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Free, fortnightly PIP, ESA and UC Updates

Our fortnightly bulletin, with over 80,000 subscribers, is the UK's leading source of benefits news. Find out what's changing, how it affects you and how to prepare. Our mailing list is securely managed by icontact in the US.

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Are you being transferred from Disability Living Allowance (DLA) to Personal Independence Payment (PIP)? Or from ESA to Universal Credit? Are you making a fresh claim or renewal claim? Or pursuing a mandatory reconsideration or appeal for ESA, PIP or UC?

Are you worried that the forms are complex and unclear, the medicals may be rushed and inaccurate and the decisions unfair? If so, use our expert, step-by-step guides and give yourself the best possible chance of getting your legal entitlement.

We’ll warn you of pitfalls, offer you specialist tips and tactics and guide you through every part of this bewildering process. 


The government has announced that PIP reassessment areas are being extended to southern Scotland and parts of the borders from 13th January 2014. The postcode areas affected begin DG, ML, EH and TD.

They are then being further extended on 3rd February 2014 in the north of England to postcode areas LA, CA, DL, HG and YO.

This means that if your DLA award is due to end on or after 17th March 2013, you will receive an invitation to make a claim for PIP rather than renew your claim to DLA.

It also means that those children who have reached the age of 16 will receive a PIP claim invitation, if they live in the new reassessment areas.

Existing claimant not in reassessment areas may need to have their entitlement checked under the adult DLA rules and will continue to receive their DLA until that occurs (a “renewal” form and letter will be sent).

There has been some indication that those who are in receipt of DLA, not in any of the reassessment areas and who reach the age of 16, will continue to do so until their 17th birthday, however it has not been possible to confirm this, as new reassessment areas are due to be announced during 2014.

If your circumstances change (or if the DWP is informed that your circumstances have changed) and you live in any of the above postcode areas, you will be reassessed under the entitlement conditions for PIP and not DLA. Be aware: guidance published in Touchbase (the DWP magazine) states:

In these[reassessment] areas DWP will use third party information about someone’s care or mobility needs as a trigger for reassessment and as an opportunity to start the PIP process

Campaigners have called for a minister to resign, after a judge concluded she decided to close the Independent Living Fund (ILF) despite knowing the "very real adverse consequences" it would have on many disabled people with high support needs.

During Prime Minister’s Question Time yesterday Labour's Dennis Skinner called on the prime minister to abolish its contractor which tests whether people are fit to work, or can receive benefits.

The MP for Bolsover spoke of the case of a constituent who died last week, and called on the government to "abolish this cruel heartless monster called Atos", and to change the amount of money given to people who are appealing against its rulings.

David Cameron said he would look into the case, but added people should have proper assessments about entitlement to benefits.

In response to criticism from MPs earlier this year, the company said it provides a "professional and compassionate" service.

Source: BBC

If you have a hearing or visual impairment and used our physical ESA claims guide from January 28th of this year onwards, we need to let you know about an error in relation to the ‘Other people communicating with you’ activity.

The guide wrongly stated that you need to have problems with both vision and hearing in order to score points – it should have said that if you have problems with either you may score points. 

We’ve now corrected the guide and you can download the amended chapter in .pdf format whether or not you are currently a member.  (Please right click and choose 'Save as' if you have problems opening this file online).

Many thanks to the member of the Benefits and Work community who alerted us to this error and our sincere apologies for having made it. 





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