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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 Result
“Got my PIP result on Saturday, so pleased I got my standard care renewed with the addition of standard mobility awarded for 4 years to be looked at again in 2022. This result is only 4 weeks after my ftf. Thank you Gordon and all who work on this site, could not have done without the information in these valuable guides.”
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USE YOUR 20% OFF ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP COUPON BEFORE MIDNIGHT FRIDAY: 34726
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Dear Reader,

In this edition we reveal that a pilot of 1,000 online PIP appeals is beginning this month, as the Tribunals Service races to cut costs.

We are providing a free, downloadable factsheet to give to GPs who refuse to issue fit notes to ESA claimants who have lodged an appeal. And if that doesn’t work we have a letter of complaint you can hand over on the same visit.

We reveal the voting record of the new minister for disabled people, who seems to think his job title should be minister for harming disabled people.

We lament the increasingly long wait for a PIP mandatory reconsideration decision.

And, we have a very generous 25% discount offer, exclusively for Benefits and Work readers, on a huge new PIP Case Law Pack.

 

1,000 PIP ONLINE TRIBUNALS
The Tribunals Service is rushing ahead with its project to move PIP and ESA appeals online.

A pilot is beginning in the Midlands in the next two weeks, which will see 1,000 PIP claimants used as guineau pigs as the Tribunals Service aims to cut costs and speed up appeals with its new Continuous Online Resolution (COR) process.

As we explained in the last newsletter, the new system will oblige most claimants to go through an online, text box filling procedure.

Claimants will have to complete this process before they have any chance of attending an oral hearing, where they can address the tribunal panel and answer questions in person.

We’d very much like to hear from anyone who is ‘invited’ onto the Midlands pilot. We’ll offer what help we can with navigating the procedure in return for getting an early insight into how it is all going to work.

At the moment details are still sketchy, but we’ll be updating our PIP appeals guide in the next week to include all the information we have so far.

 

FREE ESA APPEALS FACTSHEET FOR GPs
In our last newsletter we explained how the health of ESA claimants is being put at risk because the DWP have stopped telling GPs that they should resume issuing fit notes to claimants who have lodged an appeal.

As a result of feedback we received, we have created a free factsheet you can download and give to your GP.

Because all the information in the factsheet is supported by links to verifiable information on government websites, no GP who receives a copy could subsequently argue that they were unaware of their duty to issue fit notes.

We have also produced a sample letter of complaint you can download and adapt if you are still refused a fit note and wish to take the matter further as quickly as possible.

Please pass on the ESA appeals factsheet for GPs, or a link, to any individual or organisation you think might benefit.

https://www.benefitsandwork.co.uk/employment-and-support-allowance/esa-appeals#gp

 

NEW MINISTER FOR DISABLED PEOPLE CONSISTENTLY VOTES IN FAVOUR OF THEIR HARM
Justin Tomlinson, the new minister for disabled people since Sarah Newton’s Brexit-related resignation, is nothing if not consistent.

Whenever he has had an opportunity to vote for a measure which could cause disabled people harm, you can be sure that Tomlinson took full advantage.

Even to the extent of taking money from ESA claimants with a terminal cancer diagnosis.

The one small consolation is that, given that he is the fifth minister for disabled people in as many years, he’s unlikely to stick around for long.

 

PIP MANDATORY RECONSIDERATION TIMES INCREASE BY 86%
Justice is grinding slower with every passing month, where PIP is concerned.

The waiting time for a mandatory reconsideration decision has increased every month between August 2018 and January 2019, the most recent month for which figures are available.

Last August the average wait was 32 day but this has now increased to 54 days and, for all we know, is still rising.

The success rate for PIP mandatory reconsiderations is a dismal 19%

Of those who fail their mandatory reconsideration but go on to appeal, however, an overwhelming 73% are successful.

So, the reality is clear. Mandatory reconsiderations are simply an increasingly long and deliberate delay in the appeals process, designed to discourage as many claimants as possible from appealing.

With the introduction of online appeals before you can get to an oral hearing, the delays are only likely to get worse.

 

SPECIAL DISCOUNT ON PIP CASE LAW PACK
If your agency regularly deals with PIP claims and appeals you will find the Personal Independence Payment Case Law Pack an essential aid to your work.

The 465 page pack, produced by MNP Training, who have been publishing DLA and WCA case law packs for many years, covers over 200 of the most important PIP Upper tribunal and superior court decisions.

Cases are summarised and cross-referenced by different topics, including:

  • each of the different ‘daily living component’ activity areas
  • each of the different ‘mobility component’ activity areas
  • safely, to an acceptable standard, repeatedly and within a reasonable time period
  • 50% of days test
  • the required period - the retrospective test and prospective test
  • aids and appliances

Benefits and Work readers can get an exclusive 25% off the pack, which is available as a traditional book and on a USB stick.

Good luck,

Steve Donnison

 

In the Support Group again!
“I've been in the Support Group for a couple of years. I was recently called for another WCA and got the decision letter today, telling me I'm still in the Support Group. All because I followed the B&W guide. A thousand thanks to all at B&W. Such a huge relief that I don't have to fight the DWP again. (I appealed a PIP decision 2 years ago. After a year of waiting I won.)”

 

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: 34726

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
Use our free factsheet if you need a fit note whilst appealing an ESA decision
Last week we covered the issue of that they should issue fit notes to ESA claimants who have lodged an appeal against a finding that they are capable of work.

PIP online tribunals begin this month
The Tribunals Service has announced the start of Continuous Online Resolution (COR) for PIP claimants from this month, beginning with a trial scheme in the Midlands.

New minister for disabled people consistently votes in favour of their harm
The new minister for disabled people, Justin Tomlinson, has an almost unblemished record for voting for the most harmful choices for disabled people, even where it involves taking money from terminally ill claimants.

Special discount on PIP Case Law Pack
Benefits and Work readers are being offered an exclusive 25% discount on the hugely comprehensive PIP case law pack soon to be published by MNP Training.

PIP mandatory reconsideration times increase by 86%
The length of time claimants have to wait for a personal independence payment mandatory reconsideration has increased by 86% in the space of a year, according to figures released by the government.

 

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 award
“After a major battle and tribunal with very helpful advice from yourselves, I managed to get my Enhanced Rate Mobility. I had originally had high rate mobility on DLA, but the PIP assessment deemed I was to receive Nil points. Thanks again.”

PIP Award
“Thank you so much for your wonderful site, I could not have completed the PIP form as well as I had without it. I claimed on behalf of a family member with mental health problems, I asked for a paperbased asessment and recieved the dreaded brown envelope 3 weeks after submission, first thought was ...oh no what do they want now? We could not believe it was the award of enhanced and enhanced for both..”

Won ESA Tribunal
“Firstly I want to thank the people and guides behind this website without whom I could not have appealed my ESA decision effectively… Thank you”

Thank you B&W
“Hi, it’s been a long time since I’ve been on the site here but remember well the amazing help and advice with both ESA and PIP applications, assessment and tribunal. I had to learn a lot through that time in a very short period. It has inspired me to learn more... I have particular interest in the tribunal process but understand I would need extensive knowledge in all areas to be able to advise on this. Thank you for all your amazing continued help you provide to all of us in need. Your service is truly priceless.”

B&W – help of the highest quality
“Just renewed, at a reduced premium, for another year. Ive been so grateful for the support, and successful claim, since 2017 when i first found this site that ive renewed each year since.
I’m now a pensioner and hope i dont have cause to use your services anytime soon, since the latest news regarding pensioner reviews, I’m ever hopeful. This is an amazing place for all those people struggling with the decision makers in our government departments. Good luck and thanks to all the staff.”


PIP Tribunal Success!
“A huge thank you to all running this fantastic site! This morning I received a txt message from the NEW? online PIP Tribunal appeal service informing me my appeal has been closed as the DWP have changed my award in MY FAVOUR! So I duly phoned the helpline and was informed that my award has gone from Standard care & Enhanced mobility for 2 years to Enhanced care & Enhanced mobility for 5 years! This after about 3 weeks of applying to the Tribunal service!”

ESA Results
“To Gordon and everyone. I would like to say thank you for this site. I used it AFTER A FAIL ESA ASSESSMENT THAN FOR a Mandatory Consideration ESA 2 years ago. I FILLED THE FORM, BEEN TO COURT AND WON FOR 24 MONTHS. This was ending in December 2018. I received the new form for ESA I used the information for B&w.. After 6 weeks I received a brown envelope. When I OPENED IT was just a letter from DWP about my payment and showing amount I WAS ENTITLED TO PLUS THE EXTRA PREMIUM BECAUSE I WAS PUT IN THE WRAG GROUP... THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR HELP. I WILL CONTINUE TO PAID FOR MY MEMBERSHIP TO HAVE ACCESS TO VALUABLES INFORMATION”

DLA to PIP Mandatory Reconsideration success
“I would like to thank all those connected with this website for their diligent work in producing such a helpful repository of knowledge, advice and guidance, which has proved so helpful over the years to so many subscribers, including now myself. I have used the Benefits & Work user guides to achieve success with both my ESA and PIP claims. The Benefits & Work guides were especially helpful to me in my recent transition from DLA to PIP, since the procedure downgraded the rate for my care needs from ‘enhanced’ to ‘standard’ – despite me providing a 24 page ‘How your Disability Affects You’ ‘extra information’ submission, plus additional supporting evidence… the DWP ‘decision maker’s’ summary contained some blatant errors of fact in connection with my disability, I requested a Mandatory Reconsideration. I pointed-out the errors and elaborated further on my care needs, using the Appeals guidance on this website. Within 5 days I had received a letter from the DWP, informing me that my claim had been reassessed and that I had now been awarded the enhanced rate of PIP for my care needs. My message to anyone… is that it is necessary to provide as much information as you can in support of your claim… If you are a subscriber to this website, make sure that you read through the latest guides... Although I no longer need to subscribe to this website, I have chosen to do so, by way of saying ‘thank you’ and in order to support the valuable work that it does in campaigning on behalf of people in need and drawing attention to the sometimes questionable tactics employed by the DWP. Well done to Steve and all the ‘Benefits and Work’ team. I wish you and all those you help, continued success.”

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: 34726

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