Login FormClose

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.

PIP Appeal Win
“From 7 points to 31 points after appeal. The Tribunal went ahead without me and I won with flying colours. Thanks Benefits and Work, I've been a member since "Welfare Reform" raised it's ugly ugly head. Now I've got £5,580 in back pay!”
Read More Feedback

 

USE YOUR 20% OFF ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP COUPON BEFORE MIDNIGHT FRIDAY
More About Coupons



Dear Reader,

In this update we have the news that, after five months of procrastinating, the DWP have at last updated the guidance for assessors and for decision makers on PIP mobility.

They have also published updated guidance on safety and supervision for PIP.

At the same time the DWP have begun going back through over 1.6 million PIP claims to find out who is owed money.

The process is so complex that in some cases three different decisions will have to be made about the same claim.

But the examples given highlight an important fact. Just because you may be entitled to an award under the new caselaw, that doesn’t mean you will get an award as part of the review process – you may have to make a fresh claim.

As we were preparing this newsletter the DWP released more details about the review process, reinforcing the message that some refused claimants who may now be eligible for PIP will have to reclaim if they wish to get an award.

We also have a correction to our last newsletter in relation to transferring from ESA to UC, plus news of a consultation on the transfer process.

And finally, advance notice that the next newsletter will be the final update – and final coupon – before we take a two month break.

 

UPDATED MOBILITY GUIDANCE FOR PIP ASSESSORS
The DWP have finally published updated guidance for PIP assessors on the Planning and following journeys activity.

It has taken 5 months since the DWP admitted defeat in January over their attempts to change the law to make it harder for claimants who experience psychological distress.

And, after all that time, the changes to the guidance are minimal.

A new paragraph has been added to the guidance for descriptors c), d) and f).

These were the descriptors which had the words ‘For reasons other than psychological distress’ unlawfully added to them in March 2017 and which have had to be changed back to their original wording.

There have been several other small changes

But the idea that these changes required 5 months of consultation and consideration is not a credible one.

Benefits and Work updated our guides in relation to this issue months ago. We have made some further small changes to inform readers about the guidance the DWP will be following.

 

UPDATED MOBILITY GUIDANCE FOR PIP DECISION MAKERS
Changes have also been made to the guidance given to PIP decision makers on the same subject.

In addition, the changes take into account the issue of safety and supervision following the DWP losing a separate court case on this issue.

In this case it was held that the DWP were wrong to insist that a claimant could only score points for being unsafe if harm was likely to occur on more than 50% of the occasions on which they attempted an activity.

Instead, the court decided that the decision maker should look at whether there is a real possibility that harm might occur and also at how great the harm might be. The greater the potential harm, the less likely it needs to be that it would happen on any specific occasion.

Decision makers have been told that claimants who need time to recover after a seizure may not score any points for this in relation to daily living.

But they may score points for planning and following a journey because they may not be safe outdoors whilst recovering.

Benefits and Work had already updated our guides months ago in relation to this case, but again we have added additional information in the light of this guidance.

 

THREE DECISIONS NEEDED ON SOME PIP BACKDATING CLAIMS, BUT SOME WILL STILL MISS OUT
A 17 page DWP memo for decision makers, covering changes to guidance on the mobility component, gives some details of the exercise known as LEAP, which has begun looking again at over 1.6 million PIP claims.

The memo explains that, depending on when they were made, some claims will need three different decisions making on them.

The first decision will be for the period before the DWP lost a case known as MH, which dealt with the mobility component and psychological distress.

The second decision will be from the date when MH applied, 28.11.16.

The third decision will be from the date when a decision known as RJ, which deals with safety and supervision, also applied, 09.03.17

The complexity of the exercise is likely to lead to many more errors.

Most of the decisions about backdating awards will be carried out via the LEAP process. If there is a planned or unplanned review of a PIP award in the meantime, decision makers are being told just to look from the date of the review and leave the LEAP project to worry about the prior period.

However, if a claimant specifically asks to have their decision looked at again in the light of MH and/or RJ, then decision makers must do so.

An example is given of when this would not lead to an award, even though RJ would now apply to the claimant:

“A claim to PIP was made on 4.1.17. The DM decided on 1.3.17 that the claimant is not entitled to PIP. The claimant applies for MR in the light of RJ. The DM looks at the case again and decides that RJ applies. However, the original decision to disallow the claim cannot be superseded on the grounds of error of law because it predates the decision in RJ. Therefore, the DM should give a decision refusing to revise for official error and the claimant should be advised to make a new claim.”

Further details of the review process were released yesterday as we were finishing this newsletter. The DWP have given more details of the review process and reinforced the message that some claimants who did not get an award, but are now eligible, will have to make a fresh claim.

 

ESA TO UC MIGRATION
In our last newsletter, we told readers that a court had ruled against the deliberate impoverishment of claimants who are forced to transfer from ESA to UC because they have moved to a different local authority.

We said that the DWP had already announced that ESA claimants will no longer be moved to UC until transitional protection begins.

What we should have added is that this only applies to claimants who, in the words of Esther McVey “live alone with substantial care needs and receive the Severe Disability Premium”. Many thanks to Daphne at Rightsnet for pointing this out.

Staying with the transfer of claimants to UC, the Social Security Advisory Committee (SSAC) has launched a public consultation on the subject.

You can give your opinion on issues such as the migration timetable, how claims will be made and transitional protection.

The closing date for submissions is Monday 20 August.

 

ONLY ONE MORE NEWSLETTER
Our final newsletter before the summer break will be in a fortnight’s time, on 18 July. There will then be a two month break before the next newsletter – and the next coupon - on Wednesday 19 September.

We will continue publishing articles in the News section when anything noteworthy occurs.

Good luck,

Steve Donnison

 

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: 75845

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
DWP advise some refused PIP claimants to reapply as more PIP review details are released
The DWP has today issued new information about the LEAP project which will check past PIP decisions in the light of changes to the law. Some claimants who were refused PIP are being advised to consider making a new claim.

New guidance for decision makers on PIP mobility
Decision makers have been provided with new guidance on the PIP mobility component this week. This follows the issuing of new guidance to PIP assessors and the announcement by the government that a review of PIP claims has begun following a victory by claimants in the case known as MH.

Three different decisions may have to be made on the same PIP mobility claim
The DWP have his week published new guidance for decision makers on the PIP mobility component. The guidance explains that no fewer than three separate decisions may need to be made on the same claim for the mobility component, as a result of the DWP’s past failures to get the law correct.

Government finally announces start of review of over 1.6 million PIP cases
The government this week announced that the DWP have begun reviewing over 1.6 million PIP claims as a result of changes in the law brought about by legal decisions in cases known as MH and RJ.

Updated guidance on PIP safety
The DWP have this week updated the guidance they issue to decision makers in relation to awarding points for safety for personal independence payment (PIP) claims

New PIP mobility guidance for assessors finally published
More than five months after admitting they had broken the law and would have to reassess 1.6 million PIP awards, the DWP have finally published new guidance for health professionals on how to assess mobility claims.

Have your say on ESA to UC migration
The Social Security Advisory Committee (SSAC) has this week launched a public consultation on proposals for moving all existing claimants of a working age income-related benefit to Universal Credit (UC).

New PIP mobility guidance for assessors finally published.
More than five months after admitting they had broken the law and would have to reassess 1.6 million PIP awards, the DWP have finally published new guidance for health professionals on how to assess mobility claims.

 

Benefits and Work guides coversGOOD NEWS BY EMAIL
The forum has been closed for a fortnight, so we’re publishing feedback we’ve received via email instead. 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.

“Can’t thank you enough”
“I would like to say a massive thank you to all who contribute to your website. After a year of waiting my appeal was heard today and I won. 0-24 points for CFS/Anxiety/Depression and put in the Support Group for 12 months.
I couldn’t have done it without your guides as I had no other advice or representation. Can’t thank you enough.”
Marie

“I don’t think we could have done this without the help and information we received here”
“It’s great to share good news.
My girlfriend with bipolar was awarded standard rate care and nil mobility. We entered a MR, and addressed every comment the DM made point by point. We drew attention to what we felt were inaccuracies and faults in the report. I don’t think we could have done this without the help and information we received here and also the information we found in in the SAR .The DfC have now awarded her high rate care and standard mobility on the MR . . . I know most readers are British based and MR success rates are low, we’re Northern Ireland based so maybe they are operating differently here.”
Ben

“couldn’t have done it without you”
“Got my form after Christmas, filled in and sent off, got a Home F2F visit (didn’t ask for one) first one was cancelled 1 hr before Appointment had to worry for another two weeks. Nurse arrived and was very nice, stayed 2 1/2 hrs. Got Brown envelope today, nearly had Heart Attack before opening it. Got Enhanced Rate for Care and Motability till 2028 sent for report 20 pts Care and 12 pts Motability no further review needed. Must admit some of the statements were quite Different as to what was said on day. The whole thing has made my wife and I ill though (Stress etc) Many Thanks for all your Fantastic Help and Guidance in your Articles, couldn’t have done it without you.
Regards from both of us.”
Graham

“the must go to website when dealing with ESA & PIP”
“After being a member of your group for about 3-4 years now, I have always relied on the information you provide to help guide me through ESA & PIP “struggles”. After I was assessed by a liar of a so called “Health Professional” for my PIP review in April 2017 I went from enhanced to standard on Daily Living & also had points taken away on Mobility (though I retained the enhanced part of it). I appealed unsuccessfully to the DWP so then appealed to the Tribunal service. This was last June/July. Since then I did not hear a thing till I got a letter last week saying that my case had been heard (without contacting me to attend for some reason!) and my appeal has been upheld giving me 19 points, up from 9 for the Daily Living entitlement and 16 points for the Mobility entitlement up from 12. I’ve not yet heard anything from the DWP regarding any changes to my benefit or back dated payments but I’m so very pleased that this is finally done with. At least for another couple of years at least! Thank you so much for all the hard work that you all put in to make this website the must go to website when dealing with ESA & PIP claims, procedures, appeals & much much more.”
Thank you so much.
Tanya

“it is the best site and the best money I will ever spend”
“Just thought I would email to say a big Thank you
I got a letter today regarding my PIP claim and I have been awarded enhanced rate in both care and mobility needs
Without this site and the help and assistance it provides I don’t think I would of got through it, the information and guidance you provide is invaluable and I cannot thank you enough
It has been a very stressful three months and the waiting time is torture but for me it is over
I would like to wish all others who are going through this the very best of luck with your individual claims
Once again thank you B&W for all your help it is the best site and the best money I will ever spend deciding to join as it has helped me so muchKeep up the good work”
Daniel

“I was able to speak and apply with more confidence”
“Thank you everyone at benefits and work, I only joined membership a few short months ago and found the details required invaluable, I phoned today to get an update on my application and was informed I was getting both enhanced rates, couldn't believe my ears as I was getting middle/low dla which I was always convinced was wrong but to afraid to appeal it, I didn't exaggerate anything in my assessment and the girl who called was lovely and came through for me and made me feel less embarrassed, the information benefits and work give, made me realise how you just plod along with life, and get on with it, but I realised the finer details required and the reality of my disability and how it IN REALITY it did have effects in my life, and I was able to speak and apply with more confidence, in much finer detail Thankyou !! I wish everyone good results without the humiliation / embarrassment, but stick with it, good luck everyone !! If you don't have membership I would highly recomend you do!! The advice is priceless and cost just under £20”
Sylvia

“With many thanks again from the both of us”
“Today I have learned my son has been placed in the Support Group without the need for a Face to Face assessment! As his claim was for learning difficulties and mental health issues the relief of not having to go for the F2F is unbelievable. I believe we would not have received the right decision for him without using the comprehensive guides and reading the excellent advice and guidance given on the board. With many thanks again from the both of us.”
Will

“thanks again for the advice”
“I would like to thank you for the support that you gave me to go through tribunal hearing yesterday. i attended the hearing and today received a letter that I have limited capability for 18 months. Waiting to see DWP what they will say. But thanks again for the advice.”
Gemma

“So pleased, thanks again”
“Hi there I wanted to express my thanks for your help!
I have a long term mental health condition for which I received standard rate PIP for both components. After my review I was awarded 0 points for everything and was lost and confused what to do next.
I was directed to this site and it really helped and guided me the whole way through. Just knowing how it works and what I might be faced with on the day pushed me to follow it through to the end. My tribunal awarded standard rate for both, as I was getting before, for 4 years. So pleased, thanks again.”
Ava

 

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: 75845

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