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PIP success story
“Hi guys, I applied for PIP back in February and only received 4 points for care and 0 for mobility. I put in my MR and was still unsuccessful. I put in an appeal in October, and had a phone call today from the DWP offering me standard rate care and mobility for 3 years. I am over the moon at this and am so excited that this process is finally over. Thank you so much for all of your help and guidance”

USE YOUR 20% OFF ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP COUPON BEFORE MIDNIGHT FRIDAY: 76589

 

Dear Reader,

In the last edition of 2020 we have news of the grim benefits rates for 2021.

We have brighter news of a festive 25% reduction in our subscription fee.

We also have a Benefits and Work Christmas gift subscription at the same low rate, if you’d like to give a year’s access to the site to a friend or relative.

We reveal that PIP claimants waiting to hear if their award has been extended should be told early next year.

We share the latest PIP statistics, which include a rise in new claim success rates.

We pass on an invitation to Scottish claimants to say just how bad the benefits system is.

We say thank you to the hundreds of people who have applied to become volunteer moderators.

We remind readers that the forum is now closed until 11 January.

And finally, we wish all our readers the happiest Christmas they can manage at the end of this extraordinarily hard year.

 

GRIM BENEFITS RATES
The DWP have published the benefits rates that will apply from April 2021 to 2022.

They make grim reading for claimants, with increases of as little as 10p a week in the standard rate of the PIP mobility component and 15p a week in the work-related activity component of ESA.

2021 is a year when the cost of essentials may well rise more quickly than usual, whether we have a deal or no deal Brexit.

There is also the additional cost of the pandemic, including buying items such as face masks and hand-sanitiser, which we are likely to need for many months yet.

It would have been reasonable for claimants to expect a more generous increase, like the 2.5% rise in the state pension.

Instead, these are some of the weekly rises sick and disabled claimants will have to look forward to in April:

PIP standard daily living up 30p, enhanced daily living up 45p.

PIP standard mobility up 10p, enhanced mobility up 30p.

ESA work-related activity component up 15p, support component up 40p.

DLA care component, lower rate up 10p, middle rate up 30p, higher rate up 45p.

DLA mobility component lower rate up 10p, higher rate up 30p.

This abysmally low uprating, combined with the government’s refusal to give legacy benefit claimants the same £20 a week uplift that UC claimants are currently receiving, sends a very clear message.

Sick and disabled claimants can expect to be in the front line when it comes to paying the financial cost of the pandemic.

 

25% OFF BENEFITS AND WORK SUBSCRIPTIONS
This will be our last newsletter of 2020.

Our first newsletter of 2021 is due out on Wednesday 13 January.

As a special Christmas offer, we’re cutting 25% off the cost of a subscription, reducing the price by a full £5 to £14.95 when you use the coupon code 76589.

The offer ends at midnight on Friday 18 December.

 

CHRISTMAS GIFT SUBSCRIPTION
Do you have a friend or relative who would benefit from being a member of the Benefits and Work community?

Maybe they have been thinking about making a claim for PIP for a long time but always been put off by horror stories about how difficult it is to claim.

Or perhaps they have applied and been turned down, but you are sure they meet the criterial for an award.

If so, this is your opportunity to give them the gift of a year’s full membership of the site.

It’s a gift that could change their life.

What’s more, you can buy a Benefits and Work gift code for just £14.96 until midnight on Friday.

After that you can still buy a gift code, but the cost goes up to £19.96.

More details on this page.

 

PIP AWARD EXTENSION NEWS
Claimants still waiting to hear if their PIP award has been extended because of the pandemic should be told by early 2021, the government has said.

According to Justin Tomlinson, minister for disabled people, the DWP plans to have decided who will get extensions and inform them of the decision by early next year.

This includes claimants whose award was made by a tribunal rather than the DWP.

Meanwhile, the number of PIP award reviews being carried out by Atos and Capita is on the increase, although still below pre-pandemic levels.

 

LATEST PIP STATISTICS
The latest PIP statistics show that 51% of new claimants who were assessed received an award in October 2020, compared to 47% a year ago.

However, the proportion of DLA to PIP reassessments receiving an award has fallen from 75% to 70%

The vast majority , 74% ,of new PIP claimants receive a short award of two years or less.

And people are waiting longer for their short award. New claim clearance times have risen to around 22 weeks from registration.

Meaning that for many claimants the gap between award and renewal form is growing ever shorter.

 

SCOTTISH CLAIMANTS ASKED FOR THEIR VIEWS
Claimants in Scotland are being asked to help the Scottish government look at ways to improve the benefits system.

Anyone who has applied or has considered applying for any benefit is encouraged to take part in an online survey.

The questions cover:

which benefits are being claimed;

how long it took to receive a payment;

how applicants found the process of applying for benefits

whether the money received is enough for basic needs.

The survey is a first chance for Scottish claimants to begin influencing changes in the system north of the border.

 

VOLUNTEER MODERATORS
We have had over 200 people respond to our request for volunteers to undertake training to be moderators on the Benefits and Work forum.

Many thanks to everyone who completed the combined survey and quiz.

We’ll be working our way through all your replies and we should have contacted everyone who we are going to invite onto the training by 13 January.

We probably won’t be able to contact everyone else individually, but we are very grateful for every offer of help.

Please keep checking the newsletter for other opportunities to get involved.

 

FORUM CHRISTMAS CLOSURE
The forum is now closed to allow BIS and Gary a very well-deserved break.

It will reopen on Monday 11 January.

We owe enormous thanks to both BIS and Gary for keeping the forum going through this very challenging period and I know you will join us in wishing them a peaceful and relaxing Christmas and New Year.

 

HAPPY CHRISTMAS
Well, it’s been a year few of us will look back on with much joy.

And the end of the year isn’t looking much better than the early months

As I write this the COVID-19 infection rate appears to be rising rapidly in parts of the country.

And we still don’t know what the outcome of the Brexit negotiations will be.

The coming year may see the return of face-to-face assessments on the one hand and the widespread introduction of video assessments and video tribunal hearings on the other.

The forced movement of claimants from DLA to PIP has not been completed and the mass migration of ESA claimants to UC has yet to begin.

Rising unemployment and the health problems associated with the pandemic will put an even greater strain on an already understaffed and underfunded DWP.

It’s not really looking great.

All we can say is that we have been around for 17 years now and, whatever 2021 might have in store, we have every intention of being here to offer dependable information and effective support from the first day to the last.

Until the next newsletter, we wish you a peaceful, happy Christmas and a brighter New Year.

Good Luck and Please Stay Safe,

Steve Donnison

 

BOOST YOUR PIP, UC AND ESA CHANCES - 25% 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 25% off the cost of your annual subscription.

Just type the following code into the coupon box when you pay: 76589

Claimants and carers get an annual subscription for £14.95, down from £19.95. Professionals get an annual subscription for £72.70, down from £97.00.
Offer ends midnight Friday

 

BENEFITS NEWS
PIP new claim success increases, DLA to PIP falls

Scottish claimants asked for their experiences of benefits claims

Claimants to be told about PIP extensions by early 2021

Grim 2021 benefits rates published

 

FEEDBACK FROM THE FORUM
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. For some people, it’s the only thing that keeps them going through a difficult claim or appeal.

PIP Review success
“Review forms received by pip and award upped from daily living top award for 2 years to to top award in mobility as well for 3 years RESULT from 2nd December!!! All thanks to your advice I treated my review award like a new claim so thank you so so much”

PIP Tribunal halfway successful
“After having received DLA (Higher Rate Mobility and Standard Rate Care) for 11 years, I was advised last year that my DLA would be ending and was invited to apply for PIP. This I duly did (using the Benefits and Work guides) and had my face to face assessment in September 2019. A few weeks later the dreaded brown envelope arrived and it contained the news that I had been awarded ZERO points ! I was astonished to say the least. Although I had expected a change (with everything I had read) I did not expect to be assessed with no points at all. I then went to Appeal )withe the help of your useful guides) and eventually had my Tribunal by telephone on 24 November 2020. I received their decision in the post the following day. I was awarded 8 points for care (Standard Rate) and 10 points for Mobility (Standard Rate). Although I was disappointed to lose my Motability car, I was grateful that they had at least recognised my disabilities and validated my Appeal.”

PIP Review success THANK YOU
“After 3 weeks following your guides to the letter and sending my step daughter's PIP review form off with 30 pages of continuation sheets and medical evidence - a result! Deadline was 14 November received a phone call yesterday to say she has been moved from standard care/mobility to higher rate care/mobility. She has a very rare bone disease and when first awarded in 2017 she was able to walk and work in a supermarket at the checkout 15 hours a week, but now is confined to a wheelchair which she is unable to propel herself. The man who phoned actually praised us for so clearly explaining her difficulties. That I can only put down to your fantastic site and all you wonderful people. I told my husband when completing the form we must plan for the worst of decision makers but hope for the best. Without your guides we would never have got the decision we did. The man on the phone also said they would put her on a long term award. I know I still have to wait for the confirmation letter. This doesn't cure my stepdaughter but it improves her life immeasurably. Thank you all SO much. It's one less thing to worry about”

PIP Enhanced rate until 2023!
“I'm over the moon!! I've got both enhanced until 2023 on a telephone assessment! On my migration from DLA to PIP in 2016 I had an f2f at home and was given standard daily living and enhanced mobility. I could never have done this without the invaluable information that benefits and work provide. My heartfelt thanks to you.”

PIP review success
“..we have a decision. 21 points for daily living part and 22 points for mobility. Three more years until next review removes the immediate worry too. This is truly amazing and is a tribute to the quality of the advice given to us by this website. Thanks benefitsandwork.co.uk:) Shows that people can get the award they deserve !”

 

BOOST YOUR PIP, UC AND ESA CHANCES - 25% 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 25% off the cost of your annual subscription.

Just type the following code into the coupon box when you pay: 76589

Claimants and carers get an annual subscription for £14.95, down from £19.95. Professionals get an annual subscription for £72.70, 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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