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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.

Over half new PIP claims and third of DLA to PIP transfers fail, PIP and ESA backlogs grow, huge fall in ESA appeals.

PIP decision – success!
“I would just like to thank you and your site for helping me through my pip claim! I have been awarded enhanced rate care and enhanced rate mobility I feel so relieved I could cry! Many thanks for all your help!”

Dear Reader,

It’s hard to know which of the numbers in this newsletter is the most appalling.

The fact that 31% of disability living allowance (DLA) claimants get absolutely nothing when they transfer to personal independence payment (PIP).

Or that just 45% of new PIP claims are successful, if you don’t include people with terminal illnesses.

There’s the staggering 92% drop in employment and support allowance (ESA) appeals since the DWP brought in mandatory reconsiderations.

Then there’s the revelation that the PIP waiting list is still getting longer, in spite of promises by ministers to fix it. There are now 323,000 people waiting for a medical, meaning an average wait of at least 35 weeks.

Or is it that just 19% of claimants who made a new ESA claim between October and December 2013 have so far had a decision, again largely because of long delays in getting a medical?

The only mildly entertaining number in amongst all the latest statistics is that, after all this time and money, there are still fewer people receiving universal credit than have season tickets for Watford Town FC. IDs may claim that universal credit is going exactly to plan, but he must be the only person left who still believes it.

Finally, we reveal that the DWP is still refusing to say when it will publish one set of statistics that campaigners have been pursuing for a long time – the ESA death statistics. But we haven’t let them off the hook that easily.

Good luck,

Steve Donnison

ESA NEWS
ESA assessment crisis worsens

More and more claimants who should be in the support group of ESA are being forced to remain in the assessment phase for a year or more, because of the growing crisis in the service provided by Atos.

Fewer than one in five claimants who made a new ESA claim between October and December 2013 have had a decision made on their claim, the latest DWP quarterly statistics reveal. Just 19% have had a decision, compared to 22% in the preceding quarter, suggesting that the situation in regard to Atos assessments is continuing to deteriorate.

Over 90% fall in ESA appeals
The DWP’s attempts to make it as difficult as possible to appeal a benefits decision appear to be succeeding, according to the latest tribunal statistics. There has been a drop of 92% in ESA appeals and 93% in Jobseekers Allowance (JSA) appeals in April to June 2014 compared to the same period last year.

ESA death statistics – DWP say they will publish details, but won’t say when
The DWP is continuing to use delaying tactics to block publication of ESA death statistics, whilst claiming that they intend to release them at an undisclosed future date, we can reveal. This is the same claim that the DWP have been making for well over a year and the refusal to publish the figures is now the subject of a further challenge by Benefits and Work.

PIP NEWS
PIP waiting times continue to grow

The waiting list for PIP assessments is continuing to grow, according to statistics released by the DWP, in spite of claims by ministers that the problem would be fixed by the Autumn.

Up to the end of July this year 529,000 claims for PIP had been lodged and 206,000 had been cleared, suggesting that there was still a backlog of 323,000 claims. At current clearance rates this means an average wait of around 35 weeks.

More than half of new PIP claims fail, almost one third of DLA to PIP transfers fail
The latest statistics released by the DWP show that only 45% of PIP claims succeed where the claimant is not terminally ill. For disability living allowance (DLA) to PIP transfers, the success rate stands at 69%.

The new figures provided by the DWP show that awards for terminally ill claimants, whose death can reasonably be expected within six months, stand at around 96%.

OTHER BENEFITS NEWS
Watford FC season ticket holders still outnumber UC claimants

The latest DWP statistics reveal that the entire nation’s universal credit (UC) claimants are outnumbered by Watford FC’s season ticket holders or the Facebook fans of Nigella the Pug. The entire total of Birmingham’s UC claimants, meanwhile, wouldn’t even fill a minibus.

The number of current claimants of UC has finally passed the 10,000 mark, with a total of live 11,070 claims in August 2014 according to the latest DWP statistics.

GOOD NEWS FROM THE FORUM
Many thanks for all the good news over the last fortnight.  As always, we're really grateful to everyone who takes the time to share the news on their claim and spread a bit of optimism.

PIP awarded
“I have received a decision from DWP and have been awarded Higher Rate [Daily Living] and Lower Rate [Mobility]. Thank you to all at B&W for the quality and accuracy of all your advice and information.”

DLA renewal success
“Just want to say a huge thank you to everyone at benefits and work for all your support and advice. I just heard today I was awarded middle rate care and low mobility. I heard back in only 1 week from posting my form and they didn't even contact my doctor”

SDA to ESA transfer success
“Many thanks to B&W for the insights and reassurance provided by your Guides and Forum replies from your remarkable moderators/experts. They were invaluable, and I'm sure were an important factor in our success…Many thanks again to B&W”

PIP success
“The dreaded brown envelope dropped on the mat this morning. I have been awarded enhanced rate for care and standard rate for mobility…Thank you so much for your excellent guides and patient support...”

ESA WRAG to Support Group
“I would just like to thank the Benefits and work team for all their invaluable help in building up a case! Using the correct procedures and rhyming slang to eventually be placed in the Support Group.
I am fortunate, but all I can say to all other claimants is to take good note of the advice available from the B&W team. Thanks a million.”

PIP enhanced rates awarded
“Many thanks for your excellent web site and help I've received...Received a decision yesterday and it was for the enhanced rate for both components. I can't thank you enough for the help and support.”

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Good luck,

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