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Free, fortnightly PIP, ESA and DLA Updates

Our fortnightly updates bulletin is the UK's leading source of benefits news. Get the facts about what's changing, how it affects you and how to prepare. Our mailing list is securely managed by icontact in the US.

Thank you
“I wanted to say thank you for all your help. My son was transferred from DLA standard care an low mobility on to pip enhanced care and mobility. You also helped me get through my eldest son get through MR for PIP. I would have been lost without all the help and information on this site. Thank you dosent seem enough”
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Dear Reader,

In this newsletter we fail to shed any tears over the sudden resignation of Esther McVey, the latest in a very long line of short-lived secretaries of state for work and pensions.

But nor can we manage even a small cheer for her replacement, Amber Rudd, as we look at her past record and her first pronouncements on poverty and universal credit.

We also have the little noticed announcement that trials of video recording of PIP assessments start this month.

And we very much hope that some of our readers will feel able to pass on their knowledge and experiences to the work and pensions committee, who are looking at severe deprivation suffered by benefits claimants.

In addition, the committee is also investigating the DWP’s recently announced assault on carers and would like to hear from you if you have been affected.

 

DISGRACED AMBER RUDD TAKES OVER AT DWP
Blink and you miss one.

Yet another secretary of state for work and pensions has resigned and been replaced.

There was widespread satisfaction last week at the resignation of the much despised Esther McVey.

Though the fact that she resigned over Brexit, rather than her shameful record of misinformation at the DWP, was a cause for regret.

And there was a distinct lack of joy at the news that McVey was to be replaced by another disgraced purveyor of misinformation, Amber Rudd.

Rudd was forced to resign as home secretary in April of this year after it was revealed that she had misled parliament over targets for removing illegal immigrants from Britain.

She was at the forefront of the scandal over the mistreatment and deportation of Windrush generation residents originally from the Caribbean, many of whom were denied benefits, healthcare and pensions.

Rudd is the daughter of a stockbroker. She attended Cheltenham Ladies College and Edinburgh University before joining American investment bank JP Morgan. She became an MP in 2010.

Within days of taking up her latest post, Rudd utterly dismissed the harrowing report on poverty in the UK by the United Nations.

She has also praised the DWP as a ‘force for good’ and, in regards to universal credit, insisted that “We are not stopping, ceasing or pausing the system . . .”

It’s definitely business as usual at the DWP.

 

VIDEO RECORDING OF PIP ASSESSMENTS BEGINS
Sarah Newton, minister for disabled people, quietly let slip in the course of answering questions from MPs, that video recording of PIP assessments is starting this month.

After proudly telling MPs that the customer satisfaction rating for PIP has risen from 76% to 87% and that PIP assessments consistently meet their quality target, which is over 90%, Newton went on to say:

“I am pleased to say, however, that our plans for the video recording of the assessments are going very well, and the live testing trial will start later this month.”

We have previously debunked PIP assessment quality targets – results for which suddenly and massively improved when the DWP changed the rules two years ago – and satisfaction scores, which are based on a single, non-anonymous telephone question to claimants who are waiting for the result of their assessment.

And we have yet to see any evidence that PIP claimants would generally prefer to have a video recorded assessment rather than an audio recorded one.

We would very much like to hear from anyone who finds themselves involved in the trials.

 

COMMONS COMMITTEE WANTS YOUR EVIDENCE ON DEPRIVATION
The commons work and pensions committee is hoping to hear from individuals as well as professional agencies about severe deprivation for benefits claimants.

They are looking for answers to questions like:

Why do some households fall into poverty and deprivation?

Do Jobcentre Plus procedures and benefit delays play a role?

What role does Universal Credit play in in relation to deprivation, or could it play in tackling it?

Is our welfare safety net working to prevent people falling into deprivation?

If you think you could offer evidence on these and other issues, you have until 14 December to respond.

 

CARERS ALLOWANCE OVERPAYMENT INVESTIGATION
The work and pensions committee has also begun an investigation into the government’s assault on carers.

The DWP has launched a campaign against carer’s allowance overpayments that they hope will result in more than a thousand carers being prosecuted and 10,000 fined by the DWP.

But, as the committee points out, carers only have to go £1 over the earnings threshold to lose 100% of their carers allowance and many carers are not aware of what the earnings limit is.

One committee member explained:

"Our health and social care systems would fall apart without the contribution of unpaid carers, who perform a selfless and invaluable role for at least 35 hours a week to qualify for the £64.80 carer’s allowance – that’s a maximum £1.85 an hour.

“When carers are only being informed of overpayments years later and potentially being taken to court for thousands of pounds, it is imperative for the Committee to look at the evidence and question whether Government is acting in the best interests not just of individuals, but of society and the wider economy."

The deadline for responses to the investigation is 22 December 2018.

Please contribute if you can.

Good luck,

Steve Donnison

 Benefits and Work guides covers

PIP Award
“I received my award letter today for PIP, enhanced on both components. To say I'm pleased is an understatement! This, I am sure, is largely due to the guides on this site - thank you.”

 

BOOST YOUR PIP AND ESA CHANCES - 20% OFF ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP – OFFER ENDS MIDNIGHT FRIDAY.
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: 7246

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

 

BENEFITS NEWS

Commons committee wants to hear from carers allowance overpayment victims
The commons work and pensions committee would like to hear from you if you have been contacted by the DWP in connection with a carer’s allowance overpayment.

Commons committee wants your evidence
The commons work and pensions committee would like to hear from individual claimants as well as organisations as part of its enquiry into severe deprivation.

Rudd dismisses UN report on poverty and calls DWP a ‘force for good’
Anyone hoping for a change of tack from the DWP now that Amber Rudd has taken over will have been disappointed by her first statements to MPs.

Video recording of PIP assessments begins as customer satisfaction skyrockets
The testing of video recording of PIP assessments goes live this month, the government has announced.

UN report condemns poverty in UK
The United Nations (UN) is to be presented with a report on poverty in the UK which paints a bleak and depressing picture of a country plummeting back to the Victorian era.

Disgraced Amber Rudd takes over at DWP
Disgraced former home secretary Amber Rudd has replaced Esther McVey, who resigned yesterday, as secretary of state for work and pensions, it was announced this afternoon.

Universal credit increases suicide risk
A study by university researchers has found that the effects of claiming universal credit led to some claimants considering suicide.

McVey resigns – but not over universal credit
Esther McVey has today resigned as secretary of state for work and pensions, but over Brexit rather than universal credit (UC).

 

GOOD NEWS FROM THE FORUM

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.

PIP Result at last!
Benefits and Work guides covers“Well after almost 6 months I finally got a decision today if only over the phone…I won my my MR!!! I'm still in shock and have been all day so only just stopped shaking, well almost. The girl on the phone said 12 points for mobilty and 9 points for daily living up to the 20th of June 2021. So that's that for over 18 months until I get the call again a year before the end date, all being well…My sincere thanks and gratitude goes to you, Gordon - for your support and advice throughout this ordeal. My eternal thanks also to the support I've had from fellow members. I really could never have got there on my own. I thoroughly read the guides and followed them intently throughout the whole process and in particular through the MR process, which obviously paid off. My advice to anyone who is in a similar situation after a dodgy assessment is make sure you have a recording to refer to and quote from (even though the other tape is highly unlikely to ever get listened to), and do not give up, whatever you do. Anyway, cheers to all and for once I'm looking forward to getting my brown envelope this time.”

PIP success
“… i wrote some time ago as I had to go for an assessment from indefinite DLA to PIP it was horrendous ... However to my amazement two weeks later I received the dreaded brown envelope and to our utter amazement I was given high level support on all parts for 4 year then to be reassessed Thank You all for your support and help I will keep reading all your data ready for round 2 in 4 yrs time” 

Successful MR
“Just a quick note to let you know I’ve had a successful mandatory reconsideration result! I was awarded standard care and Mobility at review following a f2f. Care the same but mobility reduced. . . . . After a whopping 13 weeks of letting me hold on to it my motability car was returned on Friday, the same day as the decision was made. My mental health has been seriously affected. Risking an award which could be changed to nothing. enduring a cold winter and being made to be a liar has taken its toll. But thanks to this wonderful site and your invaluable resources I feel supported at my loneliest, most stressful time. I am certain that without benefits and work I wouldn’t have made it through successfully…Huge thanks to all at b&w

PIP success before hearing
“I am totally in shock, 9 o'clock this morning I received a phone call from PIP informing me they had reviewed my case following new evidence supplied by myself and had decided they could award Enhanced Care and Standard Mobility. So, from zero points to zero points on Mandatory Reconsideration to Enhanced Rate and Standard Rate-many thanks to Gordon and the wonderful guides which I used for my Tribunal Appeal. This is really great news for me and I urge everyone in similar situations not to give up, use the guides on here as they really do make a difference”

Success!
“Good news! After a year of fighting and rejections, at the tribunal today my sister-in-law has gone from zero points to being awarded standard PIP for daily living support AND for mobility. Both indefinitely so we won’t ever need to go through all this again. I didn’t think we’d get mobility as well. I am so glad a friend recommended this website. The informative on here has been invaluable to pushing ahead with her claim. And the success stories encouraged me not to give up. Thank you!”

DLA to PIP – got there in the end
“would just like to thank this sight and to let everyone know it can be done..changed over from dla to pip i was on full care and low mobility had the face to face for pip he told many lies on the report lost mobility altogether and was halved on care, did a mandatory then got standard care but full mobility, i then put in for a tribunial appeal 2 weeks later got a letter saying pip have cancelled the court hearing and awarded enhance on both care and mobility. i still dont agree wth some of the point scoring but to be honest after 8 months of fighting im exhauseted and mentally drained by the whole process im excepting it. £25 WELL SPENT THANKYOU VERY MUCH FOR ALL THE HELP”

PIP award
“Just got full PIP award!! Thank you B&W!! 24 Mobility points but fewer DL points (16) than I'm entitled to. Award for is 5 years even though there is no prospect of anything other than deterioration…Thank you again”

ESA reassessment success
“Finally got dm letter still in sg thanku.. once again thanku for all your help”

PIP Appeal success
“Great news today my PIP appeal was successful. Now have standard rate daily living component and mobility component. The DWP awarded me 0 points the panel awarded me 19 points in total.
Thanks for all your useful information that contributed towards my success. The message is, try to appeal if you feel you have been treated unfairly! Thanks once again.”


PIP success
“Wanted to say a massive heartfelt thank you to this amazing site. I had my switch over from DLA to PIP 5wks ago. I was on High rate mobility and middle rate care DLA. I've just received the results of my PIP assessment and I was awarded enhanced mobility and enhanced daily living. The whole experience was incredibly positive. I was given a home assessment upon request unlike with ESA where despite my constant battle for one I was refused. The Atos assessor was fantastic. He was so nice and the report he submitted was completely genuine. Am still in complete and utter shock but I know without any doubt that it was the information I could access on here as a member, that really made the difference. I could never have got this result without you. Thank you so very very much”

PIP success
“Friend has PIP standard daily care enhanced mobility thanks to great advice here!”

 

BOOST YOUR PIP AND ESA CHANCES - 20% OFF ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP – OFFER ENDS MIDNIGHT FRIDAY.
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: 7246

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