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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.

We’d like to hear from people who have been through the new PIP renewal process involving the shorter PIP Award Review (AR1) form. This is the form that asks you whether each activity has got:

  • Easier
  • Harder
  • No change

We’re getting reports from members who indicated on the form that there had been no change in their ability to carry out activities. However, they were then required to attend a face-to-face assessment at which the health professional did not have a copy of their most recent PIP 2 ‘How your disability affects you’ form.

This means that the health professional is making an assessment with no written evidence from the claimant to refer to at all. The whole process rests solely on the questions that the HP chooses to ask.

So we’d really like to hear about your experiences, if you’ve completed the PIP Award Review form.

Did you say there had been any changes?

Did you have to attend a face-to-face assessment?

What was the outcome of your renewal?

You can respond by posting a comment below or emailing us office@benefitsandwork.co.uk


#18 Barry 2017-11-28 00:35
Can't walk far lost pip .barry
#17 lorraine smith 2017-04-18 17:02
Capita PIP review was an absolute joke,tried in vain to have home visit but was given different excuse every time.Was awarded enhanced mobility and standard daily allowance 2 years ago as i was diagnosed with m.s to add to a long list of illnesses i have.I've since been diagnosed with Spinal & Cervical Stenosis so was shocked to be awarded 0 points for both,even more shocked when i read the HP's report which is lies from start to finish..Now I'm expected to go through same process for ESA review again with Capita or ESA will be stopped.DISGUST ED!!
#16 julie dodworth 2017-01-16 11:01
does anyone know what a reasonable time to wait for your mandatory reconsideration letter ? I requested one 2 weeks ago, I rang the offices to se if they had received it, they said they had, but what if I don't hear from them within the month timescale to have a mandatory reconsideration reconsidered? Worried now they will just let the month lapse and not reply to me ? Any ideas or suggestions ?
+1 #15 Elizabeth Anne Hughes 2017-01-10 11:31
I would like to thank you all very much for this helpful and informative website. I was in receipt of DLA Higher Rate for Mobility and Personal Care since 2009. I sent in my PIP application in May 2016 plus a mountain of supporting evidence. Only Mobility Higher Rate was awarded so I appealed.. My Tribunal was to be on 14th December. The last few months were spent gathering more evidence and preparing for it which has been stressful to say the least.... Less than 3 hours before my tribunal I had a phone call from the Clerk of the Courts informing me that he had some good news and I did not need to attend as the Judge had heard my case and decided a wrong decision had been made about my PIP application and had awarded the Daily Living at the Enhanced rate, which will be backdated from June 2016. If you think you have been treated unfairly then please fight for what is right for you and never give up.
I am still waiting for finances to be sorted out which will be a few weeks but I thank you again for this very helpful website and all that you do. I wish you all a very happy and healthy New Year 2017.
#14 lorraine smith 2017-01-08 00:18
I'm disgusted at the way my pip renewal is going...or not..sent several letters from neurollogist,m. s norse,pain clinic as well as g.p sick note with all my diagnosed conditions.(Ago raphobia being 1 of them 8+ years) yet they refuse whatsoever to do homee visit despite having 1 for first pip claim 2 years ago..They say that more evidence is needed like g.p letter saying i cant travel to assessment as i'm Agoraphobic??? Surely having a long term diagnosed illness is enough evidence?? I'vve been put in support group for esa based on evidence i sent for M.R no face to face which i was delighted about yet this is irrelevant6 for pip..i have Hyperhidrosis,. MultipleScleros is,Spinal Stenosis,Agorap hobia,Anxiety & Depression yet they refuse to acknowledge ANY of these...making me physically sick with worry..any advice??
+1 #13 Janet 2017-01-06 14:33
Had my review medical in November. I completed the AR1 form stating things had not changed. Had difficulty accessing the building, staff had to set up a ramp to enable me to get in. The waiting area was full of low chars without arms, obviously unsuitable for many customers. The assessor didnt have my AR1 form, said he wasn't familiar with the form and preferred to work from the original application form. The upshot of the extremely stressful visit was that both elements have been reduced from higher rate to the standard rate. Although I arrived on a mobility scooter and told them i could not walk more than 15 meters without having a significant rest they decided I could walk more than 20 meters. I did consider asking for a review as my evidence was really good but as I am so reliant on this funding I didn't want to risk loosing it altogether. Such a sad state of affairs
+1 #12 Eliza2017 2017-01-01 22:14
Hi, Hope 2017 be more gentle. I am in the PIP renewal process :-? i am so scared... my face to face assessment is the next week. I have asthma, copd, under active thyroids, osteoarthritis, chronic depression, chronic sleeping problems... and I have not sleeping from the day I receive the letter. I was quite down when I fill the form, I cannot recall my answers... my medications keep me sleepy, out of focus and if I have to appeal, I don't have the stamina necessary to do it.
+2 #11 linda drake 2017-01-01 11:57
part way through my PIP application i got the paperwork for ESA, i attended a face to face with a lovely lady and was granted the support award. My PIP application was submitted in sept 2016 and the face to face interview with an occ therapist turned out to be a complete and utter nightmare, I shared with her the fact that i did not shower daily due to my mental health state her answer to that was "i cant smell you " then she asked me about my unstable angina to which her answer was "ive never heard of that" when my letter of rejection arrived she had also added that i heard her call my name from 6 metres away with no problem ! i actually was wearing 2 hearing aids that couldn't be seen due to my hair covering them.I was scored nothing for the care and 11 points for mobility. I appealed for mandatory reconsideration and again got the same scores, At this point i read all the very helpful information on this site and submitted a very lengthy appeal along with lots of medical details. after around 4 weeks I had a telephone call from a really nice lady informing me that i would not have to go to the appeal as my claim had been decided before going to the appeal. I had been awarded 12 points for mobility and 11 points for care, I could have taken the appeal forward to try to get 1 more point for care but to be honest i couldn't put myself through the trauma. I was awarded back pay for my claim and received it 3 days later, I had previously been told that the appeals could sometimes be settled before the court hearing, needless to say I am absolutely thrilled with the result.
+2 #10 Bizywizy 2016-12-22 09:18
Son was given 3 years. 2 years in he has the renewal pack through. The form is easier but although we put no changes (He is on the autistic spectrum) face 2 face letter came really quickly and when attended the lady seemed to actually understand his condition which was helpful. The result came through within about 3 weeks too. HOWEVER, He went from enhanced care and enhanced mobility to standard care and NO mobility. So the car has had to go back whilst things are being appealed which is not helpful. He does have another car now thankfully and he is ok with this but the mobility car has enabled him so much and even meant he could take on a part time job which is amazing. The process was easy to deal with but I do worry at the fact you are given 3 years - if you have had to appeal in the beginning then you are likely not to have finished dealing with the process for a year or so. Then you are getting your renewal through a year before it ends. So reality is 1 year only. So much stress. The new form is much easier but I worry about the point of it. Surely you may as well go straight to a face 2 face as they dont take any notice of what you have said.
+3 #9 oldman 2016-12-22 08:04
AR1 submitted, ticked no change. Had face to face. Assessor did not have AR1 form or hard copy of original claim. All interaction by computer information. Both enhanced awards extended. Seems to me AR1 form is pointless exercise.
+3 #8 Dennis Kelly 2016-12-22 07:21
When I was given my PIP, I was very grateful to all you people for the information, on your website that helped my,
Best of luck to you all.
+2 #7 Mesig 2016-12-22 00:38
I have just sent back the new form for a person I support who has ME and is on the Autistic Spectrum. It was far to complicated to tick the boxes as worse as the dates where required when things happened and why. Overall we decided that his condition is 'the same' and ticked that box. He was getting so badly stressed by having to explain the ins and outs of variations that have occurred eg how moving house knocked him out completely and took two months to do because he was too ill and months to recover - but how can a person who is severely ill anyway claim to be 'worse'. Very confusing and upsetting. I wrote a letter of support and so did his Support person from the National Autistic Society and we included his prescription list. He is just hoping that he won't have to face an assessment as he will fold completely and he is still trying to improve a little but these forms just increase his anxiety and make his physical health increase. He'd hoped to have another 12 months before he had to face forms again and try to improve without that stress.
+2 #6 Franco 2016-12-21 23:38
Hi I was sent the pip 2 form how your disability effects you; due to expire Feb 17; commenced Fed 14; I was not sent the form you referred to AR1? required in by 23rd Dec now sent in?, have been sent the wrong form? or will the AR1 follow?

followed your guide also had some help from McMillan
+2 #5 Nod60 2016-12-21 23:11
I hope you all have a Happy Christmas and New Year break. You are brilliant at what you do.
As someone who's Social Anxiety has got worse after years of depression, you are the only people I can turn to for help. I can no longer meet or talk to people outside of my close family so your guides are a lifeline to me dealing with DWP. I have just returned my form for ESA and let's hope for good news in 2017.
However, with your guidance I feel I can battle on even when they try to stop my ESA in support group.
Well done.
+3 #4 JC777 2016-12-21 22:44
Hi, my original award was to Nov 2017, no surprise when I received my AR1 in Nov 16 as expected. Ticked all boxes with no change, did not write anything in the text boxes. Attached an updated prescription list of current medications. 4 weeks later came the DWP letter, not only confirmed PIP would continue but extended it to Nov 2020. I did not realise they could use AR1 to extend award past it's original end date. Happy Days!
+1 #3 geoffrey 2016-12-21 22:15
Quoting zektor:
Hi I've just returned my PIP (AR1) review form back, it was to be returned by 23/12/2016, even though my PIP was granted to Nov 2017, anyway most of my answers were no change, with a couple ticked harder, I enclosed my latest Drs 6mth sick note, so should be interesting come January for their decision letter, I will let you know.

Did you enclose a letter reaffirming your problem cause I find it is always handy to do so to keep them fully up to date.
+1 #2 geoffrey 2016-12-21 22:12
Hi, I would just like to congratulate you on your site it is unbelievably beneficial to those of us that are a bit lost with all the D.W.P red tape.
I am a male who has worked all my life in heavy industry which involved a lot of heavy lifting. I believe this caused my problems which are a multitude of arthritic joints especially my lower back all of which cause severe pains body wide for which I take large doses of morphine. I also got the pip renewal form and most of my answers were no change with a few harder. But i made sure i enclosed a letter outlining my problems (ONCE AGAIN). Thankfully the D.W.P. realised that my problems are degenerative and will only get worse and therefore my award is now until 2020. Sorry for being a bit longwinded.
Keep up the good work.
+1 #1 zektor 2016-12-20 18:30
Hi I've just returned my PIP (AR1) review form back, it was to be returned by 23/12/2016, even though my PIP was granted to Nov 2017, anyway most of my answers were no change, with a couple ticked harder, I enclosed my latest Drs 6mth sick note, so should be interesting come January for their decision letter, I will let you know.

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