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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.

 DLA to PIP success
“Hi, Thank you for the moderators help and the guides. I have been awarded enhanced rate PIP and lower rate mobility. (I have mental health and chronic fatigue syndrome). They did the assessment on paper plus a short phone call to one of my health professionals (who offered to be contacted in her supporting letter). It was very hard doing the form but I put in as much detail as I possibly could and as much supporting evidence as possible too. The award lasts for 18 months. Thanks again and good wishes to everybody having to deal with these assessments.”
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USE YOUR 20% OFF ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP COUPON BEFORE MIDNIGHT FRIDAY, 21 JULY
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Dear Reader,

This is our last newsletter, and money-off coupon, until Friday 6 September.

Parliament is about to go into recess and will return on 5th September, briefly, before the conference season begins.

That should mean that we are spared any more new initiatives or bogus consultations before the Autumn and gives us all a chance to recharge our batteries.

But if anything dramatic does occur relating to benefits, we’ll bring out a special edition.

 

PIP ROLL OUT BEHIND SCHEDULE
The roll out of PIP is running far behind schedule, the DWP have confirmed.

All existing DLA claimants should have been ‘invited’ to claim PIP by April of this year.

But a poster on the Rightsnet forum has confirmed that this target is now history.

Instead the aim is now that all working age DLA claimants will have received their invitation letters by late 2018, with the final assessments and transfers not being completed until mid-2019.

However, we reported last month that there had been a huge fall in the number of DLA to PIP cases being sent to Atos and Capita since January of this year.

So, whether the DWP will stick to this new target remains to be seen.

 

UC ROLL OUT MASSIVELY BEHIND SCHEDULE
Instead, the total number of people in receipt of UC is just 540,000 according to the latest DWP figures.

The UC roll out is more than 90% behind schedule and is not now expected to be completed until 2022.

Though even that target seems massively optimistic, given that the vast majority of claimants so far have been the simplest claims, and there is no indication that the DWP’s software systems will cope with a huge increase in complex cases.

Citizens Advice published a report earlier this month asking the government to pause the roll out of UC because of the major problems it is causing even the most straightforward claimants, including 57% having to borrow money while waiting for their first payment.

The DWP, however, have dismissed the concerns of Citizens Advice and confirmed that the roll out of full service UC will increase from 5 areas a month to 50 areas a month from October.

 

BEING ASKED ABOUT YOUR VALUES COULD LEAD TO AN ESA SANCTION
New ESA claimants obliged to take part in a Health and Work Conversation (HWC) should be aware that if they are asked to carry out a ‘My Values’ exercise then they are potentially being considered for a sanction.

Following a Freedom of Information Act request, Benefits and Work has received a large bundle of documents relating to the HWC currently being rolled out to new ESA claimants across the country. We’ve published these documents in the ESA section of the members area.

Full roll out of the HWC is expected to happen by the Autumn.

The HWC is a compulsory interview which new ESA claimants will be obliged to take part in at around week four of their claim, long before there has been any decision as to whether they should be in the support group and thus not required to undertake work-related activities.

Some claimants are exempt, see the full article for more details.

The HWC requires claimants to draw up an action plan, detailing steps they can take ‘to move closer to goals that relate to work or health’.

This can be things like applying for training or contacting their local branch of Mind.

However, as part of the HWC, some claimants will also be asked to complete a ‘My values’ exercise..

In this exercise they will be asked to think about ‘what they value in life beyond work and health’.

Suggestions include:

Being good at art.

Enjoying sports.

Following government or politics.

Relationships with friends or family.

Work coaches are told to use this exercise with claimants where, in the work coaches opinion:

‘The claimant is quite defensive – they really aren’t engaging with me.’

‘I think the claimant would benefit from spending some time thinking about what’s important to them.’

‘The claimant just doesn’t want to open up to me at all and have this conversation.’

Given that you can have your ESA sanctioned if the work coach considers that you have failed to participate in the HWC, you should be aware that being asked to do the ‘My Values’ exercise could be an indication that the work coach is considering a sanction unless you participate more fully.

The HWC bears considerable resemblance to the work-focused health-related assessment (WFHRA) which was an interview which used to take place, in theory, immediately after a WCA.

The purpose of the WFHRA was to “assess the extent to which your capability for work may be improved by the taking of steps in relation to your physical or mental condition.”

The WFHRA was abandoned in July 2010 due to having achieved only “mixed results”.

We suspect the WHC will go the same way before many years have passed. However, many claimants may have suffered sanctions or undertaken steps that put their health at risk before that happens.

Good luck,

Steve Donnison

 Benefits and Work guides covers

PIP paper tribunal success
“I would just like to thank you so so much for all the help and advice given to me to help with my claim. I have just received my letter telling me that I have won my appeal with a paper hearing. I received 0 points on my assessment but have now been given standard rate for daily living which is what I had previously been on, so I am now very relieved . joining this site was the best money I have ever spent. thank you”

 

BOOST YOUR PIP AND ESA CHANCES - 20% OFF ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP – OFFER ENDS MIDNIGHT FRIDAY, 21 JULY
ESA – WRAG to SG
“The brown letter arrived today after having f t f 2weeks ago, gone from Wrag to S G. All thanks to B@W and for all the advice available. Thank you so much”

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: 94938

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, 21 July

 

LATEST NEWS
Being asked about your values could lead to an ESA sanction
New employment and support allowance (ESA) claimants subject to the Health and Work Conversation (HWC) should be aware that if they are asked to carry out a ‘My Values’ exercise then they are potentially being considered for a sanction.

DLA to PIP roll out behind schedule
The roll out of PIP is running far behind schedule, the DWP have confirmed.

Universal credit roll out massively behind schedule
The total number of people in receipt of universal credit (UC) is just 540,000 according to the latest DWP figures, even though the original target was for 7 million claimants to be receiving the benfit this year.

 

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 coversPIP Tribunal success
“We WON!! Got decision made last Dec (2016) overturned at the Tribunal this month, I urge everyone to follow your guide or go to Citizens Advise for help, my husband had his review early, should have been this Sept. He lost his PIP, we had to return the car, he suffers disability & had mental health issues, the situation did not help, the interviewer at Capita made several mistakes in her report, it was as if she had never met with us. Many, many thanks for your help.”

PIP for five years
“Im in shock after learning my fate about PIP decision . Had a really bad assessment over three weeks ago . it only lasted half a hour and not all activity's were covered or my healthy conditions. Had four months back pay deposited in my bank this week and ive just received the decision in writing . I get PIP until 2021 ,at the standard daily living component . I got points for activity's that i wasn't even asked about . ... I am just glad its all over and i cant thank this site enough, what you are doing for people is amazing with you giving us the relevant information , support and advice . I dont feel so alone now and so glad I came across this site two years ago”

DLA to PIP…success!
“Having applied for PIP on behalf of our daughter who had an indefinite award for DLA, (mobility and care) back in April...we were fairly certain that we would be OK re the care, but the mobility side was a real concern, so we followed your guidelines regarding 'planning a journey' ...and in other areas...we received the dreaded brown envelope a few days ago....RESULT! no interview....and our daughter has been awarded the higher rate in care and mobility for 10 years...such a relief....so...many thanks, and we'll keep subscribing to hopefully help others to get the results they deserve!”

PIP success!!
“Thank you SO much "Benefits and Work" website, you got me through, with the help of a GOOD Friend who escorted me to the Hearing. Enhanced rate for Daily Living but NO mobility. (I didn't expect any). Thanks again to you all here.”

ESA support group success
“After 3 days away knowing the brown envelope was at home waiting for me, I was thrilled and relieved to find I have been put in the support group.
Thank you for all the information you supply on here and to other forum users whose posts about there experiences helped me through this very stressful process…The assessment/ medical was quite straightforward, lady was very polite and showed quite a lot of empathy during it. my condition is a physical one and so quite obvious to see, she put all my information back together for me and carried it back to reception handing it to my friend who had driven me there......I can now get on with my life. thank you all again for providing this site.”


PIP enhanced rate awarded!
“This is a message I never ever expected to write. It's a victory for me and I hope a step forward for others like me. I have just been awarded enhanced rate on both daily living and mobility for disabilities that ALL stem from mental health conditions. Namely, PTSD, Depression & Agoraphobia. I've been awarded them for 2 years.
I prepared very thoroughly and it took me weeks and weeks to fill in the PIP2 …think the secret to this success was the volume and style of my written evidence that I submitted to support my claim. But I wrote it following the guidelines supplied to me by this website which were invaluable. It's still the hardest submission of anything in writing I've ever achieved. It caused panic attacks, and days and days of illness and a sense of hopelessness I hope never to experience again. . . My sincerest thanks to everyone who contributes to this site. Particularly Gordon & Mrs Hurtyback. I'm still angry. But the clouds have parted and I can breathe. I'm wishing you all courage and fortitude in your process and hope this awfulness will be abolished very soon.”


Mandatory reconsideration success
“...I posted the other day after speaking to dwp regarding sons MR . Got decision revised from no award for pip to enhanced daily living and standard mobility . I've just received decision in the post. Can't believe after only 4 points from health assessment the DM has awarded 22 points for daily living and 10 points for mobility on the extra evidence I sent for mandatory reconsideration. To all you members out there i know this is a difficult and can be very stressful time but stick to ya guns if I can do it -anyone can. Once again a BIG THANK YOU to BW , Gordon and all moderators on this amazing site.”

 DLA to PIP success
“Hi, Thank you for the moderators help and the guides. I have been awarded enhanced rate PIP and lower rate mobility. (I have mental health and chronic fatigue syndrome). They did the assessment on paper plus a short phone call to one of my health professionals (who offered to be contacted in her supporting letter). It was very hard doing the form but I put in as much detail as I possibly could and as much supporting evidence as possible too. The award lasts for 18 months. Thanks again and good wishes to everybody having to deal with these assessments.”

ESA Tribunal success
“Hi everyone, I just wanted to let you know that I had my tribunal last week and I won! I have agoraphobia, anxiety and OCD. My panic attacks and anxiety prevented me from attending a tribunal in person at the court - However, I requested that I could have a phone tribunal, and it was allowed. I spoke to the judge and doctor over the phone and I could answer questions and put across some points in person. I was in a situation, like many, where I could not get representation as I was not considered a 'vulnerable' enough person by CAB. They helped me, but could not provide a rep as they have very limited funding. I knew that paper appeals have a lower success rate and was very concerned because I simply would not have been able to get to the court - But allowing me to talk over the phone was the best thing for me and my case. The judge even wrote that my evidence was important to winning the appeal. I went from 6 points to 18 points and from the WRAG to the support group with recommendation I am not medically assessed for 24 months. Anyone who is prevented from attending due to their illness and specifically anxiety - Please don't lose hope of having your say - ask if you can do it via the telephone. Prepare a good case on paper to back it up, but do ask! Thank you Benefits and Work - this Website is so valuable, and please don't give up- keep fighting for the support you deserve.”

Son’s PIP granted with better results
“My 32 yr old son has Autism. When he was moved to PIP he/we were told he got '0' points at the face to face assessment, apparently because we arrived on time and he was smartly dressed. He even managed to get right the question ' if I spend 92p, how much change from a pound' . This apparently means he can budget and manage his own money! We finally decided to go to tribunal and sent all his diagnoses and a copy of the assignment provided on you web site ( he scored 20 points). We then got a long phone call explaining why he didn't qualify!!! At the end of the call I confirmed that we would be going to tribal as I had already spoken to my solicitor who would love to represent. 3 weeks later, PIP granted for 3 years at maximum for living and basic for travel.
So this contact is to say a big thank you on behalf of my son and our family.
I followed all your instructions in your how to claim pack, determined never to give up we got a better result than expected. ( my son only got 'basic' payments on DLA )
Thank you so much for your help. Even though our dispute has been sorted, at least for 3 years, I will renew my membership and hope we can help and inspire others to continue their claims.”

BOOST YOUR PIP AND ESA CHANCES - 20% OFF ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP – OFFER ENDS MIDNIGHT FRIDAY, 21 JULY
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: 94938

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, 21 July

Good luck,

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