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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.

PIP appeal success
“After my mandatory reconsideration was rejected I completed a written appeal via HM Courts & Tribunal Service. I chose not to attend in person and stated that I would not be attending as I considered that to do so would be detrimental to my physical and mental well being. The result came this morning and my appeal has been upheld. So I now have the enhanced rate of mobility! Delighted doesn't come close. Thanks for the guides and moral support.”


Dear Reader,

In this edition we learn that the minister for disabled people is claiming that the Motability scheme will be opened up to claimants who don’t get the enhanced rate of PIP mobility. We also breathe a sigh of relief that David Cameron’s plan for enforced medical treatment for some claimants is being dropped.

The revelation that the DWP now have a legal right to access people’s browsing history is not such good news, however.

PIP mobility improvements
It’s very good news if true.

But few claimants will be holding their breath whilst they wait for further news of major improvements to the PIP mobility component and the Motability scheme.

Penny Mordaunt, minister for disabled people, told MPs last week that she was planning to:

Allow claimants to keep their Motability vehicle whilst appealing a decision that they do not qualify for the enhanced rate of the mobility component of PIP.

Allow claimants to continue receiving the mobility component of PIP if they are abroad for more than 13 weeks, even where the reason for absence is not connected with medical treatment.

Allow claimants to access the Motability scheme even if they are not in receipt of the enhanced rate of the mobility component of PIP.

That the DWP is considering letting claimants to keep their Motability vehicle whilst appealing – where they will have around a 60% chance of success – is surprising,

But it is the last of these suggestions that is the most remarkable.

The standard rate for PIP mobility is £21.80 a week. The enhanced rate is £57.45.

If Mordaunt is suggesting that claimants getting the standard rate should also have access to Motability then the obvious question is: how will the shortfall be made up?

If the proposal is that simply that standard rate mobility recipients can get a Motability vehicle provided they make up the shortfall of £35.65 a week themselves, then this is not much of a gesture.

On the other hand, it is very hard to see how the cost of a Motability vehicle could be reduced to just £21.80 a week.

Worryingly, Mordaunt referred in her announcement to people in receipt of the “higher Motability component”. By that, the minister appeared to mean the enhanced rate of the mobility component.

A minister who has yet to master even the most basic terminology relating to her portfolio is not one who inspires confidence . . . let alone hope.

We’ll keep you posted, all the same.

Enforced medical treatment threat dropped
It’s undoubtedly positive news that Dame Carol Black has decided that forcing claimants to either accept treatment for drug and alcohol dependency or obesity or lose benefits is a bad idea. In fact, it was almost certainly an utterly illegal measure from the outset.

However, the suggestion that Jobcentre staff should be placed in treatment centres is less welcome. And the plan to link treatment centres payments to their success in getting people in recovery into work could have a dramatic effect on relapse rates.

But perhaps most worrying of all in Blacks report is the call for more research to be done into “the extent to which obesity plays a role in health-related benefit claims, in particular long-term ones.”

Although only 1,600 ESA claimants have obesity as their main disabling condition, Black hopes to link obesity to up to 800,000 more claimants with conditions such as diabetes.

This, Black says, would help build a case for “further societal, employer and government action.”

How long before the DWP press office kick-starts this “societal action” with a full-scale media hate campaign against claimants who are obese?

DWP web history access
The Investigatory Powers Act 2016 is now law. Amongst other things, it requires internet service providers to keep details of your web browsing history for 12 months and provide these to a range of agencies on request.

One of these agencies is the DWP.

At the moment only Senior Executive Officers in Fraud and Error Services at the DWP can request your web browsing history under the new Act. But experience has taught that once such powers are granted for one purpose, they are quickly used much more widely.

The Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 was intended to be only used for the most serious of crimes, such as terrorism. But very quickly, large numbers of local authorities were using it to carry out surveillance for much more minor issues, such as littering and putting out the bins too early.

How many claimants will trust the DWP to use their latest powers only to investigate fraud?

Good luck,

Steve Donnison

 Benefits and Work guides covers


A massive thank you
“Today I received the brown envelope with my pip results and I have been awarded enhanced for both until 2027 and I just can't find any words good enough to show how greatful I am to this wonderful site and all its moderators. It is no exaggeration to say that during the last year alone, you have played a part in saving my sanity and my life and I thank you all from the bottom of my heart.”


PIP awarded
“Thank you for all the advice, Brown Envelope this morning, PIP at enhanced rate for both, with it ongoing not to be looked at again till November 2026.”

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: 74836

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


Mandatory treatment threat for substance users and obese claimants dropped, but worrying proposals remain
The threat by David Cameron to force claimants to accept treatment for drug and alcohol dependency or obesity or lose benefits has been abandoned following a report by Dame Carol Black published this week.

DWP to have access to claimants internet history
The Investigatory Powers Bill, which is about to become law with virtually no opposition from MPs, gives a huge range of agencies, including the DWP, the right to see an individual’s entire internet browsing history.

No evidence that sanctions work, says NAO
The National Audit Office has strongly criticised the DWP for its failure to carry out any research on whether sanctions work, in spite of imposing them on a quarter of all Jobseeker’s Allowance claimants.

Freud retires with “full confidence in the future of universal credit”
David Freud, the minister for welfare reform, is to retire this month with “full confidence in the future of universal credit.” He is unlikely to be missed by sick and disabled claimants.

Major PIP mobility improvements are on the way, minister claims
The Motability scheme may be opened up to claimants who do not get the enhanced rate of the mobility component, Penny Mordaunt, minister for disabled people, told MPs last week.


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.

DLA to PIP successBenefits and Work guides covers
“I had a Home Assessment on 10th November and today 26th November the ‘awaited’ brown envelope arrived. It took me almost 3 hours before I could even open the envelope and in that period I was physically sick. I have received the Enhanced rate for both Mobility & Care. The results were only achieved because of the information and guides from this website. Believe me folks it would be utter madness to even think about completing the PIP form without the advice and invaluable help afforded by the ‘Benefits and Work’ website. I don’t know how to thank everyone at ‘Benefits and Work’ sufficiently so please accept a huge THANK YOU. Thanks for caring and for having the willingness to help. I’d also like to thank all the contributors to the forum as there is also a wealth of information in the form of personal experiences of other site members. It truly helps to read and understand all the information on the forum.”

ESA award
“I had my ESA f2f just under 3 weeks ago and I must admit that the f2f wasn't as bad as I had expected…Anyway the good news is that I have been placed again into the Support group for 3 years by which time I will have reached retirement age. Thank you so much B&W for all of the help that you have been in receiving the benefit which I already knew that I should receive.”

Double success
“Some months ago my adult disabled daughter received the ESA50 questionnaire. Only heaven could have helped her had she not had a Dad who had heard of Benefits & Work… the outcome of using the Guide was a couple of anxious months of waiting, followed by elevation to the Support Group - Grateful sighs, closely followed by receipt of the PIP papers. Again the Guides were consulted, the form filled in and sent.. within two weeks she got a letter saying that PIP had been awarded, for BOTH parts, at the ENHANCED rate - and for TEN years! … bless you, Benefits & Work!”

DLA to PIP success
“I have just been through the process of DLA to PIP a stressful time for me as l was on indefinite DLA. I was asked to reapply in July 2017 and have just received my PIP award enhanced rate for daily living and mobility … l followed your guides on completing my form which was most helpful to me and want to say thanks for the clear advice l took from these guides.”

PIP success
“..I was previously on DLA, (middle rate care/higher rate mobility) and was extremely anxious about my PIP transfer, especially with regard to the possibility of losing my Motability car. After meticulously completing the application form, including 7 additional pages detailing how my conditions affect me… I was invited for a 'face to face' assessment at my local hospital about four weeks later…We nervously awaited the decision, which took about 6 weeks - I was awarded 12 points for my mobility (enhanced rate) and 11 points for daily living (standard rate)…Rather reluctantly I was persuaded by my wife, who has meticulously studied your guides to request Mandatory Reconsideration, as the threshold was 12 points. Again I was very fearful this might affect the mobility decision also, but I provided a further 2 pages explaining the risks I face …Today I received the decision that…I have now been awarded enhanced rate for both until Nov 2020 and am delighted. I want to give a big thanks to all those associated with this site…Whilst it has been quite stressful and lengthy it has been worthwhile. Good luck to you all.”

PIP success
“Well the brown envelope has come at last, and it's good news. PIP enhanced rate for mobility and care, so I can breath again...I'm really glad I studied your guides, I felt so much more prepared when it came to the medical assessment, which went amazingly well…Thanks for everything.”

PIP Mobility success
“Many thanks to Benefits to work Forum for their invaluable advice, The PIP tribunal has just re-enstated my wife with higher rate Mobility for 5 years”

Won my ESA appeal
“I had my appeal on Thursday and although very stressful it felt like it was fair and they just wanted to hear how my illness affects me. After getting very anxious waiting for the post I got the letter today saying I'm entitled to ESA and am to be placed in the support group and not to be reassessed for 2 years. I felt such relief at reading that this morning.”

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!”

PIP success
“Following the moderators advice contacted DWP for a copy of the Atos medical report. This came a few days before the DWP's decision. Spent a few days reading the Benefits & Work Guide. The best and worthwhile £19 I have ever spent. Took three days to complete the PIP application. With the emphasis placed on that word "repeatedly". Without the guide I reckon I would have struggled getting the Benefits…I have been awarded enhanced care and mobilty payments for a period of 10 years. I would certainly endorse the Guide provided by Benefits & Work it goes a long way to providing the answers to completing the application. Also the background to what the assessors are looking for when the examination takes place. Many Thanks.”

Thank you B&W
“I would just like to say a big thank you for the support that has been given to me… today I got the brown envelope on opening it is have been awarded the enhanced rate for both daily living and mobility, and the decision maker agreed on what the health professional had written in her report and award me the same points…Once again thank you b&w”


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: 74836

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


+1 #3 Eliza1091 2016-12-09 15:58
Glad to hear of any easing up of pressure on access to mobility transport. Would just like to add that I got our old friend, the brown envelope, today and (eventually) opened it with shaking hands. Have been told of successful transfer from full-rate DLA to same for PIP and for ten years. Had no idea until very recently they would give more than a couple of years. None of this possible without your brilliant guides and support and want to add heartfelt thanks to all at B&W. I will never cease from keeping a close eye on all your posts and updates!
+1 #2 Peter T 2016-12-07 20:49
Very interesting news announced by the DWP Minister (that DWP is considering opening up Motability to those on standard rate benefit).
I raised this possibility with my (then) MP, the late Danny Alexander, back in 2015, and received an encouraging reply in which he said it was "an excellent suggestion", but (to no great surprise to either of us!) DWP were not at all encouraging:
In a letter dated 01/04/15, from John Herron of the DWP "Ministerial Correspondence Team", they said:
"If the scheme was extended in the way you suggest, it would be more complex to administer than current arrangements and could introduce an element of means testing. Income data would have to be collected and assessed.
The Government has no plans to change the current arrangements. To make changes it is likely that legislation would need to be amended and there are a number of other things which would need to be taken into account."
Great news, if true, if they are - belatedly - now considering this after all!
(Ironically, it wouldn't actually benefit me now, at least not in the short term: my standard rate PIP has just been 'reviewed' and stopped! I'm currently waiting for a date for my appeal hearing. I've now got a 'salary sacrifice' car from my employer instead, which actually costs about the same as PIP enhanced rate!)
+2 #1 ronald keogh 2016-12-07 19:55
you mention use the word realiably in what way do i say i cant walk 20 metres realiably or cant do it safely im not sure how to use the word

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