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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.


Won PIP Tribunal!
“my daughter has mental health problems and previously got PIP standard daily living allowance which had been awarded to her by the Tribunal for 3 years. In just under 2 years the DWP decided to review it and as per the usual she failed after the dishonest atos assessment. So had the benefit taken away from her on 1st May 2018. The decision makers really messed up and I don't even think they looked at the paper work properly. I helped her with the appeal and using your very helpful guides. It has been a tremendous worry and has really been hard on my daughter and made her conditions worse. But I was amazed at the Tribunal panel this morning, in particular the Judge was so down to earth. It has restored my faith in mankind!. We got real Justice in the end with enhanced daily living and enhanced mobility!. So people Never give up with this very unfair system.
Many Thanks Gordon and benefits and work.”

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Dear Reader,

A belated Happy New Year from all of us at Benefits and Work.

And, very unusually, our first newsletter of 2019 actually is verging on the happy side.

We start with the news that some claimants are to get a year’s reprieve from being forced off DLA and onto PIP.

The delay has come about because so many DWP staff are being used to check previous decisions, after the DWP lost a stream of court cases.

For example, we have news that thousands of claims are being checked to identify around 4,600 claimants, because a court ruled in 2017 that their DLA was unfairly stopped when they were assessed for PIP.

And the DWP lost yet another court case last week.

This time it was in connection with universal credit (UC) and will mean more back-payments to claimants.

Even worse for the DWP, the decision means that they will now have to make thousands of UC calculations manually, because their software can’t work out the amounts the way the court requires.

Perhaps in an effort to cut workloads, with all those staff diverted to checking old cases and doing UC calculations with a pen and paper, the DWP have begun choosing current PIP claimants who are to be moved on to 10 year ‘light touch’ reviews.

It will be a welcome surprise for many thousands of PIP claimants with severe conditions who are not expected to improve, but who were due a review much sooner.

And it looks like the transfer of ESA claimants to UC may also be subject to delay, after it was announced that the DWP will only be moving a pilot group of 10,000 onto UC this year.

Regulations for moving millions of other legacy benefit claimants onto UC will not now be brought forward until the pilot has finished.

Finally, our apologies that this newsletter is out a day early.

We wanted to get it out before a tidal wave of Brexit news and speculation engulfs us all on Wednesday.

 

DLA TO PIP TRANSFERS: SOME CLAIMANTS TO GET A YEAR’S REPRIEVE
The number of claimants being forced to move from DLA to PIP in the coming year is being cut because staff have been diverted to correcting PIP errors in relation to cases known as MH and RJ.

Over 250 staff have been taken on by the DWP to review previous PIP decisions where mistakes may have been made

But, because the 250 staff are not enough to get through all the reviews by the end of 2020, staff are being diverted from DLA to PIP reassessments to do the work as well.

Sarah Newton, Minister of State for Disabled People, did not reveal how many claimants will have their DLA to PIP transfer postponed, but the fact that it was announced in parliament suggest that it will be a significant number.

Claimants who have their transfer postponed will now be reassessed for PIP in 2020/21.

 

4,600 MORE PIP CLAIMANTS ENTITLED TO ARREARS
Another case, known as OM, lost by the DWP also involves PIP claimants.

On this occasion, it is claimants who had their DLA award stopped after they failed to attend a face-to-face assessment or to provide information in connection with moving to PIP.

The upper tribunal found that where good cause had been shown, the claimants should have had their DLA reinstated until a decision was made about their eligibility for PIP.

The DWP are now reviewing the cases of all claimants since the date of the decision, 23 November 2017, who failed to attend an assessment or failed to provide evidence but were subsequently found to have good cause.

They estimate that around 4,600 claimants will receive a back-payment as a result.

 

UNIVERSAL CREDIT SOFTWARE CAN’T COPE WITH NEW COURT RULING
More legal nightmares for the DWP.

The High Court ruled last week in favour of four UC claimants who took on the DWP.

The claimants are paid monthly and sometimes receive two months’ pay in the same UC assessment period, because of issues such as bank holidays.

The DWP effectively docked the claimants’ income by deciding that they were only entitled to one month’s work allowance for the two pay packets, meaning that the claimants were £192 worse off.

The court dismissed the DWP’s argument that it was the claimants responsibility to change their employers behaviour.

The judges also had no sympathy for the DWP’s insistence that the court had to find against the claimants, because the UC software cannot cope with moving a payment into a new month.

As a result the DWP will not only have to make back payments to affected claimants, they will also now have to do manual calculations for anyone who gets two pay packets in the same month.

It looks like the DWP will be hiring again soon.

 

DWP BEGINS MOVING EXISTING PIP CLAIMANTS TO 10 YEAR ‘LIGHT TOUCH’ REVIEWS
In more good news for claimants, the DWP announced that it has begun deciding which existing PIP claimants will be moved to having only have a ‘light touch’ review every 10 years, instead of a more frequent full review.

The new system is intended to reduce the number of unnecessary checks on PIP awards.

The light touch reviews will be aimed primarily at claimants who have been awarded the enhanced rates of both components of PIP and whose condition is unlikely to improve.

Sarah Newton Minister of State for Disabled People, said in a written statement:

“This is still in the early stages and being dealt with in date order, prioritising claimants whose awards are coming up for an award review, but commencing this activity is a really important step to reducing the number of individuals having to undergo an unnecessary award review where their needs are only likely to deteriorate.”

The exact nature of the’ light touch’ review has not yet been decided.

 

ESA TO UC TRANSFER POSTPONED
The government is postponing the introduction of regulations for the mass transfer of claimants from legacy benefits such as ESA to UC, in the face of a threatened backbench revolt.

Instead, only a pilot transfer of 10,000 claimants will take place this year..

The DWP had already announced that the pilot would take place before the full scale migration of claimants from legacy benefits.

However, the intention had been to put in place the regulations for moving millions more claimants before the pilot had even begun, let alone before the results were known.

Now the DWP must wait until the pilot has taken place and been evaluated before putting forward regulations for moving everyone else.

It is, at least, a small improvement.

And one more small piece of positive news to start the year on.

Good luck,

Steve Donnison

 

Universal Credit WCA success
“I have just received notice today that I’ve been assessed as having limited capability for work and work related activity ! I can’t quite believe it I was all set for a fight. I feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders and Christmas will be better than I hoped if I get what’s backdated before then. So thank you b&w for your wonderful guides”

 

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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: 36598

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
4,600 more PIP claimants entitled to arrears
The DWP is carrying out yet another review of personal independence payment (PIP) claimants to identify individuals who are eligible for a back -payment because of a failure by the department to interpret the law correctly.

Universal credit software can’t cope with new court ruling
The DWP is in further disarray over universal credit (UC) following a new high court ruling.

SDP claimants protected from losing out
Claimants in receipt of the severe disability premium (SDP) will not be moved onto universal credit (UC) by natural migration if they have a change of circumstances.

DWP begins moving existing PIP claimants to 10 year ‘light touch’ reviews
The DWP has begun deciding which existing PIP claimants will be moved to having only have a ‘light touch’ review every 10 years, instead of a more frequent full review.

DLA to PIP transfers: some claimants to get a year’s reprieve
The DWP has had to reduce the number of claimants being forced to move from DLA to PIP in the coming year because staff have been diverted to correcting previous PIP errors.

ESA to UC transfer postponed
The government is to postpone the introduction of regulations for the mass transfer of claimants from ESA to 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.

Tribunal success
“Thank you for your very useful guides on the Tribunal. My friend and I used the guides at the Tribunal stage and found them very helpful. Just a tip - do send information in advance if you can. The Tribunal were also helpful and the Tribunal Judge & Panel were very kind (Sutton) even though the evidence was only provided on the day. My friend was not in a good state but got through it and their kindness & empathy ( and advice) gave him a much needed boost. He was awarded additional points for daily living and mobility. The DWP representative did not appear and the case was heard in their absence. Thank you”

PIP Review – award for ten years
“I've posted about this on a much earlier thread that I started some months ago. Just to let you know my PIP award went through and I had the enhanced rate again for care and mobility for ten years. Wasn't expecting that - and yes, I know they'll be reviewing me again before that date - but it's wonderful to have it out of the way now. Thank you so much. I have a combination of complex health issues, so following the guides was vital in order to present a full picture. Plus Gordon's advice on another thread was really helpful. Many thanks”

PIP Tribunal success!
“A great result today, my "other half" has had a successful tribunal result. Thank you for all advice on the W&B site, this was all taken on board. We did sent a brief resume' of the points on which the HP failed him and the omissions and discrepancies which occurred in this PIP assessment to the tribunal beforehand and this made things easier I am sure. Such a wonderful relief.....to anyone out there facing a tribunal, I can say that he was treated with the greatest respect throughout. So never give up!!!”

Deaf Appeal Won!
“You may remeber I posted over a year ago now that I was helping my dad with his PIP appeal. He is profoundly deaf with a CI. He perviously had DLA and lost it changing to PIP. I did my reserach and got relevent case law. The one about safety was huge in getting him points in areas. I wrote a detailed submission laying out his case. For each descriptor I wrote what I belie he should have scored and why. Today was the tribunal and they had made their decision before we enetered the court room. They were very nice and said that they made their decision already because of my detailed submission and gave points in every area I had asked for. He walked out having won enhanced daily living. Standard mobility and the judge has recommended it indefinitely.”

PIP success!
“My husband has been getting lower rate PIP for some 4 yeras , but no mobility component. He has detereorated msssively this past 18 months and I was concerned about him approaching 65 and wanting to at least get a review of his needs. We got your latest advice. He asked for a review in July . We completed the forms over a good few weeks ,(we had to ask for an extension). This was very stressful for both of us as he always plays down his difficulties and as his carer , I see things differently . We wre hoping at least to get something for mobility. He had a home visit in October., from quite a sympathetic assessor.
He has just his decision letter. Enhanced care and enhance mobility,backdated to July and awarded for 10 years.!..Thanks so much to everybody who contributes to this site and guides , I know we would not have been so sucessful without your support..”


ESA Support Group
“I just thought I would post here as thanks to this website and knowledge I had going into my assessment - I was found to be continuing in the support group of ESA at least for another 18 months…I was very worried before hand even going into at best WRAG with proviso to prepare paid work once more.
On advice here I got a letter from my consultant psychiatrist which said I was not able to do full time paid work - I have had over 40 jobs over the years and in almost all had to give up due to my health becoming worse in each. I had been stable for year or so - doing lots volunteering and keeping myself well in the best way for me.
AS ADVISED BY THIS FORUM _ I got my psychiatrist to write a letter for me saying I was doing well but if I was deemed able to do full time paid work - my health condition had the potential to become quickly unstable as I live on my own and in these circumstances I have often forgot meds which is dangerous for myself.
AS ADVISED BY THIS FORUM - Also I asked before hand for the assessment to be recorded and this was in the notes - and when I turned up on the day - they said the cassette machine was not working so I would be unable to have my assessment taped. I then said is it ok to record it on my phone and they then said they needed discuss it with the assessor - anyhow ten minutes later and in time for my assessment the cassette machine was miraculously cured and I did indeed get my assessment recorded. I did think this did actually benefit me in the way the assessment was done and I was able to get across how my condition affected myself at its worst. Anyhow three weeks after assessment I got news being in Support Group. I believe the two keys that stopped me from either being in WRAG group or on JSA were recording the assessment and getting medical backup also. I actually scored zero points but my condition over ruled these figures which I for one was mightily relieved to receive this news. Thank you Benefits and Work”

Tribunal result
“Many thanks to Benefits and Work and all the information available to get us through this. Lots of hours of work and very stressful but worth the effort. Had Appeal Hearing recently. Appealing the Mobility component which hadn't been awarded after years on DLA. We were in and out in five minutes - didn't even get our papers on the table. 3 minutes of the time there was getting our chins off the floor. Decision was made ahead of our walking in, based on initial evidence combined with additional evidence submitted before the hearing date. Tribunal decided not only to award Mobility but it should be at Enhanced rate PLUS the Daily Living should be Enhanced as well. Hope not tempting fate as not had DWP confirmation yet. To any of you out there trying - keep at it; read all Benefits and Work resources and prepare. The Panel we had were charming but guess would say that given the result!”

PIP renewed at Enhanced rate
“After a ten week wait, I got the letter today to say that I have been re-awarded pip at enhanced rate (19 points...same as last time) with no medical. I am pleased to have the continuing financial support, I am pleased they have recognised the difficulties I experience as a result of mental health problems and I am pleased that they are not forcing me through a traumatic assessment…Thank you for support from here and the invaluable advice on filling in forms.”

ESA success!
“I just wanted to say a big thanks for the guides on here. They are worth their weight in gold. I would never recommend anyone filling out any medical forms without them regardless of how ill they are. We moved home to a full UC area and had to make an online claim for that. My husband was previously in the ESA support group. An ESA50 form then arrived in the post which I filled out for him using the Benefits and Work guides. (Apparently the UC people were waiting to hear from the ESA people about hubby's ability to work, or lack of it). I took the advice about adding extra medical evidence, and ended up including an extra 31 pages! (Unfortunately hubby has lots of long term conditions .)We know from experience that first class recorded post can be slow so with a week to go until the form was due back we paid the extra for Special Delivery, and today we were informed via our online UC journal that my husband has been awarded the limited capability for work and work related activity component. A big relief!”

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: 36598

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

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