66, on care and mobility DLA, and hoping against hope that I won't be reassessed. But I'm reassured that if I am, I'll have access to your advice.”

BOOST YOUR PIP AND ESA CHANCES - 20% OFF ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP – OFFER ENDS MIDNIGHT FRIDAY, 26 MAY
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: 84376

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, 26 May

Good luck,

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