The most important thing you need to know about PIP appeal tribunals is that your chances of winning are very high - so long as you get that far.
In the three months to July 2023, 68% of all PIP appeals were won by the claimant.
But most people never make it to a hearing.
Because, before you can lodge an appeal, you have to ask the DWP to look at its own decision again. It’s a process called a mandatory reconsideration.
This additional stage was introduced by the DWP especially to reduce the number of appeals, and it’s been extremely successful.
Only 27% of mandatory reconsiderations resulted in a higher award in June 2023. And even then, many of these higher awards are less than the claimant is entitled to.
Yet 65% of claimants give up after their mandatory reconsideration and so never get to put their case to an independent tribunal, where they are very likely to win.
Please don’t be one of them.
Seeing an appeal through can be exhausting and, for many people, filled with anxiety. But your chances of success are high and we have lots of resources to help you succeed.
You can ask for a mandatory reconsideration by using form CRMR1. Alternatively you can phone or write using the contact details on the top of the decision letter.
The only time we would advise you to phone is if your letter might otherwise arrive too late for the strict one-month deadline. If you do make your request by phone, follow this up with a letter confirming your phone call.
What to write in your request
Explain which activities you consider you should have scored more points for and why. You might find the PIP Appeal Outline creator below useful for this.
There’s a lot more information on giving evidence in our guides to PIP mandatory reconsiderations and appeals.
You have one month from the date on the PIP decision letter to ask for a mandatory reconsideration. If you miss this deadline, you can put in a late request up to 13 months from the date of your PIP decision letter. You will need to provide reasons as to why your request is outside the one month time limit and the DWP may not accept these.
How long does a mandatory reconsideration take?
In July 2023, the average time taken for a PIP mandatory reconsideration was 31 weeks. This is a shamefully long time to make people wait, but unlike for claimants, there are no deadlines for the DWP to meet. They can take as long as they like.
Success rate for PIP mandatory reconsiderations
Only 27% of PIP mandatory reconsiderations resulted in a higher award in June 2023.
If you do not get everything you think you are entitled to from the mandatory reconsideration you can then go on to lodge an appeal. You can only do this once you have received your ‘Mandatory Reconsideration Notice’ from the DWP
If you live in England, Wales or Scotland you can use an online appeal form
You can get a copy of the Tribunals Service booklet SSCS1A ‘How to Appeal against a decision made by the Department of Work and Pensions’ from the Government website. This explains the appeals process. You can also get a copy of the SSCS1 appeal form from this webpage.
You need to explain why you think the decision you are appealing against is wrong. You can send further evidence with your appeal, though it is likely you may already have sent your evidence to the DWP as part of the mandatory reconsideration process. You do not need to send the same evidence again but if you have any new evidence which supports your case, this should be sent.
If you need more space to write your reasons you can attach additional sheets of paper. Make sure any additional sheets have your name and National Insurance number on in case they get separated.
If you are appealing online just keep selecting ‘Add another reason’ until you are content.
Benefits and Work members can use our sample PIP appeal submissions to help write their own appeal.
Your appeal must be received by the Tribunals Service within one month of the date on the Mandatory Reconsideration Notice. Your appeal will be considered late if it is received more than a calendar month after the date on the notice. If it is late, you must give reasons why it is late.
How long does an appeal take?
The average time from lodging a PIP appeal to a decision being made in June 2023 was 27 weeks.
Success rate for PIP appeals
In the three months to July 2023, 68% of all PIP appeals were successful - they were won by the claimant.
If you are having difficulty knowing how to start providing evidence for your PIP appeal, then begin with our very simple PIP Appeal Outline creator.
This allows you to rapidly create a document which shows what the DWP scored you – or your client - for each activity and what you scored yourself. It highlights which activities you agree with the DWP about and which you don’t.
If you submit this as evidence, it allows the appeal tribunal panel to quickly focus on the activities you think you should score more highly for, rather than wasting time trying to decide which activities they should be looking at.
It also allows you to know where to focus your own energy when writing an appeal submission or simply preparing to give oral evidence.
If you include your email address when you complete the PIP Appeal Outline form, we will instantly send you a .pdf copy of the results as an attachment.
The accompanying email will also give you more information about how to use your PIP Appeal Outline in order to create detailed evidence.
Before you start, you’ll need a list of the points the DWP gave you.
You don’t have to write a detailed submission for your appeal.
But a detailed written submission can give you a big head-start, by putting your most important arguments in front of the tribunal members before the hearing even begins.
It can even help you to avoid having to appear before a tribunal at all.
Sometimes the DWP will increase your award before the hearing on the basis of what you have written: in 24% of all PIP appeals over the last five years the DWP increased the award before the hearing took place. These are known as ‘lapsed appeals’ and there’s more in our guides on what to do if this happens to you.
Sometimes the tribunal will contact you to say they have been able to make a decision to award you everything you asked for just on the basis of the written evidence.
Our collection of sample submissions includes a step-by-step guide to writing appeal submissions which can also be used for completing your SSCS1 appeal form.
It includes a sample mandatory reconsideration request and a sample completed SSCS1 form.
Plus there are lots of sample written PIP submissions to study, so you can be confident that yours will do the job you need it to do.
Benefits and Work members have access to a wide range of resources to help them make the best possible case for the correct award. This includes:
Guide to PIP claims and reviews
Our 141 page guide to PIP claims and reviews is invaluable for ensuring that you include all the reasons why you are eligible for points for a given activity. If you didn’t make your initial PIP claim using this guide, now is the time to make sure you didn’t miss anything
Guide to PIP appeals
A 36 page guide on challenging PIP decisions through Mandatory Reconsideration and Appeal.
The Best Possible Support For Clients With PIP Mandatory Reconsiderations and Appeals
A detailed 49 page guide that can be used by claimants and support workers alike to challenge PIP decisions via mandatory reconsideration and appeal.
PIP mandatory reconsideration and appeal submissions
A 33 page guide to PIP mandatory reconsideration and appeal submissions including sample submissions for a range of health conditions: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome; Anxiety & depression; Schizophrenia; Mobility problems; Fibromyalgia; Anxiety disorder, depression & agoraphobia and; Osteoarthritis & obesity.
Best possible ways to challenge a PIP medical report
A 24 page guide to challenging a DWP Health Professional's PIP medical report, includes over 50 grounds for appeal and sample texts.
Plus there’s a forum you members can post queries or just share your concerns and get support from people who’ve been though it all before.
So, give yourself the best possible chance of appeal success by becoming a Benefits and Work member and getting instant access to all our downloadable resources.
PIP appeal success
“I just wanted to say how grateful I am to the advice on this wonderful website and forum. If I'd have known about it from the start of my PIP application it would have marginally less stressful because after all Atos and the DWP still make it as awful as possible… I lodged my appeal following the model submissions in the members guides about the vital evidence overlooked by both the HP and DM… Today, to my amazement, I received a letter from the DWP to say that they had looked at my case again and changed the award back to what it was last time, that my appeal was over and the back payments would be in my bank account by Monday. I never imagined that they would change their minds at this stage and had been having sleepless night since June about the thought of a tribunal hearing. It's purely down to the advice received here in formulating my appeal submissions that led to this outcome. Now I know where to come from now on. Thank you!”
DLA to PIP award – from 0 points with no appeal
“THANK YOU to all the people on this site who have HELPED me through the Long DLA to PIPS journey. Starting from 0 points, I have TODAY ACCEPTED 11 and 14 points. Now look forward to a large Back Pay and GETTING MY LIFE BACK !!! If you have just found out you have 0 points, I hope my message will encourage you to fight back and get the points your entitled to. Special thanks to Gordon, Mrs Hurtyback [Moderators] and all the people I have engaged with. Good Luck to all.”
Won PIP Appeal
“Many thanks to all at B&W for all the guides and help and support given to us all, all year around. I really do appreciate all your hard work everyone. My appeal last week was set aside, and new decision made: Enhanced Mobility ( not appealing)..Enhanced Daily Living awarded”