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Free, fortnightly PIP, ESA and DLA Updates

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. Our mailing list is securely managed by icontact in the US.

Thanks B&W
“I would just like to thank you all for the great advice and guidance. I have been on DLA and for the past 18years low rate. With the chance over to PIP , I had heard & read so much bad press about the process. With your great advice I was awarded enhanced rate for personal care & mobility. I cried with delight on receiving the letter. A great weight has been lifted off my mind. Thank you once again”
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Dear Reader,

Unusually, we start with some good news. The government says it’s going to it is going to put an end to “unnecessary” PIP reviews later this summer. Some claimants with severe conditions will benefit.

However, we’ve also learnt that one third of a million DLA claimants have so far been refused an award of PIP, according to the latest statistics. There’s also been a fall in the proportion of new claimants getting an award of PIP.

Still with PIP, we’d like to hear whether you think the DWP’s plan to introduce video recording as standard at PIP assessments is a good thing.

Universal credit (UC) is also in the news again, as the DWP suffers a major court defeat over ESA to UC transfers.

And the National Audit Office (NAO) has condemned UC but says there is now no alternative but to press ahead with it.

 

END TO SOME PIP REVIEWS
The government says that it will end unnecessary PIP reviews from this summer.

It appears that the changes will affect claimants who get both the enhanced rates of PIP and whose condition is likely to stay the same or get worse.

Instead of a full review of their claim, these claimants will have only a “light touch” review every ten years to check that, for example, their contact or bank details have remained the same.

Claimants with progressive conditions, such as Parkinson’s and MS may be most likely to be considered. But we’re very short on detail about the changes as yet. We’ll publish more information as soon as it’s available.

 

LATEST PIP STATISTICS
We now know that up until April of this year, 1,264,000 claimants had been forced to move from DLA to PIP.

Of these, 354,000 were refused any award of PIP at all, approximately 28% of all those assessed.

And the failure rate is rising over time.

The overall failure rate for the 12 months to April 2017 was 27%.

For the 12 months to April 2018 the failure rate rose to 31%.

The latest statistics also reveal that there has been a significant fall in the number of successful PIP new claims. Award rates have fallen from 42% in January to 36% in April.

 

PIP ASSESSMENTS TO BE VIDEO RECORDED
A government minister has announced their intention to ensure that all PIP assessments are video recorded in the future.

Sarah Newton, Minister of State for Disabled People, said:

“A key part of our efforts to improve the assessment process will be making video recording of the PIP assessment a standard part of the process. We will be piloting videoing the assessment with a view to then rolling this out across Great Britain.”

Up until now, recording of assessments has always been audio only.

Do you think video recording is a good idea? Or would you find it too intrusive?

The DWP don’t appear to be planning any sort of consultation on this issue, so we’d love to know what you think.

 

DWP COURT DEFEAT OVER ESA TO UC TRANSFERS
The DWP have suffered yet another major court defeat.

This time the issue was the deliberate impoverishment of claimants forced to transfer from ESA to UC because they had moved to a different local authority.

Claimants who transfer from ESA to UC as part of the “managed migration” process beginning in July 2019 will have transitional protection. This will mean that they are not worse off, initially at least.

But claimants who have a change of circumstances, such as a house move to a new area, get no such protection.

As a result, the claimants in the latest court case were almost £180 a month worse off due to the loss of their severe disability premium (SDP) and enhanced disability premium (EDP).

The court ruled that this was discriminatory and unlawful and the claimants will now receive the income they lost out on.

The DWP announced last week that ESA claimants will no longer be moved to UC until transitional protection begins.

They also announced moves to identify claimants who have lost their SDP and repay them the money they have lost out on.

However, no mention was made in the government’s statement of any intention to compensate claimants for the loss of their EDP.

 

NAO CONDEMNS UC BUT SAYS IT HAS TO STAY
The National Audit Office has found that UC causes hardship, is expensive, inefficient and hugely behind schedule.

It has also found that the supposed gains from UC, such as increased employment, are all unproven and that it will probably never be possible to prove any of them anyway.

Nonetheless, the NAO also says that UC is now so firmly embedded in jobcentres that there is no practical alternative to continuing with the full rollout.

 

FORUM TEMPORARY CLOSURE
The forum is now temporarily closed to allow Gordon to take a very well deserved break. It will reopen for the afternoon session on Monday 2 July.

Good luck,

Steve Donnison

 

Benefits and Work guides covers

DLA to PIP success
“Have received the dreaded brown envelope today. However, to my complete surprise I have been awarded the enhanced rate on both. This has only happened due to your brilliant website. Thankyou so much, I am so, so pleased.”

 

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: 93842

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.
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BENEFITS NEWS
PIP appeal success up 7% on last year to 71%

Appeal statistics released by the Tribunals Service show that the success rate for PIP appeals has risen by 7% compared to the same period last year, reaching a new high of 71%.

Unnecessary PIP reviews to end, says government
The government has claimed it is going to put an end to “unnecessary” PIP reviews later this summer, Minister for Disabled People, Health and Work, Sarah Newton announced today.

Over one third of a million DLA claimants refused PIP
The latest statistics released by the DWP show that over one third of a million DLA claimants have so far been refused any award when they were reassessed for PIP.

Fall in PIP award rates
There has been a significant fall in the award rates for new PIP claims in the last two months for which figures are available, according to the latest DWP statistics. DLA to PIP reassessments award rates have also fallen over the last two years.

Do you want your PIP assessment video recorded?
In a statement made earlier this month the government announced that it was extending the contracts for Capita and Atos to carry out PIP assessments for a further two years, in spite of widespread anger at the standard of those assessments.

NAO condemns UC but says there is now no alternative
The National Audit Office has condemned universal credit as causing hardship as well as being expensive, inefficient and lacking in any proof that it increases employment rates.

Major court defeat for DWP over ESA to UC transfers
The DWP have suffered yet another major blow in the courts which will require them to identify claimants who have lost out and will be eligible for back payments.

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 coversTribunal victory
“… a huge thank you to Benefits and Work for the excellent guides! This week I won my appeal in style. The tribunal literally lasted about 3 minutes and I didn’t even have to go out and wait for the decision. The judge was impressed with the quality of my submission, which I wrote with the help of the guides. I represented myself too.”

PIP result
“I've just received my PIP decision and can breathe a (rather grudging) sigh of relief. Although I was awarded only 4 points for the mobility component (apparently the ability to move my lower limbs makes my mental health condition miraculously disappear out of doors) I received 15 points - thus the enhanced rate - for the daily living component until 2021… I'm immensely grateful for the information and advice available on this site which shed some essential light on the assessment and decision-making process and in particular the points system. I'd advise anyone facing this process to subscribe and download the relevant guides before putting pen to paper. Many thanks also to Gordon for his dedication and hard work as forum moderator.”

ESA appeal success
“… I would just like to tell you my brothers epic tale. He has various congenital abnormalities which make him wobbly on his feet cant see very well diabetes and learning difficulties. He has had three f2f assessments in 18months he kept his esa wrag with the first two. They then decided he had a miraculous recovery and only got 6 points. Using your excellent guides we did a mandatory reconsideration which was also turned down. We proceeded to a tribunal which we had to wait 9months for. The tribunal staff were really nice and put us at ease. They spoke to him for bout 10 mins and confirmed things with me. We got the result the next day 24 points and straight into the support group. To be fair to dwp they have processed it and paid up in 2weeks so it is well worth appealing”

DLA to PIP success
“My husband - who has been on a lifetime of DLA for many years - successfully transferred from DLA to PIP and at an enhanced rate for mobility and care. So pleased and wanted to thank you for your help. It has taken six months - we had a lot of problems with getting a home visit initially, but Gordon was wonderful, very helpful. It's been a dreadful couple of months, but today we had the letter in its brown envelope. It's a huge weight off our mind… I just wanted to write and say thank you - your guides make all the difference and helped me understand exactly what the questions were about. It's easy to get confused!”

DLA to PIP success
“With regard to my transfer from DLA to PIPI I have just received my letter awarding me the enhanced rate of both, this is due in part to the help I have received from this site. Thanks very much for this… Many thanks to Gordon and the Team.”

PIP awarded
“Just dropped through my letter box , standard care and standard mobility awarded for two years. Thanks to all at B&W I couldn't have done it without the help this site gives.”

PIP – Result!
“Pip award… And I would like to give a big thank you to all who gave advice especially Gordon for all advice and pointers that helped me along the way, at 68 I needed them. The long story short ,I have been awarded enhanced on both elements of pip soon after my f2f ,for 10yrs so if I'm still around then will have to do battle again. Another thing I have just found out that my pension credit is going up due to the award ,something I didn't know previously. So thanks once more and good luck on your journey.”

PIP award
“I’d like to thank B+W for your guides to filling in the PIP form. Thanks to you, I’ve been awarded standard care and enhanced mobility. The delay in getting the decision through (just over six weeks) made it a stressful time but the relief I had when I opened the letter was immense! Thanks again for your brilliant guides.”

Successful Results - PIP and ESA Tribunals
“I wanted to let you know about our successful results for both PIP and ESA Tribunals.
My wife had been on ESA Support Group for a few years, during this time it was suggested by Citizens advice that she should also consider applying for PIP. So we went through the process, an assessor visited the house and eventually we were turned down for PIP by not having scored enough points. Next the mandatory reconsideration. Same result. So we made the application to go to tribunal. DWP did not attend. The court awarded PIP for daily living.
While all this was going on she had a reassessment for ESA. Appointment with their medical adviser etc. She was moved to the work related activity group. Same process- mandatory reconsideration, then application to tribunal. We submitted additional evidence to the tribunal and the day before the hearing had a call from the DWP presenting officer to say they had decided to move my wife back into the support group, no need to attend tribunal . . . I wanted to say thank you to the people who run this site. We will remain subscribers as undoubtedly there will be further dealings with DWP. Good luck all those in the process.”

 

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: 93842

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