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The DWP are trying to intimidate an increasing number of PIP appeal claimants into accepting a lower award than the claimant thinks is correct, the Guardian has revealed.

It has been known for some time that a small number of claimants who have lodged a PIP appeal are being telephoned by a decision maker with a better award than the one they are appealing against.

However, it appears that in an increasing number of cases claimants are being told that they must either accept the offer straight away over the phone, or within an hour when they will receive a call-back, or the offer will lapse.

This is almost certainly unlawful and unquestionably bad practice. If a decision maker believes a higher award is appropriate they should simply revise their decision, regardless of whether the claimant agrees or not.

What the claimant is not told in the course of these phone calls is that, even if they accept the offer , they are free to then lodge an appeal against it and they do not need to go through the mandatory reconsideration process again.

Instead, often vulnerable claimants without access to any sort of independent advice are pressured into accepting an award that is lower than the one they would have received if they had gone to a tribunal. They believe that by accepting the offer they have forfeited the right to appeal and so lose out, while the DWP saves money and avoids losing at yet another tribunal.

We’ll be updating our PIP appeals guide to warn readers of these underhand tactics. Meanwhile, we would be interested to hear from readers who have been victim of this sort of dishonest treatment.

You can read the full article in the Guardian

Comments  

+1 #3 Crazydiamond 2020-03-12 14:43
When a claimant disputes a decision, whether it be in the mandatory reconsideration phase or the appeal process, the DWP should not be contacting claimants by telephone, because once the disputes procedure is underway, the DWP become a party to the proceedings.

In effect, the DWP should only contact a claimant/appell ant if they get everything they ask for, and this should always be done in writing, not least because by telephoning a claimant there may be no contemporaneous record as to what was said during the call. Furthermore, it may very well be illegal, as a party to the proceedings should not be 'bargaining' PIP awards with the other party to the proceedings through coercion or otherwise, as this represents a blatant interference with the judicial process.
+1 #2 Whiskers 2020-03-11 14:55
It beggars belief what the DWP get up too.
Also some of their reasoning is fundamentally flawed.
I was originally told that because I was having treatment for bowel cancer I was refused even though I qualified as my prognosis was good.(How the DWP could justify this statement was at odds with my surgeon)
Showed this letter to my surgeon and he was incensed by this reply.
He said he would get the operation over and then reply to them as even he with all the CT Scans and MRI Scans was not sure of what he was going to find. He said he would have a go as I was declared only borderline for surgery, there were no guarantees. He might have opened me up and not been able to remove the tumour and so then been referred for palliative care.
If that was the case I would qualify as my condition would be terminal and that he would love to meet the surgeon who was so sure of my out come when he was not.
I did survive the operation even after they sewed me up with 4" of dead bowel inside me.
Eventually got my DLA backdated to when I first applied thanks to this surgeon and a lovely lady legal rottweiler who basically shot the DWP out of the water with her letter. She was from Citizens Advice and was such a brilliant help.
This was all before I knew of Benefits and Work in 2012.
When it became time to reapply for my DLA this was done with the help of Benefits and Work and I was then awarded an indefinite award due to all the complications that had beset me from the initial operation and effects of chemotherapy.
That went through in 3 weeks without any face to face interviews.
Keep on at them, if you don't get it first time try again with the advice from B&W.
+3 #1 mrfibrospondodysthmatic 2020-03-10 16:56
There's me thinking that the DWP couldn't stoop much lower. But I guess I was just kidding myself.

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