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MR success
“Just to say a massive thank you to B+W and the community. After a long awaited Mandatory Reconsideration Decision we have just found out that we have 6 months worth of backdated payment with enough Daily Living scores for enhanced rate and standard for mobility. What a result - thank you… We are really pleased and as well have a long review date. So thank you B+W and all the posters here who share experiences which I have read about over the years and which helped as references when doing the claim and the MR.”

 

USE YOUR 20% OFF ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP COUPON BEFORE MIDNIGHT FRIDAY: 644562

 

Dear Reader,

In this edition, we reveal what over 1,000 readers have told us about claiming PIP mobility component on mental health grounds, including whether they got awards for conditions such as depression or anxiety.

And members can book a free place on a two hour webinar devoted entirely to PIP mobility claims on mental health grounds.

Elsewhere, we discover that PIP and ESA revisions and reassessments are still on hold, but for how long as jobcentres reopen this week and sanctions return?

Meanwhile, the DWP refuses to say what is happening with the suspension of face-to-face assessments, even though the initial three month ban has now expired.

And we are asking readers which they would prefer, telephone or face-to-face assessments – so far the result has been a landslide.

We are also warning readers to check other awards if your PIP is extended.

 

CLAIMING PIP MOBILITY ON MENTAL HEALTH GROUNDS
Over 1,000 people who had claimed, or tried to claim the PIP mobility component on mental health grounds completed our survey before we closed it on 22 June. We’re very grateful to everyone who took the time and trouble to share their experiences with us.

As well as answers to multiple choice questions, there were almost 4,000 comments running to over 200 pages of text.

There is more information than we could possibly deal with in a single article, so we are dividing the survey result into two or more pieces.

Some of the findings in the first article are:

More common conditions, including anxiety and depression do lead to awards of PIP mobility. Surprisingly, 60% of claimants with depression and 67% of claimants with anxiety as their main condition got an award of the mobility component.

Claimants with both physical and mental health conditions are more likely to get the enhanced rate of PIP mobility. However, having co-existing conditions had very little effect on the overall award rate, just on the level of award.

It’s very definitely worth giving evidence about your mobility issues even if you didn’t get an award of the mobility component for DLA. An extraordinary 69% of respondents who were only getting the care component of DLA got an award of the mobility component of PIP.

Don’t assume that getting higher rate DLA mobility will mean that you will get enhanced PIP mobility. 45% of claimants who got the higher rate of the DLA mobility component did not get the enhanced award of PIP.

In further articles we’ll be looking at:

  • · The main reasons for being turned down for PIP mobility and why they are wrong.
  • · Which makes a bigger difference, help from friends and family or help from a welfare rights worker?
  • · How crucial is supporting evidence?
  • · What mobility questions are asked at the assessment.
  • · Your experiences of challenging a mobility decision.

We will be updating our PIP claims guide in the next two weeks to reflect the information we have collected.

We are also running a free webinar for members on the subject, see below.

 

FREE MEMBERS WEBINAR
Benefits and Work is running a free, members only, 2 hour webinar on ‘Claiming the PIP mobility component on mental health grounds’.

It is suitable both for beginners and those who have some knowledge of the PIP mobility component.

You will learn how to fill in the ‘Going out’ page in the PIP2 form on mental health grounds, so that you give the most accurate and persuasive evidence possible and increase the chances of getting the correct award.

If you have already completed the claim pack, you can use the same information to improve the evidence you provide at mandatory reconsideration or appeal stage.

 

CHECK OTHER AWARDS IF YOUR PIP IS EXTENDED
Benefits and Work is urging claimants who have their PIP award extended to check with the DWP that any associated payments, such as carers allowance and severe disability premiums, are also extended.

Because PIP review extension letters are only sent out the day before a PIP award is due to end, it is entirely possible that other payments will be stopped.

 

REVISIONS AND REASSESSMENTS STILL ON HOLD BUT JOBCENTRES AND SANCTIONS TO RETURN
The government has said that benefits reviews and reassessments remain suspended “while we review what activity we can gradually start reintroducing in line with the latest public health advice.”

However, jobcentres are reopening from this week and work and pensions secretary, Thérèse Coffey, has indicated that benefits sanctions will resume when the current ban ends on Wednesday.

Coffey told MPs:

“It’s important that as the jobcentres fully reopen this week, we do reinstate the need for having a claimant commitment.”

In a sign that claimant-bashing remains at the heart of DWP policy, Coffey went on to argue that the commitment is needed because “there will be some people right now who have never had to look for a job for 20 to 30 years.”

 

WILL FACE-TO-FACE ASSESSMENTS RETURN SOON?
Whilst the government have said benefits reviews and reassessments remained suspended, they have refused to make any statement on face-to-face assessments for PIP and ESA.

This is in spite of the fact that the initial three month ban has now ended.

There is speculation that a change to a 1 metre distancing rule next month may allow for the reintroduction of some face-to-face assessments in place of telephone assessments.

The DWP have said, however, that they are going to carry out a survey this summer of claimants who have had experience of a telephone assessment, suggesting that they are at least considering making them a more common option than they used to be before the lockdown.

Alternatively, they could just study the results of the Benefits and Work telephone assessment survey we started weeks ago.

And the results of our new assessment poll below.

 

WHICH WOULD YOU CHOOSE, PIP TELEPHONE OR FACE-TO-FACE ASSESSMENT?
Mind are currently running a campaign asking for claimants to be given the choice of whether to have a telephone assessment or a face-to-face assessment.

So we wanted to ask readers, if you had to choose between a telephone assessment of a face-to-face assessment, which would you prefer?

We’ve created a brief, anonymous poll with just two questions.

If you complete the poll, you will get to see the results so far, as soon as you click on the ‘Done’ button.

And, at the time of writing, it’s a landslide victory for one option.

We’ll close the poll on Sunday and publish the results next week.

It might even save the DWP some work this summer.

Good Luck,

Steve Donnison

 

BOOST YOUR PIP, UC AND ESA CHANCES - 20% OFF ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP – OFFER ENDS MIDNIGHT FRIDAY.
Give yourself the best possible chance of getting the right PIP, UC or ESA 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.
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BENEFITS NEWS
Claiming the PIP mobility component on mental health grounds – free, members webinar

Claiming PIP mobility component on mental health grounds – who gets an award?

Revisions and reassessments still on hold but Jobcentres to reopen and sanctions to return

Video hearings coming soon for benefits claimants

Which would you choose, PIP telephone or face-to-face assessment?

Check other awards if your PIP is extended

Will face-to-face assessments return soon?

 

GOOD NEWS FROM THE FORUM AND BY EMAIL
With most PIP and ESA reviews and reassessments on hold and the number of new PIP claims plummeting, the forum is much quieter at the minute.

But, 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.

Paper based appeal success
“After having my dla stopped last year on the changeover to pip, I was given 2 points I suffer badly from anxiety and agraphobia so put in a pip paper appeal ,and I'm delighted to say after 10 months I won my appeal and got enhanced care and standard mobility which is more than I had before, and for an indefinite time too, so relieved the nightmare is over.”

MR decision – success 4 months later
“I posted on the Forum on behalf of my wife over 4 months ago. She had been through a Face to Face PIP Assessment at home in 2019, and had lost her Care / Daily Living component …We agonised as to whether to request a Mandatory Reconsideration , as the assessor had awarded the top tier of Mobility on the PIP award , which we did not want to lose. However my wife's ongoing conditions …prompted us to try for the MR.
We read all the wonderful advice here at Benefits and Work and submitted a letter in January 2020, including many case examples of how my wife is affected in her everyday life, and we also sent again all the evidence that we had provided for the initial PIP application. We both had felt that it had not been taken into account…
Over 4 months had passed since the Mandatory Reconsideration request was sent to DWP. Then, as coronavirus began dominating every aspect of life, we decided that we probably would not ever hear anything about our request. But last Thursday, a letter arrived in the mail from DWP which my wife was too scared to open. We opened it together and were stunned at the wonderful news:
The DWP had overturned the decision not to award the daily living component, and the points awarded had increased from 6 to 30, placing my wife in the upper tier for Daily Living!
The Mobility award had thankfully remained the same - with 20 points. Both awards were for an ongoing period. My wife cried for hours with utter relief, and it still has not sunk in for either of us that for the foreseeable future, this long stressful battle is hopefully over.
We would like to personally thank Benefits and Work for the help and support your members only guides provide to claimants. There were so many things that we had not thought about, which were described in your guidance. Reading the guides and applying them to my wife's situation made all the difference for certain.
Thank you so much and we hope that many other people can share the same outcome at mandatory reconsideration stage..”


MR success
“Hi all. Had a letter in post today for DWP which I imagined would be a letter saying no to MR for partner, by page 2 it was talking arrears ... We checked the bank & money had been paid in yesterday. Although we've had no letter yet but it looks like it's the backpay for SDP, & according to my calculations they've given him Standard Daily Living on MR. He did however get enhanced before, but we're still ecstatic with this result…Thanks to all at B&W, & Good Luck to everyone!”

Thank you, thank you and thank you again
“This is to everyone who runs the Benefits and Work site – grateful thanks!
I was informed that I had to apply to be moved to PIP from DLA in June last year, after receiving DLA (lower rate care and higher rate mobility) for 14 years.
I completed the myriad of forms according to your guidelines and dug out medical records from what seemed the year dot and sent them off. I was then informed that I had to go for a face to face interview. This took place in October. At the beginning of December I was told that I had been awarded 2 points for care and 0 points for mobility!!
The reasons given for their decision were not at all valid, so again, I followed your guidelines and asked for a mandatory reconsideration – I sent more “proof” with the forms too. Can you believe, in January I was informed that nothing had changed and that their decision still stood. This time the reasons given were not only invalid, they included a lot of untruths. I was mad at this – I didn’t lie, so why should they?
I was so angered that it motivated me yet again to turn to Benefits and Work and start appeal proceedings! I followed your suggestions to the letter and put forward the most blatant lies, that could be proved untrue, first, couched in factual, unemotional language. I posted my appeal in February. I was looking at a year’s wait for a court date – at the earliest.
Two weeks ago I had a phone call from the DWP – just as you said might happen. After a good 45 minutes, the assessor said a mistake had been made and that she could award me 8 points for care and 12 points for mobility - indefinitely!! This puts me back to where I was when this whole debacle started – medium rate for care and higher rate for mobility! . . . And the best was yet to come – I was back paid to the tune of some £4000!!!! Which means I can afford to have some intensive chiropractic treatment in the hope I will get back to where I was a year ago.
If it wasn’t for your site I would have given up fighting for PIP months ago! Every time I became despondent I logged on, read your advice for the umpteenth time and literally devoured the feedback from successful claimants.
I am reasonably intelligent and still quite sharp for my age, but I can just imagine what an horrific process applying for PIP must be if someone is seriously depressed and living with pain daily – especially if they have little or no support. Which is why you are heroes!!
Thank you, thank you and thank you again for the invaluable service you provide – you are all stars!!!”
Helen

 

BOOST YOUR PIP, UC AND ESA CHANCES - 20% OFF ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP – OFFER ENDS MIDNIGHT FRIDAY.
Give yourself the best possible chance of getting the right PIP, UC or ESA 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: 644562

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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