Fantastic result – DLA to PIP
“Just wanted to let you [mods] and this fabulous site and its supporters know that I have finally received my awards for PIP transferring from dla. having naively completing the form without discovering this website's invaluable guidance , and dealing with an aggressive home visit ,I am pleased to say I have been awarded enhanced rates for both components. However had it not have been for your joint help and advice I would have failed to have rectified certain errors I made on form and not have fully grasped how vital evidence submission is to a claim. Your guidance gave me the opportunity to rectify these points and save the day as it were . Since receiving my award ,my GP has taken your site details and is making a point of informing relevant patients of the help with benefits that you provide, which is terrific to think that indirectly I've helped to assist others in this stressful process. So huge thanx for I know for sure it would have gone badly wrong without this site… Once again huge thanks”
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Dear Reader,

Well, it’s not all bad news in this update – especially if you live in Scotland.

The DWP have confirmed that some claimants will be spared repeat work capability assessments (WCAs). The new system has already begun.

Plus, claimants in Scotland are reaping the benefits of devolved power. Rules north of the border are beginning to change in their favour.

The bad news is that the government have ignored all the warnings of a ‘catastrophe’ and a ‘disaster’ and decided to push ahead with rolling out universal credit (UC) in fifty areas a month, instead of five.

And a sanctions expert at Glasgow university has calculated that claimants on UC are 3 times more likely to get sanctioned than claimants on JSA.

ESA claimants, meanwhile get sanctioned less frequently, but for far longer.

Last month we revealed that repeat WCAs – the assessment system that decides eligibility for employment and support allowance (ESA) - were at their highest ever level and now outnumber WCAs for new claims.

However, the DWP have now announced that from 29 September some claimants who have to undergo a WCA may be told that they will be exempt from any further repeat assessments.

This only applies to claimants who are in the support group of ESA or who have limited capability for work-related activity for UC.

You will also have to have a severe, lifelong disability, illness or health condition.

And you must be unlikely to ever be able to move into work.

DWP minister David Gauke claimed in a speech yesterday that:

“After early tests of this approach, it has now been implemented and I can tell you that around twice as many people are expected to benefit from this reform than were originally thought.”

Unfortunately, as yet, we have no idea of how many people they originally thought would benefit.

Nor has the DWP made public the guidance – if any exists – that health professionals will be using to help them decide whether to recommend exemption from repeat assessments.

But you can be sure we’re trying to get hold of it.

Control of some benefits, including PIP, DLA and carers allowance, is being devolved to Holyrood for Scottish claimants.

As a result, they will soon start to get a better deal than their counterparts in the rest of the UK.

For example:

  • Benefits will rise annually by at least the rate of inflation.
  • Private companies will no longer be allowed to carry out assessments for disability benefits such as PIP, DLA and AA.
  • Any child in receipt of DLA will be given an automatic award of that DLA to age 18 to allow for continuity for families.
  • Mandatory reconsiderations will have to take place within a set time limit or the claimant will be able to take their case to a tribunal without needing to wait any longer.

Who knows whether any of these changes will eventually filter down south.

Few of us will have been surprised by the decision to go ahead with the massively speeded up roll-out of universal credit.

From October, 50 areas a month will switch over to UC, instead of 5.

The warnings from Citizens Advice and politicians from all parties – including 12 Conservative MPs – that it will be a ‘disaster’ and a ‘human and political catastrophe’ were always likely to be ignored.

This is a government that seems to pride itself on the harshness with which it treats claimants, whilst always claiming to be compassionate.

If you want a measure of just how harsh the modern benefits regime is, you only have to look at sanctions.

As sanctions expert Dr David Webster of the University of Glasgow points out, for 73 years – between 1913 and 1986 - the longest a claimant could have their unemployment benefit suspended for was 6 weeks.

And most sanctions were much shorter.

Now they can last for years.

And it is sick and disabled ESA claimants who have the distinction of getting a higher percentage of sanctions lasting over 6 months than any other group of claimants.

But it is the rapidly rolling-out UC that has the highest proportion of sanctions.

The sanctions rate for JSA claimants is 2.5% per month.

But for UC the rate rockets to three times that number, at 7.4% per month.

Still, as David Gauke also explained in his speech yesterday, his party is on a journey:

“Universal credit is the next step on our journey. A journey to a welfare state that gives people the help that they need but does not trap them in dependency.”

There’s certainly few more effective ways of preventing people being dependent on benefits than snatching those benefits away from them.

Some people may think that such an enormous sanctions rate is both harsh and short-sighted in a benefit that is supposed to make work pay. Mr Gauke, however, disagrees. He is both caring and a man of vision, as he explained in his speech:

It is a vision of the welfare state that is compassionate, practical and aspirational. It is, in short, a Conservative vision for a modern welfare state.

It’s also a vison that, many people believe, will spread ‘disaster’ and ‘catastrophe’ across the UK ten times faster as of this month.

Good luck,

Steve Donnison

Bneefits and Work guides covers

ESA reinstated at appeal
“Thank you for your fabulous materials. My daughter had been in receipt of ESA (support group) and its predecessors for 16 years. Following a work capability assessment in January 2017 she scored 6 points and ESA ceased. We went to Tribunal last week and 18 points were awarded. Regulation 35 of the ESA Regulations 2008 was also applied which means that she was placed back in the Support Group. We are very grateful for all the support and practical help your site offers.”

Placed in ESA Support Group without assessment
“I have, today, received a notice from DWP informing me that I have been placed in the ESA support group. This is a total shock to me because I have not been asked to attend a f2f assessment”

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.

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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, 6 October

Claimants 3 times more likely to be sanctioned under UC than JSA
The sanctions rate for universal credit (UC) claimants is three times higher than it is for jobseekers allowance (JSA) claimants, according to the latest report by sanctions expert Dr David Webster of the University of Glasgow.

Full roll-out of UC goes ahead
In spite of pleas and warnings from politicians and charities, the massively speeded up roll-out of universal credit is going ahead.

Scottish claimants to get better deal than rest of UK
Claimants in Scotland will get better treatment than their counterparts in the rest of the UK as the Scottish parliament takes responsibility for a number of benefits.

End to repeat WCAs for some claimants
The DWP has announced that some claimants will no longer have to have repeat work capability assessments (WCAs) in order to continue receiving employment and support allowance (ESA) or universal credit.

Benefits and Work guides coversAs 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.

First time success – thanks to this website
“I'm much more of a lurker than a commenter but I wanted to say how profoundly grateful I am to this website and this community and to urge everyone to go through all of the invaluable content available here as they apply for benefits. 30 minutes ago I received the DWP's brown envelope informing me I have been awarded the enhanced rate of PIP for daily living and the standard rate for mobility. Having had a little cry and a cup of tea I wanted to let you know that it is actually possible to jump through the hoops. These are both "correct" awards based on the points system (even if the points system itself is daft). And having read through all the information available here and presented my application based on the guidance and examples, I got the award first time so I thankfully don't have to go through the ordeal of an appeal. It wouldn't have been possible without this site. So thank you once again and I wish everybody every success with your applications, appeals and reassessments.”

The end of the DLA to PIP journey
“Just come to the end of the nightmare of my wife's change to PIP. Many thanks to all at B&W for your excellent advice and the comprehensive guides, without which we would have not had a hope of any success… Mand recon DM ignored all our disputed points.(16 pages of detailed argument regarding a 'cognitive diagnosis' and under assessment of effects of arthritis, chronic fatigue on daily living.) We decided to not gamble any further as a lot to lose, also the whole process was too stressful and draining to drag on any more.... thanks again for B&W's fantastic support and guides.”

Positive PIP result, first time
“Received results from my husband PIP application and over the moon with the results, which I believe is thanks to the helps you provide and the grace of God! He was on higher rate mobility and middle rate care on DLA. Now been awarded enhanced rate for both selections until 2021. We followed your guides in filling out the form and preparing for F2F. Preparation is the key and although the process is difficult, it's made so much more bearable with your support. Cannot thank you enough! Best wishes to everyone else on this journey!”

I won Upper Tribunal
“Thank you so much for your help, I won my pip upper tribunal

ESA renewal good news
“Just a quick note to say that after 4 years of hearing nothing from DWP about my ESA reassessment (was in the support group) I was sent an ESA50 in June. I'm relieved to say I've been placed back in the support group without having to go for a medical. Once again I am grateful for the guides - having used them in the past meant I could just update the form from previously and check the up to date guide for any changes.”

PIP awarded for fibromyalgia
“After much worrying & sleepless nights I received great news this week. I have been awarded both the daily care & mobility component for Fibromyalgia . This website was invaluable in helping me prepare for my face to face assessment. Originally I only received the care component for DLA . I was always too worried to appeal this , as I didn't want to rock the boat so to speak . So, I wanted to share the news that actually things can go in your favour.”

Successful transfer DLA to PIP
“My wife Ann had her DLA increased considerably after changing over to PIP ... thanks for all expert advice”

DLA to PIP transfer – a story of hope
“…I wanted to share [my story], hopefully to show there is hope at sometimes the end of a very long road. Last September 2016, i had a home assessment for my DLA to PIP transfer. Under DLA I had a lifetime award at the higher rate care and lower rate mobility. The assessment was awful... The outcome of this was that i had been downgraded to standard rate care and my mobility stayed at the standard rate. I lost a lot of money … last week i received a letter from the DWP saying they would be carrying out a late mandatory reconsideration. … today i received another letter from them. the dreaded 'brown envelope' fear came and i was so scared to open the letter. I did and it was shock, amazement! My original decision had been changed to both enhanced rate for mobility and care. I had scored top points for going out and moving around (due to excessive panic attacks). The award still only runs to 2020 but i can cope with that. To top it off they have made a back payment of 12 months totalling £3000. I wasn't asked for any extra information, no more evidence, nothing! I want you to all know that things like this do happen, it is an awful process to go through, but if any of you feel unhappy about assessments and their outcomes, fight it - get support and fight… Good Luck and thanks for reading. I hope my story gives you a bit of hope. THANKS TO THIS WONDERFUL SITE FOR SUPPORTING ME, ANSWERING MY QUESTIONS AND FOR PROVIDING THE WONDERFUL GUIDES YOU DO!”

Severe Disability Premium & Universal Credit
“Hi, thanks to this website I found out that I should have been receiving severe disability premium which I now get …The £6k+ in arrears was lovely.”

PIP award
“Just to let you know after all the stress even though some things didn't add up as they should of been more points I was awarded enhanced mobility and enhanced care for 3 years . So actually I'm better off and I have even applied for my first mobility car . So thanks once again and I'm keeping all my documents etc for the next 2 years and I do hope to be back on your site again later many thanks I'm sure 100% your guides helped me”

PIP result – enhanced rates for M.E.
“Have just received my brown envelope, and am over the moon have got the high rate for care and mobility and the award is for 6 years not to be reassessed before end July 2023, Thank you so much for the information you supply on your site as without it I doubt I would have gotten this result. the lady who assessed me was not sympathetic to my illnesses which she used my M.E as the main one then my sleep apnoea but got top marks for almost everything, I recommend anyone to use your notes when filling in the forms as without it I think I would have lost, many thanks”

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: 84537

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, 6 October

Good luck,

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


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