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ESA & PIP success
“Thank you for the much needed guidance for completing both assessment forms. Due to levels of fatigue my husband did much of the reading from your documents and the form filling. This time, no need for ESA appointment, straight to Support group without tribunal and PIP award after medical. Got higher mobility, middle care - ok with this, although probably qualified for higher care. Eternally grateful for your guides and although the process was very stressful and time consuming, much less so than tribunal. Thanks again.”

£5 OFF, CHRISTMAS COUPON CODE: 33867  LAST COUPON UNTIL 16 JANUARY 2019. USE BEFORE MIDNIGHT FRIDAY.

 

Dear Reader,

In this final edition before Christmas, as well as a £5 off coupon, we have the latest PIP statistics.

These show that one in four claimants lose their whole award when it is reviewed. And almost half of DLA to PIP claimants get a lower award or no award.

We also have Labour’s claim that 46,000 ESA claimants have so far missed out because of government cuts.

There is the news that the boss of Motability is to resign after his previously undisclosed £2.2 million bonus was discovered.

We hear from a member who faced repossession of his home and has had his credit score destroyed because the DWP failed to pay his mortgage interest.

Finally, we have the Christmas closure dates for the forum, when Gordon gets a hugely well-deserved break.

 

LATEST PIP STATISTICS
The latest PIP statistics show a wide variation in outcomes, depending on your condition and where you are in the claims process.

For DLA to PIP, the figures show that while 39% of DLA claimants had their benefit increased when they were reassessed for PIP, 22% had their benefit cut and 25% had it stopped completely.

But your condition makes a big difference. 40% of claimants with psychoneurosis had their award stopped altogether, compared with 28% with learning difficulties and 16% with arthritis.

Statistics are also available for claimants who have been in the system long enough to have a review of their PIP award.

25% of PIP claimants who have their award reviewed get no further award at all, 16% have their award decreased, 16% get an increase and 43% stay the same.

Again, your condition makes a big difference. 46% of claimants with psychiatric disorders have their award stopped or reduced, compared to, 36% with neurological disease and 32% with respiratory disease.

 

46,000 ESA CLAIMANTS HIT BY CUTS
Labour is claiming that 46,000 sick and disabled claimants have so far been hit by the decision not to pay an additional amount to claimants in the work-related activity group of ESA.

The work-related activity component of ESA was ended for new claimants in April 2017.

According to Labour, there are now 46,000 ESA claimants whose ESA claim is under a year old and who will therefore not have been eligible for the component.

Of these, 29,000 claimants have a mental health condition as their primary disabling condition.

Labour have called on the Conservatives to reverse the cut.

 

‘OBSCENE’ PAY OF MOTABILITY BOSS
The boss of Motability will be resigning, eventually, after it was revealed that he is due a £2.2 million bonus on top of his £1.7 million annual salary.

Mike Betts failed to disclose this bonus to the work and pensions committee earlier this year.

A report by the National Audit Office (NAO) also found that Motability has made over a billion pounds in ‘unplanned profits’ in the last ten years by underestimating the resale value of used cars.

As a result disabled claimants have been overcharged by £390 million because the cost of their leases was higher than it should have been.

The NAO has said that Motability should hand over a chunk of its huge £2.62 billion reserves to its charitable arm.

Frank Field, chair of the work and pensions committee commented:

“We knew already that executive pay at Motability Operations was out of control. But the NAO has now uncovered the full extent of it, and revealed that the Chief Executive is in line for a £2.2 million bonus payout, on top of the obscene amount of money he has already been given. This is a man whose income is already more than most people can expect to see in a lifetime. It is beyond appalling to learn that money that could have been used to improve the lives of disabled people will be lining his pockets instead.”

 

MEMBER FACED REPOSSESSION AND DESTROYED CREDIT SCORE
A Benefits and Work member faced repossession and has had his credit score destroyed because the DWP failed to arrange his mortgage interest payments.

Trevor (not his real name), signed up for the repayable loan which replaced support for mortgage interest as a benefit.

He told us:

“Our mortgage is for slightly more that the £200,000 so we have to make some payments ourselves which we do religiously. Despite this, we were receiving letters from our mortgage lender advising us that we were in arrears and threatening us with repossession.”

It turned out that the DWP had not paid Trevor’s mortgage interest for at least four months.

Trevor finally got through to someone at the DWP.

“She advised me that the payments team had a massive backlog due to a shortage of staff but that they had moved our file to the top of the pile.”

“She then explained that the DWP had made an agreement with the mortgage lenders all of whom had agreed not to start any repossession proceedings against those affected by the backlog.”

In fact, the lender, one of the one of the biggest ones, denied that any such agreement existed and commenced repossession proceedings.

These were eventually halted, but the arrears are recorded on Trevor’s credit history and the lender refuses to remove them even though Trevor was not at fault.

Trevor is fighting this decision and would like to hear from anyone who has faced a similar problem.

 

FORUM CHRISTMAS CLOSURE
The forum will be closing for a Christmas break after the evening session on Friday 21 December and opening again for the afternoon session on Thursday 3 January.

I’m sure you will join us in wishing Gordon a Happy Christmas and an extremely well earned break, he’s done a fantastic job again this year.

And if anyone’s new year’s resolution turns out to be helping Gordon in the forum, then please do get in touch.

 

That’s all for this year.

Thank you to everyone who has sent us a Christmas card, we are really touched that you have taken the trouble to do so.

We’ll be back with the next newsletter on 16 January.

Meanwhile, we wish you all a Happy Christmas and a Peaceful New Year.

Good luck,

Steve Donnison

 

Won PIP appeal
“Won my appeal: after 40 minutes of grilling by the 3 strong team, I have been awarded enhanced rate on both till 20 21 it was a very long morning. Thank you for your help everyone”

 

BOOST YOUR PIP AND ESA CHANCES - £5 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 25% off the cost of your annual subscription.

Just type the following code into the coupon box when you pay: 33867

Claimants and carers get an annual subscription for £14.95, down from £19.95. Professionals get an annual subscription for £72.65, down from £97.00.
Offer ends midnight Friday

 

BENEFITS NEWS
1 in 4 PIP claimants lose entire award on review
25% of personal independence payment (PIP) claimants who have their award reviewed end up with no award at all, while 16% have their award cut, according to figures released by the DWP today.

Almost half of DLA to PIP claimants get lower award or no award
47% of disability living allowance (DLA) to personal independence payment (PIP) claimants either get a lower award or no award at all, according to figures released by the DWP today.

Motability boss to resign over ‘obscene’ pay, while customers overcharged by £390 million
The chief executive of Motability, Mike Betts, will resign by next May after details of a £2.2 million undisclosed bonus and overcharging of customers by £390 million were revealed by the National Audit Office (NAO).

46,000 ESA claimants hit by cuts so far
Labour is claiming that 46,000 sick and disabled claimants have so far been hit by the decision not to pay an additional amount to claimants in the work-related activity group of ESA.

Legal aid for benefits appeals would be restored under Labour
Labour will restore legal aid for benefits appeals if it wins power, the shadow justice secretary Richard Burgon will announce, according to the Guardian.

Homeowner faced repossession and destroyed credit score due to DWP mortgage interest backlog
A Benefits and Work member has been threatened with having his house repossessed and had his credit score destroyed because the DWP failed to arrange his mortgage interest payments

 

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 Review success
Benefits and Work guides covers“I received the new pip review form which was started being issued in August I returned this form in early September. I have been waiting for the dreaded assessment and to my delight I received my brown envelope today no assessment and my award extended from sept 2019;to November 2022. Thank you benefits and work I followed your advise to the letter.”

PIP win!
“In June this year, my brother underwent reassessment to move him from DLA to PIP. He is a full leg amputee (with very short fleshy stump) and was getting the 'middle care allowance' and 'higher mobility allowance' on DLA as he has great difficulty balancing and walking on his prosthetic due to such a short stump. After his assessment, they took away completely any 'care allowance' and dropped him down to the lower rate 'mobility' allowance. We asked for a Mandatory Review, and with this supplied a letter from his doctor in support of his case. The review was carried out very quickly, and within 2 weeks we received a letter to say they had not changed their decision. We duly completed the form to appeal at tribunal. We did not at that point provide further 'evidence' and effectively rewrote on the form, what we had put down for the MR. Within 6 weeks he received a letter from the DWP to say they had reviewed all the information on their copy of the appeal form, and decided to award him both PIP components at the Higher Rate after all! Therefore no need to go to the tribunal. Whilst he is of course very happy with the final result, and we wanted to share this with you all, to show that there is always hope, it is nevertheless shocking that the DWP can put people through the wringer for absoutely nothing! We had not supplied any further evidence, that they did not have for the MR…Finally to say we could not have done it without the guidelines and advice from this site. Thankyou all. We wish you all well with your continued fight.”

Appeal success
“Just to let you know I had my appeal on Tuesday, got my decision in the post today. I was shaking when I opened the letter, because I really wasn’t sure which way it would go for me. Awarded enhanced rate for daily living from standard, and standard rate mobility, which has been backdated from April 2017. I am glad it is all over now until 2021, and given my mental health problems, I am quite glad I managed to see the whole process to the end. I believed all along that the assessor had really stitched me up with the descriptors, but now I have validation that I was right to fight the injustice of this chronic system, of which is not fit for purpose. I honestly believe it is corrupt and in contempt of human rights, and causes nothing but misery for so many. Thanks to all that have helped, and the information on this site, which has helped without a doubt.”

PIP Review success
“I recently completed the new PIP review form and submitted it using the PIP guide. I sent additional information from my Consultant, OT and Physio after the submitted the original form. I had asked if I could do this and they gave me an extension to my decision being made. Thankfully I was successful in maintaining my levels of benefit, without having to attend for an assessment. Thank you for the support from this website.”

PIP appeal won
“I just want to say a HUGE thank you. I have just won my appeal for PIP. I originally was awarded the standard rate for daily living and nothing for mobility. when I queried the points awarded on one of the criteria they took the whole lot away. I appealed and have just been awarded higher rate daily living and standard rate mobility. This was thanks to the information available to me on this website. (I just hope the DWP don't appeal it). This has been going on since May last year so even though it was a long time to wait, it was worth it. I have now been told I could maybe claim contribution based ESA so will be looking at your information on that. It has been a great help to me as i have never claimed anything in my life but you made the process easier. THANK YOU X”

ESA Support Group SUCCESS
“Well back in September the dreaded ESA assessment questionnaire landed on my porch floor. After instant anxiety attack, i opened it. Noticed they had moved the goalposts again. Had a quick look through these guides looked pretty much a formality. So i sat, took a full day out to carefully fill the form in. I have no evidence material other than my four page prescription repeat form. Any who, i placed it all in the envelope posted it & stopped sleeping properly from that day on. 7th November face to face appointment arrives for 21st November. Again panic, although i have no reason to. Frets a lot becomes suicidal, not slept or rested since Friday 16th November. Skip to Tuesday the 20th, Posty comes with a dreaded health assessment address on back. Thinks here goes. Opens it to find they have cancelled the appointment & to ring job centre. Does this to be told no need for assessment as i still qualify for ESA Support group. Gosh i feel soooo much better now.”

Success at MR for PIP
“First of all, I would like to thank Gordon and this amazing website with its resources for all the help and support that has been offered to me and so many others. After a gruelling and worrying long time, I now have become a success story after mandatory reconsideration of PIP, and was here previously asking for advice. At first I was awarded 0 points for both care and mobility. After mandatory reconsideration, I have now been awarded standard care (8 points) and standard mobility (10 points). This has also passported me to having the severe disability premium added to my ESA…All money has been backdated to when I lost my DLA and the severe disability premium also to my ESA. Not everyone is successful at mandatory reconsideration, I know, and feel very grateful. Thank you so much Gordon. You make such a difference to people’s lives.”

Enhanced PIP renewed for 3 years – thanks to B&W!
“Just a quick "thank you" to everyone at B&W for their continuous effort and advice. I received a renewal form from DWP, and at first I thought just tick everything as "No Change". However after reading documents and advice on this site, I changed my approach and made sure all questions were answered fully, reasserting my medical conditions. DWP have written to me and confirmed my Enhanced PIP has been renewed until 2021, without a F2F assessment. So once again, thanks to everyone at B&W”

PIP success – thank you
“Thankyou to this page and Gordon . I’ve been given pip enhanced rate for both for 3 years . Thankyou thankyou thankyou”

ESA success
“Having recently done an ESA WCA after a 5-year gap, and having used your very informative Guides to help, I just got the DWP response today (I submitted it for 12th October deadline, so they were quite quick) and I'm pleased to let you know that they're continuing my ESA, and keeping me in the Support Group.”

Thank you
“I just want to say thank you all for help and advice from this site. Gone from High rate DLA mobility to enhanced care and standard mobility on PiP I would not have got either without this sites assistance.”

BOOST YOUR PIP AND ESA CHANCES - £5 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 25% off the cost of your annual subscription.

Just type the following code into the coupon box when you pay: 33867

Claimants and carers get an annual subscription for £14.95, down from £19.95. Professionals get an annual subscription for £72.65, down from £97.00.
Offer ends midnight Friday

 

Good luck,

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