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.

PIP review success
“The brown envelope came today & ive been awarded enhanced care (as before) & standard mobility (new). What a weight off! For four years anyway!
Invaluable info & guidance from this site & comfort knowing I'm not on my own in feeling the way I do in this experience. The best £20 I would advise anyone to spend.”
Read more feedback.

 

USE YOUR 20% OFF ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP COUPON BEFORE MIDNIGHT FRIDAY, 19 JANUARY
More about coupons

 

Dear Reader,

In this newsletter we look at the victories scored by claimants with mental health conditions trying to claim PIP mobility. We also advise on what you should consider if you may be affected.

We bemoan the unwelcome return and promotion of Esther McVey.

We also look at bogus benefits fraud tip-offs and reveal that Atos fully support the idea of recording PIP assessments.

Finally, we highlight freelance writing opportunities here at Benefits and Work for welfare rights workers.

 

PIP MOBILITY AND PSYCHOLOGICAL DISTRESS
On 21 December the high court ruled, in a case known as RF, that changes to PIP legislation rushed in by Theresa May’s government in March 2017 were discriminatory and unlawful.

The changes followed a ruling by the upper tribunal, in a case known as MH, which should have made it easier for claimants who suffer severe anxiety to qualify for the mobility component of PIP, including enhanced mobility.

Not only did the DWP appeal against this decision, they also introduced new legislation to ensure that even if they lost their appeal they could continue to discriminate against claimants with mental health conditions.

The position now is that claimants must win both the further appeal in MH and the appeal that the DWP are now trying to lodge in RF in order to end the DWP’s discrimination.

That may sound like a tall order.

But the courts came down so heavily on the side of claimants in both cases that there is a good chance that higher courts will take a similar view.

MH is due to be heard in June. We don’t have a date for RF yet.

But there could even be further appeals after that. So it may be many months before a final ruling is made.

But if the decision in your PIP claim was unfavourable because the DWP are still following their own rules, rather than the ones the courts have said they should follow, then you should consider lodging an appeal. Get advice if you possibly can, because there is always a risk attached to appealing if you have any award of PIP at all.

Your appeal will probably be put on hold until these cases are decided. But if claimants win them both it could mean the DWP losing a lot of appeals in a very short space of time.

There’s more details on all of this in our newly updated PIP claims guide for members.

 [Note:  this section was ammended after publication on 17 Jan as we had transposed the names of the cases].

THE RETURN OF MCVEY
The news that Esther McVey has been appointed as the new secretary of state for work and pensions will have come as a bitter blow to many claimants.

Indeed, if forced to choose between McVey and IDS, we suspect many claimants would have preferred the return of IDS.

McVey’s harshness, suspicion of claimants and willingness to misuse statistics made her a deeply unpopular minister for disabled people in record time.

Her comment that it was right that more people were being obliged to use food banks in order to help the country pay off its debts was probably the one that sealed her fate. It almost certainly led to her losing her seat in the 2015 general election.

Whether McVey will have the opportunity to do much mischief whilst the government remains so preoccupied with Brexit remains to be seen.

But her appointment, only after Justine Greening had turned down the post, is unquestionably an insult to sick and disabled claimants throughout the UK and a further source of concern for the future.

 

BOGUS TIP-OFFS
The Independent has discovered that 87% of tip-offs to the DWP about benefit fraud were closed because there was little or no evidence of fraud.

Many of the remaining investigations will have concluded, after examining the evidence, that fraud was not involved.

We know that many tip-offs are malicious. We also know that enormous emotional damage may be caused to claimants who are subject to an investigation.

Any civilised system would not take account of anonymous tip-offs when they are clearly so unreliable.

If you, or someone you know, has been subject to a fraud investigation we’ be interested to learn more in the comments section for this article.

 

ATOS “WOULD FULLY SUPPORT” RECORDING OF ALL PIP MEDICALS
Atos have told the work and pensions committee that they “would fully support introducing a simple, straightforward process for the recording of assessments if the DWP select to introduce this facility”.

The chances of the DWP ever agreeing to this seem very slim, however.

In the same document, Atos also revealed that:

Turnover amongst health professionals is running at 33% a year;

4 out of 10 requests by Atos to GPs and consultants for medical evidence are never responded to;

home visits for PIP assessments now take place in 16% of cases but paper based assessments are down to 14%.

 

FREELANCE WRITING OPPORTUNITIES FOR EXPERIENCED WELFARE RIGHTS WORKERS
We’re recruiting welfare rights workers to work as freelance writers for the site. You must be currently employed part-time as a welfare rights worker or have left employment as a welfare rights worker within the last six months. You need to be available for a minimum of 8 hours a week and be able to work to strict deadlines. You also need to be able to write about benefits in a way that is accessible for both claimants and non-specialist support workers.

Closing date 30 January 2018.

Good luck,

Steve Donnison

 

Benefits and Work guides covers

ESA awarded indefinitely
“Hi, firstly I would like to thank you as by using your guides my son was awarded ESA in the support group again. We received his award letter today and was surprised to find out that he would not be called in for an assessment again. I called to check and they confirmed that this was indeed the case and the award was indefinite.”

 

BOOST YOUR PIP AND ESA CHANCES - 20% OFF ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP – OFFER ENDS MIDNIGHT FRIDAY.
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: 66782

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

 

BENEFITS NEWS
Atos ‘would fully support’ the recording of PIP assessments

In written evidence to the work and pensions committee, Atos have said that they ‘would fully support’ the recording of personal independence payment (PIP) assessments.

Almost 90% of benefit fraud tip-offs are wrong
The Independent has today published figures showing that 87% of tip-offs to the DWP about benefit fraud were closed because there was little or no evidence of fraud.

PIP mobility and psychological distress update
Just before Christmas claimant RF won a vital high court challenge against changes to the law relating to PIP mobility. However, the victory could still be overturned on appeal, meaning there has not been any change to the way PIP is awarded yet and there is another case know as MH which could also have an effect.

Deeply detested McVey is new work and pensions secretary of state
Esther McVey, the deeply detested former minster for disabled people and employment minister, has become the new secretary of state for work and pensions in the current cabinet reshuffle.

 

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.

DLA to PIP success
Benefits and Work guides covers“Many thanks for all your help in my transfer from FLA to PIP.I have been to two tribunals in the past ten years & have been successful both times. I was dreading the brown envelope arriving & actually felt sick as I picked it from the doormat. I then worried for a while about phoning to apply. My letter arrived to arrange my interview for assessment. Another period of continuous worry !My assessment was fine , the lady was lovely. Finally my decision letter arrived last week and I was awarded higher in each category.The delight was emence. I only know that as I got older the more I felt like running away this time & just giving up.I think that I may have had it not been for family & the huge support from W& B. I still cannot quite believe that I have no mo r worry for at least ten years.”

I won! PIP award, standard rate for daily living
“Hurrah! My PIP appeal tribunal took place 2 days ago and I received the award notice in the post this afternoon. I've been awarded standard rate for daily living until May 2019. . . Thanks again, B&W and especially Gordon. Your calm response to my stressed post about my case really helped, especially as it came to representing myself in tribunal.”

ESA success
“Just wanted to say a massive thank you!! I had an ESA reassessment in October and was moved from the support group into the WRAG. I asked for a mandatory reconsideration and submitted further evidence in support. Without the help of the guides on this site I was able to get through both processes and today I've received a letter informing me that I've been reinstated to the support group. To say I'm happy and relieved is a huge understatement ....Thanks again to all at Benefits and Work for the wonderful work you do!”

PIP award !!!!!!!!!!!!!
“Just called PIP see about my move, was on higher Mobility Middle care indef.
Have been awarded HIGHER HIGHER TILL 2027 !”

ESA support group
“Hello every one.I've been rewarded ESA beginning from October 2015,and I am in the Support group.I've been also rewarded with PIP at the Standard rate for mobility and daily leaving,thanks to you,thanks to this site from where I've learned every single steps from application to Mandatory Reconsideration Letter and Appeal against the initial decision made by DWP.And I thank you so much for your existence

ESA support group
“I attended a medical assessment in October and received my decision just before Christmas.
To my surprise I was placed in the support group for 12 months.
Although I followed the guides on here, because I have mental health issues I didn't expect to pass at all.
Just wanted to thank you for the information you provide.”

PIP Success Thanks to Benefits and Work!
“On Friday 22nd December 2018 I received in the post the greatest Christmas present I could have hoped for in that I had been awarded the Enhanced Rates of both the Daily Living and Mobility Needs components of PIP! I can assure the readership that I breathed a huge sigh of relief.My success was primarily due to the practical and the ingenious advice I received from carefully considering the information and advice contained within the publication “The Best Possible PIP Claims and Reviews on Mental Health and Learning Difficulties Grounds” as well as personal advice online from the Personal Advisors at Benefits at Work.
I also regard my awards as the greatest gift I have ever received all for the small sum of £19.95!”

PIP success
“Thank you to you for your practical help in my PIP claim. Is this a record though, I received my questionare on the 1st October and returned it on the 10th November, medical interview 27th November, decision 13th December!! Thanks to your invaluable fact sheets I have been awarded higher rate mobility and care till 2022. Your advice is more than worth following.”

PIP MR result
“I have been awarded enhanced for both!I actually had some hope when I was told the DM was awaiting some further report from the HP, just because I knew that meant the DM hadn't rubber stamped the original decision. (My previous two MRs were done within a week. This one took two months.)I have no doubt that this is because this time I had the benefit of your guides. I submitted extra evidence and supporting letters for my MR. I joined this site to late to know I should do that with my original reassessment.“

PIP award
“Thank you so much for the hep and guide's I have been awarded standard living and enhanced mobility. I would not have been able to get through it with out your site. Well worth becoming a member, I will continue to do so.”

DLA to PIP tribunal success
“Zero Points at Assessment, Enhanced on both at Tribunals!. Huge, huge thanks to B+W, could not have done it without you.
Couldn't get a representative but lovely "hand holders" from PSU were great and did help.
Still in shock and think it will take days to sink in but aware that DWP could still argue but, for now, after a whole year's increasing dread and fear, just thrilled.” 

BOOST YOUR PIP AND ESA CHANCES - 20% OFF ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP – OFFER ENDS MIDNIGHT FRIDAY.
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: 66782

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

UNSUBSCRIBE OR CHANGE YOUR DETAILS