Today the Waiting Is Over
“I just wanted to let you know that today the waiting is over. I have had the brown envelope drop onto the mat this morning and after staring at it for a good hour, on opening it I had to read it over and over again and I have been awarded enhanced rate for both mob and care until 2020! Both myself and my Hubby are so very grateful to Benefits and work for your invaluable website, the guides which we studied for hours and the questions you have answered for me when I was filling in the claim pack and going for my first pip assessment. The help and support you give every day not just to me but on reading the forum is a real lifeline to many people and I for one am very grateful for everything . So I'm going to have a cup of tea, take in the sunshine today and just feel happy! ( until the esa drops through the door next week) but I will know where to come for advice! Many thanks to you all”

Dear Reader,

It’s taken a few years, but the law has finally caught up with Benefits and Work.

For once, however, that’s good news.

Because it means many more claimants with mental health conditions may be able to get an award of the mobility component of PIP, even at the enhanced rate.

For years we’ve been advising members that DWP guidance about ‘Planning and following a journey’ was wrong – deliberately so – and was leading to incorrect assessments by health professionals and errors of law by decision makers.

And for years we’ve been publishing a submission that members could download and include in their appeal papers, challenging the way that many claimants with mental health conditions were prevented from getting an award of the mobility component.

Finally, after conflicting decisions from different judges, a panel of three upper tribunal judges was convened last year.

The DWP continued to argue that anyone with a mental health condition who was ever able to go outdoors, even with someone with them, should score only 4 points and receive no award at all on that basis.

But the tribunal weren’t having any of it.

Last month they made a legally binding decision that claimants with conditions such as severe anxiety can qualify even for the enhanced rate of the mobility component, just on the basis of problems with ‘Planning and following a journey’, or ‘Going out’ as the PIP form terms it.

Having read the judgement, we’re pleased to see that arguments that we put forward in our downloadable submission, and the very specific evidence we used to support them, have been included in the judgement.

Though, oddly enough, we didn’t get an honourable mention . . . or, indeed, any mention at all.

Still, we’ve set aside our crushed egos and updated our PIP claims and reviews guide to take account of the upper tribunal decision. Subscribers can download it now from the PIP page in the members only area.

Bear in mind that our advice about how to complete the PIP2 ‘How your disability affects you’ form hasn’t changed.

Only now we can say it’s the law, not just our opinion.

You can download the updated PIP guide by logging in and clicking on 'Members Only Guides' and click on PIP - or follow this link.

You will see the updated 'Guide to PIP claims and reviews' there.

We’ve made a number of other updates to our PIP claims and reviews guide. There’s a list at the end of the contents page – look out for the bold red heading.

As promised in the last newsletter we’ve added more guidance about how to complete the PIP Review Form (1043/AR1), with a strong endorsement of the value of providing detailed information and supporting evidence rather than just ticking the ‘No change’ boxes.

There’s also an explanation of why going to the pub and the chippy every day may not be evidence that you can engage socially with other people.

And we include details of a decision that having someone read out financial information for you, if you are visually impaired or dyslexic, may not prevent you from scoring points In relation to managing money.

Plus we’ve tried to make our information on percentages less confusing when it comes to variable conditions and we’ve a warning about the difficulties of obtaining paper forms to begin a PIP claim.

On top of this we also have a new PIP appeals guide in the members’ area.

‘Support For Clients With PIP Mandatory Reconsiderations and Appeals’ is a 50 page guide for support workers and non-specialist advisers who want to help their clients with PIP appeals. But if you are a PIP claimant with an appeal of your own you may well find the guide helpful too. It is based on a similar guide we created for DLA.

For support workers, it will help you decide whether and how involved you should get in an appeal. It will also ensure you are aware of issues such as workload, administrative systems and the need for support from your employer.

And , if you do decide to support your client all the way to an appeal hearing – and we really hope you do – it will accompany you every step of the way through the entire process. We even give you advice on what to wear and how to address the panel.

Perhaps most importantly of all, we give you a few suggestions to help you come up with your own very simple ‘Oh no!’ strategy.

This is because things you are utterly unprepared for happen surprisingly often at hearings. They are generally fixable but, for your sake and your client’s, the last thing you want to do is look increasingly shocked, appalled or despairing . . . like I did at my very first tribunal.

So, get that ‘Oh no!’ strategy in place and drop us an email after your first , no doubt triumphant, appeal.

Good luck,

Steve Donnison

Benefits and Work guides covers

DLA to PIP Tribunal: From 2 Points To 34 Points
“I first started to consult this forum in August last year when our son was unsuccessful in his transfer from DLA to PIP…After our tribunal this week I am delighted to tell you that he has now been awarded an enhanced award of both mobility and daily living. A total of 34 points!
I would also like to make this a statement of thanks to all at Benefits and Work; without your help it would have been a mountain to climb.
" We highly recommend Benefits and Work; without their assistance and guidance we could not have achieved an increase from 2 points PIP award to a 34 point award! This is by far the best resource of its kind on the Internet!"”

PIP success
84564“Just wanted to say a big thank you for all your help. Originally I had lowest level DLA living and higher mobility. I was awarded standard PIP both parts. Put in a mandatory appeal with your help and letter from drs and SW. Received my brown envelope today and now have enhanced both parts. What a relief I can keep my car! My award is until Nov 2022. Once again many thanks.”

PIP & ESA success
“A huge thank you to all who run this fabulous site, esa support group for 3 yrs and pip enhanced mobility and standard care, i don't think we would have got through all the paperwork without your valuable guides and all the helpful tips, thank you so much”

DLA to PIP success
“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 [the mods] and all the people I have engaged with. Good Luck to all.”

PIP Review success
“Sooo relieved. After receiving & returning the PIP review, I nervously waited.... For the majority of the form, I replied 'no change', apart from a couple of areas when things had worsened, and the walking question where I ticked 'varies'. I requested the past 18months documentation from my GP & picked out any relevant hospital letters & reports, & sent copies…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.”

PIP Award
“Just called PIP see about my move, was on higher Mobility Middle care indef. Have been awarded HIGHER HIGHER TILL 2027 ! … did not need medical”

PIP Review success
“Completed AR1 form and despatched early December. Half of questions got No Change response all others I answered as Worse with brief descriptions. three hospital Consultants letters sent as evidence, fully expecting another face to face interview. Received letter today informing me I was to continue on enhanced rate for both Daily Living and Mobility without face to face for three years.
Needless to say I am delighted and hopeful that this indicates more reasonable approach to those beyond working age with serious disability and health problems. Thanks for all help from your guides and good luck to all in future.”

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”

Success DLA to PIP and ESA Support Group
“Hi I just wanted to say a huge thankyou, as I've received both my DLA to PIP and ESA reassessment awards today! After having a home assessment 2 weeks ago for DLA to PIP transfer, Ive been awarded enhanced rate for both components for 3 years. I also had the ESA reassessment form at the same time as the PIP transfer form and have been placed in the ESA support group again without the need for a face to face assessment. I first used this site when transferring from incapacity benefit to ESA 4 years ago, and the guides and help/support on here is invaluable. After all the stress, worry and sleepless nights of the last few months, I am so relieved and wish everyone else that's going through this good luck.”

PIP Award
“Following several years of worry over the DLA/PIP conversion and the last six months in a highly stressful state… I have finally received the result of my submission and Face-to-Face interview. The same rates in both Care and Mobility have been upheld; what a result! It still has not sunk in. I was expecting a mandatory fight and appeal. I think that I have been reasonably lucky, I've been 'involved', even if on the periphery of voluntary health care processes for a number of years, that combined with previously having been a member of Benefits and Work I did understand the need for submitting as much as is reasonably possible...Thank you Benefits and Work, your information and direction has been invaluable! Good luck everyone, listen to what these guys have to say and thank you, once again to them!”

PIP brown envelope
“I got my brown envelope today after another sleepless night. I have been awarded both components of PIP at the enhanced rate for an ongoing period. I am so relieved and I want to say a big thank you to everyone who has posted their experiences here and given me advice and support. The fear of the transition has caused us all so much trepidation and anxiety. This site has been an valuable source of inspiration and information. Thank you to everyone and good luck for the future.”

PIP award
“I've just got my letter today to say I've been awarded PIP enhanced rate for care and mobility for 4 years. Thank you so much for all the information.”

PIP success
“I would just like to say a big thank you to all at Benefits and Work, using your guidance I have now been awarded P.I.P. At enhanced rate for ongoing period. Without your guidance I would not of put so much detail and information into my application...many thanks”

ESA Support Group success
“Hi. First I would like to say I followed the advice and guidelines on your website and my hubby is now in the Support Group- so...Thank you so much again!!”

Good luck,

The Office Team
Benefits and Work Publishing Ltd
Company registration No. 5962666


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