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PIP award
“Would like to say a massive thank you to everyone on this site, for there massive help with my pip form it took me for ever to fill in the most stressful thing I have ever gone through. But with the help and research I managed to post it in September, this morning the BROWN envelope drop on floor, took me a while to open my heart beating out of my chest, with the joy of happiness I was awarded enhanced in both living and mobility, Many thanks for helping me wouldn’t have done it without you all, many thanks, stay safe and good luck to you all.”

 

USE YOUR 20% OFF ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP COUPON BEFORE MIDNIGHT FRIDAY: 37422

 

Dear Reader,

In this edition we reveal how the DWP is making a mockery of calls for radical improvements after the avoidable deaths of so many claimants: it is changing the colour of its envelopes.

We learn that a coroner has issued a Prevention of Future Deaths report in the case of Philippa Day.

We report on an upper tribunal judgement that fear of dogs can be relevant to an award of the PIP mobility component.

And we are offering free places on our online PIP training for people willing to help us with feedback.

 

DWP MAKES MOCKERY OF CALLS FOR CHANGE
It sounds like a bleak April Fool’s joke come early.

In the face of increasing pressure to end the avoidable, and often unlawful, distress they inflict on claimants, the DWP have announced they are going to . . . change the colour of their envelopes.

Recent months have seen the families who have lost loved ones fighting in the courts to highlight the way that callous treatment by DWP the contributed to their deaths.

Jodey Whiting’s family are waiting for a High Court hearing to decide whether a second inquest should be held into her death.

Jodey had multiple physical and mental health conditions. She took her own life shortly after receiving letters telling her that her benefits would stop because she had failed to attend a work capability assessment that she should never have been called for.

Errol Graham’s family are waiting for a High Court decision on whether the DWP’s safeguarding policies are so inadequate as to be unlawful.

Errol, who was known by the DWP to be vulnerable, starved to death after his benefits were wrongly stopped when he failed to attend a work capability assessment.

The inquest into the death of Philippa Day, who took her own life after being wrongly required to attend a PIP face-to-face assessment, has ended with a prevention of future deaths report by the coroner.

Philippa was found collapsed next to a letter from the DWP requiring her to attend the assessment.

The coroner has asked the DWP and its agents to improve their procedures, including the way they communicate with claimants.

Now we learn that the DWP is indeed taking action to change the way it communicates.

It has announced it will be changing the colour of its envelopes from brown to white.

It is currently consulting with professional organisations on what would be the best message to put on the outside of the envelope, in order to encourage claimants to open it.

Their current favourite is:

Important information enclosed. Please read.

We wonder what message readers would think appropriate.

 

PHILIPPA DAY PREVENTION OF FUTURE DEATHS REPORT
The coroner in the case of Philippa Day has published his prevention of future deaths report,

The coroner highlighted multiple errors in the administration of Philippa’s claim and said that, were it not for these, it is unlikely that Philippa would have taken an overdose.

The coroner has called for the DWP and Capita to take action in three areas:

1 Specific training for DWP call-handlers in how best to interact with people “suffering from mental ill health in such a way as to avoid inadvertently exacerbating the difficulties experienced”.

2 More detailed and more accurate records of calls, to improve decision making and allow for the efficient answering of queries made by claimants.

3 Improvements in the way claimants can ask to have their assessment changed, for example from a medical centre assessment to a telephone assessment.

Capita and the DWP must respond by 12 April to say what action they are taking or explain why they do not intend to take any action.

We’ll let you know their response as soon as it’s available.

 

FEAR OF DOGS
Fear of dogs, if linked to a disability or health condition, may be relevant to a PIP mobility award.

That was the decision of an upper tribunal judge last week.

The claimant in question explained that she has a very severe phobia of dogs which is a result of sensory issues arising from her autistic spectrum disorder.

As a result she is unable to follow an unfamiliar route without someone being with her, because of fear that a dog may be present .

The case has been sent back to a new tribunal to explore whether the fear leads to overwhelming psychological distress and whether having another person with her allows the claimant to follow a route.

There is no reason why this decision should not extend to other fears too, provided they are linked to a health condition.

We’ve updated our PIP claims guide to take account of this.

 

FREE ONLINE TRAINING PLACES
We’re looking for a small number of claimants, carers and professionals to give us feedback on the first lessons in our PIP on-demand training course.

The aim is to produce training that will allow you to progress at your own pace, but still develop an in-depth knowledge of PIP and get support with your learning when you need it.

The training is primarily aimed at people who help others to claim PIP, whether professionally or informally, but it can be used by anyone who wants to check and improve their understanding. You don’t need any prior knowledge of PIP to take part.

The first lesson is an ‘Introduction To PIP’, which gives an overview of who can claim and how to claim.

It includes slides, audio, video and quizzes to test your understanding.

There are discussion boxes in every section for you to ask questions if something isn’t clear to you.

You’ll get the chance to evaluate several further lessons too. In total, the course will include 10+ lessons.

You don’t need any knowledge of PIP in order to participate. Just a willingness to complete the lessons and let us know what you think works and what could be improved.

Follow the link in the news section below for more details.

Good Luck,

Steve Donnison

 

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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

 

BENEFITS NEWS
Free online training places

DWP makes mockery of calls for change

Fear of dogs can be relevant to PIP mobility

Philippa Day Prevention of Future Deaths report published

 

FEEDBACK FROM THE FORUM AND BY EMAIL
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
“Firstly, I am happy to announce that I received my brown envelope and I have been awarded enhanced daily living and enhanced mobility until 2024. Previously on standard for both. This was done as a paper based review and decision made in 5 weeks. As always, I am grateful for all the info and guides here I couldn't have done it without it.”

Successful PIP renewal
“I just wanted to update to help other people and also thank benefits and work team for all their help. I received a letter extending my pip to Nov 2022 in late September but like many other people I received the pip renewal form end of Dec. I asked for an extension of 2 weeks as it took 10 days to get to me which they gave. On all questions except 1 I said no change because there was a big change and I put in proof from outpatients letters I received but I followed the advice from benefits and work and wrote brief explanations on each one with even no change. I asked my doctor for a letter confirming my diagnosis and medical history and offered to pay they didn’t want payment but did the letter which was a relief and I am grateful for this as I read on the forum all the problems people have getting letters. I posted the form 1st class signed for on the 28th January and today I received my decision letter, they have extended my high rate care, low mobility for another 3 years and it states that they did not need to do an assessment based on medical evidence. They kept all the points the same for all the descriptors… My advice is keep all those letters and outpatients reports because they do help and if you can offer to pay for the doctors letter as it might help you. This is based on mental health which is my biggest problem and one health condition… Good luck to everyone going through this place your trust in benefits and work because they really do care about us.”

Great news today
“hi mods , after sending in my review form back in october 2020 i then had a telephone assessment in january 2021 , i telephoned and wrote to request my assessment report but after 10 days i phoned again and after missing a call of the dwp 2 days ago i have today received the report and it recommends high rate daily living and standard rate mobility. i was previously on standard daily living only. so i am over the moon as long as the decision maker agrees with the assessor ... it was hard work but your advice and help was invaluable many thanks”

PIP success
“Hi just want to say a super massive thanks to this great site don’t know what I would do without this amazing support got my brown envelope today and no phone assessment just used review form I can chill now for 2 years and to everyone else on here hang in there don’t give up”

PIP Mandatory Reconsideration success
“I had a phone assessment and was awarded 11 points for daily living, after reading the HP report I wasn't happy, I sent in a Mandatory Reconsideration for the daily living part as I already qualify for the mobility through my War pension, I followed the advice and guides laid out on this great site, concentrating on 4 components were I stood the strongest chance of gaining 1 point. even though I could have covered more I felt if I were to over do it, it would have gone against me, checking my bank the other day I found a lump sum from PIP for the enhanced rate award back dated, just waiting for my letter, so I would like to thank this Forum for all the advice and help it provides, thank you”

PIP Review success
“Just wanted to let you know that I had my Pip review result yesterday and I have been awarded the same as previously without a telephone assessment. I read your online guides and filled out my form with no change and explained the problems that I still have. I was expecting a telephone assessment, so just wanted to let anyone going through it know that it is possible not to have to have one. Thankyou for your excellent guides and advice on this site.”

The guides are brilliant and have a wealth of information
I asked the DWP for a mandatory reconsideration and a recording after having a pip assessment which was riddled and completely fabricated with lies by the assessor and which gave me 0 points and 0 award, I almost gave up going through this horrible and stressful process but after a couple of weeks I got a phone call from DWP offering me enhanced daily living and enhanced mobility! which I accepted. To anyone going through this process please don’t give up and fight for what you think you may be entitled to, and definitely become a member and use the guides to help you apply, or overturn a decision your not happy with. The guides are brilliant and have a wealth of information. Thank you so much benefits and work, without the info in your guides I would have never been able to fight and get the right result
Lucas

Last week I received nearly £5,500 in backdated PIP
I’m writing to say how grateful I am to you. After applying last May, I was initially awarded PIP in September but just basic rate Mobility.
I read your guides and spent quite a lot of time writing a 10 page document explaining why I thought I qualified for more. I then re-wrote the letter several times, each time focussing down onto describing my disabilities in a way that showed I could not reliably perform the actions described, and removing the unnecessary or irrelevant bits.
Last week I received nearly £5,500 in backdated PIP at enhanced rate for BOTH daily living and Mobility components. I am overjoyed and very grateful for your comprehensive help and the added confidence that having access to your guides brought me. So thanks again, and if others feel they meet the criteria for benefit – don’t give up – just closely follow the guides and make sure you include every relevant detail that affects your ability to do the tasks satisfactorily or reliably. The best money I’ve spent all year.
Peter

Thank you for all the work that you do
I just wanted to say thank you very much for all your help. I have used your guides over the years when claiming ESA. For the first time, I have now had to claim PIP. Using your guide I was successful. I was awarded the standard award for daily living, and the enhanced rate for mobility. Thank you for all the work that you do.
Charlotte

 

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: 37422

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