Login FormClose

Free, fortnightly PIP, ESA and UC Updates

Over 80,000 claimants and professionals subscribe to the UK's leading source of benefits news.

 

PIP Appeal Outcome
I was in receipt of PIP previously of ERM & ERC. I had a home visit for the renewal of PIP and was only awarded the LRC. I was of course devastated at this outcome which I did not feel was right . I appealed and used the help I received by using the DR Handbook and the invaluable webinar that the two guys did recently about PIP. I want to thank everyone at Benefits and Work as if it was not for you I do not think I would have got this reinstated to the correct decision. Words do not convey how thankful I am to all the hard work and information you give to others and thank you sincerely for this help. Kind wishes to everyone.

 

USE YOUR 20% OFF ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP COUPON BEFORE MIDNIGHT FRIDAY: 65876

 

Dear Reader,

In this edition we reveal that it should be possible to make online claims for PIP by the end of the year.

We look at the latest PIP figures from Northern Ireland, which support earlier findings that claims and mandatory reconsideration requests are nosediving right across the UK. Increased poverty amongst disabled claimants is the certain result.

If you’ve claimed PIP for arthritis, we ask for your help to change lives for the better, as we begin a fightback against those falling PIP claim numbers.

We also discover that the DWP is pouring additional tens of millions of pounds into resisting PIP and ESA appeals, as it tries to cut the number of successful disability benefits claims.

Meanwhile, the advice agencies that fight the claimants corner have been reduced to temporary funding by at least one local authority

And at this time of unprecedented upheaval we’ve published a readers’ survey we’d be really grateful if you would complete, to tell us what we are doing well and what we need to change.

Finally, training news.

There’s still a few places left on our October Zoom training session for professionals on claiming the PIP mobility component on mental health grounds.

And volunteers are about to start work assessing our first on-demand training module. We’ll begin publishing the modules in the next two months.

 

ONLINE PIP CLAIMS BY THE END OF THE YEAR
The DWP says it should be possible to claim PIP online by the end of the year.

Responding to an MP’s question about whether PIP forms could be completed online during the pandemic, Justin Tomlinson, minister for disabled people, said:

“We are committed to providing a digital channel - “PIP Apply” - to widen claimants’ choices on how to make a new claim for PIP. Using the digital channel is optional and we will ensure we provide effective alternatives for those who are unable or prefer not to use our online services. We are aiming to provide this service by the end of the year.”

With many housing, health and advice workers still unable to meet clients face-to-face, an online claims system could be an enormous help if it allows different people to view and add to the same form.

But only if the online system is reliable and allows claimants to give all the evidence they want.

We’ll be testing it out for our readers as soon as it appears.

 

PIP CLAIMS AND CHALLENGES PLUMMET
Figures for Northern Ireland released last week show that claims for PIP have plummeted and so too have mandatory reconsideration requests, since the pandemic hit.

The figures show that fresh claims for PIP in April and May are down by almost 60% compared to the same period last year.

Mandatory reconsideration requests have also imploded. There has been a fall of 90% compared to April and May of last year.

The figures for Northern Ireland are following the same route as the PIP figures released by the DWP in June of this year. As we reported then, new claims for PIP had fallen by 40% in April 2020, compared to a year ago. In addition, mandatory reconsiderations were at their lowest since January 2016.

The fall in new claims and in mandatory reconsiderations has yet to be explained.

But it seems likely that the difficulty of accessing support during the pandemic, especially from advice agencies, means fewer people have been told that they may be eligible for PIP. And fewer who have claimed and been refused get the support they need to challenge a refusal.

 

HAVE YOU CLAIMED PIP FOR ARTHRITIS?
Given the fall in new claims, we want to do what we can to reach people who may be missing out on a life-changing benefit.

So, we are creating some free resources and free webinars to help people decide if they should make a claim.

We’re starting with arthritis and, if that works, we’ll move on to other physical and mental health conditions

As part of the process we are asking people who have successfully claimed PIP for arthritis to complete a brief survey for us.

We know that hearing from someone who has the same condition and who has managed to get an award of PIP is a powerful incentive for people to make a claim themselves.

If you’ve claimed successfully, please visit this page and you could help to change someone’s life

Or if you know someone else who has claimed PIP for arthritis, or you visit forums or sites where that might be the case, please share these details and ask them to consider helping.

 

DWP SPENDS TENS OF MILLIONS TO LOSE MORE APPEALS
The DWP has dramatically increased its spending on fighting PIP and ESA appeals, whilst losing an ever higher proportion of cases.

Figures obtained by the Independent, show the DWP spent £121m between 2017-19, with £58m spent on mandatory reconsiderations and £63m spent on tribunal appeals.

When broken down annually over three years, it shows that the amount spent on mandatory reconsiderations increased by 19% between 2016-17 and 2018-19, and the cost of tribunals surged by an extraordinary 64%.

Yet the DWP is actually losing more and more appeals, with the success rate for PIP claimants now at 76%.

The willingness of tribunals to trust claimants, rather than private sector health professionals, seems to be one problem that the DWP can’t solve just by throwing money at it.

 

GLASGOW CABX REDUCED TO TEMPORARY FUNDING
Five Citizens Advice Bureaux in Glasgow have temporarily escaped closure after their bids for funding from Glasgow City Council’s community fund were turned down this month. Other legal advice agencies in the city also faced heavy cuts.

However, after widespread anger at the cuts, the council found the cash to set up a ‘transition fund’ to keep the agencies temporarily afloat.

But the council also made it clear that the support is only a breathing space to allow the agencies to try to find other sources of funding.

Advice agencies around the country will now be watching anxiously to see if other local authorities follow suit.

 

COMPLETE OUR READER’S SURVEY
Have you got a couple of minutes to spare to tell us what you think of Benefits and Work and help us plan for the future?

We have created a brief readers survey of just 10 questions.

We’d be really grateful if you would complete the survey to tell us what we’re getting right and what we could do differently.

 

MAKING THE BEST POSSIBLE PIP MOBILITY CLAIMS ON MENTAL HEALTH GROUNDS

There are still a few places left on our Zoom course for professionals on 5 October.

If your service users struggle to get the correct award of the PIP mobility component based on their mental health conditions, this course could make a major difference to the support you can give.

We explain how to provide detailed, accurate and persuasive evidence that demonstrates any entitlement to points for the activity ‘Planning and Following Journeys’.

The course contains a wealth of practical tips and useful examples that could make the difference between no award and the enhanced rate of the mobility component.

And it helps ensure that you anticipate the commonest reasons for refusal and counter them, before they are even used.

More details and an online booking form here.

 

ON DEMAND TRAINING UPDATE
We are working on some ‘on-demand’ PIP training. This is a combination of videos, slides and text-based pages plus case studies, quizzes and forums.

A number of Benefits and Work members have kindly volunteered to review the training for us as it progresses and they will be getting their first assignment next week.

We hope the first modules will be available in the next two months. They will not, sadly, be free. But we hope to keep the cost as low as possible.

With traditional forms of support getting ever harder to access, training like this may become vital for any organisation on a low budget that wants to support sick and disabled claimants.

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.

Just type the following code into the coupon box when you pay: 65876

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
Glasgow CABx get temporary reprieve

Have you been awarded PIP for arthritis and will you help change lives for the better?

Northern Ireland PIP claims and challenges plummet

Online PIP claims by the end of the year

DWP spends tens of millions more to lose even more PIP and ESA appeals

Five Glasgow CABx face closure under new funding proposals

Give us your views on how we’re doing

 

GOOD NEWS FROM THE FORUM

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.

DLA to PIP and hearing loss
“Fantastic news today!. My pip tribunal was to be held in April 2020, but was cancelled due to the pandemic. I asked for a paper hearing as I have been shielding due to my lung condition and I also have a hearing impairment which meant that I would struggle with a telephone hearing. I wrote a very detailed submission about my difficulties and it has been a long very stressful wait which has not been good for my health. Today over 10 months later I finally received my award. I became very tearful with excitement and relief when I saw that I was awarded Enhanced for daily living and Enhanced for mobility, exactly what I thought I should have got. The Judge was so thorough, he picked up on all the medical evidence that the DWP chose to ignore and was totally sympathetic.
I was previously awarded standard for daily living and nothing for mobility. The physiotherapist assessor was not understanding about my hearing loss and the difficulties I encounter on a daily basis. I am so happy and relieved that it is finally over with a great outcome. I am a regular user of your site and am grateful for all the useful information that has really helped me. And I want people to know that they should never give up with this very flawed system. Thank You”


Mandatory Reconsideration Success!
“ …I am elated! Quick backstory: I had a phone assessment that went really bad. I asked the forum for help and was given some amazing advice to contact the appropriate people to raise a complaint. After looking at my options, I decided to raise it with my MP. The MP sent over the letter and Capita responded essentially saying "Thanks for sending in an MR, we will take your comments into account" (and so on, it was very long). He (MP) was appalled at my situation and wanted to help as much as possible. Fast forward 2 weeks, I woke up this morning to see nearly £3k in my bank account from the DWP. I am absolutely elated by this. It's been nearly 10 months since the first claim! I've not actually received a letter yet, but doing some maths this would mean that I've been awarded the standard daily living component of PIP. That money is going straight back on my health and has made my life so much easier. For the first time in nearly a year I can relax and start planning ahead… So, from the bottom of my heart. THANK YOU. THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH!!! …To those reading this, don't lose hope. The resources here are invaluable and helped me at every stage. The system is broken and needs reforming and we shouldn't have to go through this, but by far this has been the best money I've ever spent. Again, thank you. I'm in bits right now xx”

Backdated ESA
“Hi Guys had a payment paid into the bank today for ESA. Worked it out that its 5 weeks backdated ESA. I have obviously been awarded the support group amount …Thanks for the help guides also on this page regarding filling in forms and answering questions”

Success – DWP changed decision before appeal
“I sent my renewal form off in Oct 2019, had an assessment in Jan 2020. The assessor was very cold and dismissive, felt like she had no understanding at all. Their decision came in Feb 2020. I went from standard/standard to 4pts for both even though I had deteriorated alot. As a result my housing benefit had been reduced and was unable to pay the shortfall so I was sent an eviction notice. I was devastated to say the least. The thought of appealing sent me in a spin... To say things were difficult is an understatement. One of my biggest problems is that I play everthing down and struggle to allow anyone to see how much pain I'm in, which you can not do with dwp! So to appeal was my only choice... In April I got their decision, they were sticking with their original decision of 4pts for both! At this point I joined Benefitsandwork.co.uk for help and followed their guidelines on how to appeal. This made me realise I hadn't gone into enough detail about how my disabilities effect me... I submitted my very long appeal detailing every little thing, stating what I disagreed with... My health was seriously being made worse by all the stress that most of the time… Everyday I felt like giving up… I got a txt message from the appeals saying dwp has changed their decision…Finally I got ENHANCED for both till 2026, they agreed with everything I said, my rent was sorted out and the eviction was cancelled. I'm so relieved it's over for at least 5 years, it's been 9 months of hell. I hope this helps anyone thinking of or going through an appeal. Stick with it, it's worth it in the end even if you don't get what you think you deserve because we cannot let the dwp keep dismissing us as if we are nothing!! Thank You for this site otherwise I would never have been able to do the appeal.”

 

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: 65876

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