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Surprised and delighted
“Submitted the paperwork for a PIP Review on 17 April 2021 and received a white envelope this morning. The enhanced rates for both Daily Living and Mobility to continue unchanged and it also states "We will also contact you while you are getting PIP to see if your needs have changed. This will be after 20 April 2031." I followed the advice in your latest guide to the letter and cannot thank you enough. Even though it says 10 years before another review, I am keeping my subscriptions to BandW going throughout so that I can keep up to date with developments. Again, thank you so much - a weight off my mind.”

USE YOUR 20% OFF ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP COUPON BEFORE MIDNIGHT FRIDAY: 39842

 

Dear Reader,

In this newsletter we reveal that the fight has begun to get a backdated award of over £1,000 for every ESA claimant, because they were treated differently to UC claimants.

We discover that some current PIP claimants are being left with no award, solely because the DWP have failed to arrange a new assessment in time.

We report that a DWP decision maker has admitted that a LEAP letter telling a claimant that they were not entitled to a back-payment was untrue – the claimant has now received £12,000.

We publish a list of the conditions the DWP say are most likely to lead to an award of a PIP back-payment.

We have a reminder about our members PIP mobility and mental health video, which we’ve now made easier to use.

We learn that over 42,000 carer’s allowance claimants are facing overpayment bills of up to £20,000.

We have news of three new Zoom training dates for professionals, with two of the courses being new ones.

Finally, we say thank you to everyone who responded to Holiday’s coaching clients request.

 

LEGAL CHALLENGE TO FAILURE TO GIVE £20 UPLIFT TO ESA CLAIMANTS
A High Court challenge has been mounted against the failure to give a £20 uplift to claimants of legacy benefits, such as ESA, in spite of the payment being given to UC claimants. Success could lead to awards of over £1,000 for almost two million ESA claimants.

At the start of the pandemic, the chancellor announced a £20 increase in the standard rate of UC to help claimants cope with the additional costs of the pandemic.

However, claimants on equivalent ‘legacy benefits’ such as ESA were not given the uplift because the DWP claimed that its IT system could not cope with the change.

The case is being brought by two ESA claimants in the support group.

They are arguing that the failure to treat them in the same way as UC claimants is discriminatory and unjustified.

The claimants have asked for the case to be heard in July. We believe it has a real chance of success.

We’ll keep you posted.

 

CLAIMANTS LEFT WITH NOTHING WHEN PIP CLAIMS END BEFORE REVIEW
Some PIP claimants are being left with no payments because their fixed-term award has come to an end before the DWP has made a decision about a new award.

The problem appears to be a backlog of assessments.

Justin Tomlinson, minister for disabled people, told MPs in a written answer that:

“Some claimants on fixed term awards without a review date are now falling out of payment before we have been able to make a decision on renewal claims they have made. We are prioritising these cases to ensure we can make a decision as quickly as possible.”

The minister did not give any indication of how many claimants are affected or how soon ‘as quickly as possible’ is likely to be.

 

CONDITIONS DWP SAY MOST LIKELY TO GET PIP BACK PAYMENT
We’ve published a list of the 21 conditions the DWP say are most likely to lead to an award of PIP arrears, where the claimant also scored four points for mobility descriptor 1b.

They include conditions such as:

  • Agoraphobia
  • Anxiety and depressive disorders
  • Autism
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Panic disorder
  • Phobias
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Schizophrenia

It should be stressed that this was only the DWP’s prediction of who is most likely to be eligible. Just because your condition is not listed here, that does not mean that you are not entitled to a back payment.

Nor, if your condition is listed here, does it mean that you are going to get an award. It is clear that the DWP has chosen to make very few awards indeed. At the moment, rather than the over 160,000 awards originally estimated, the DWP is on course to make around 7,000.

However, Benefits and Work is currently looking into ways the LEAP review results can be challenged and we hope to have more information for readers in the coming weeks.

 

DWP ADMITS LEAP LETTER WAS UNTRUE
Benefits and Work has been provided with a copy of a letter from the DWP in which a decision maker admits that a review of the claimants PIP award had not been carried out, even though the claimant had received a LEAP letter stating that it had.

The claimant received a letter last year stating that their claim had been looked at again in line with the decisions in the MH and RJ cases and that they were not entitled to any payment of arrears.

The claimant challenged this arguing that they were covered by the MH decision.

The DWP decision maker responded in writing, saying that:

‘Your request for the decision not to be awarded the mobility component to be looked at again when considered in the light of RJ/MH will require a reconsideration which was not carried out for this aspect of your claim.’

The DWP eventually made an award of £12,000 of backdated enhanced PIP mobility component payments.

As in other cases we have seen, this claimant was fortunate enough to have knowledgeable support with their challenge.

How many other claimants who are entitled to similar amounts are missing out because they do not have the same support?

 

OVER 42,000 CARERS HIT WITH OVERPAYMENT BILLS
42,400 carers are being forced to repay benefits overpayments, even though very often these were due to failings by the DWP.

Some claimants are facing recovery of overpayments of £20,000.

Justin Tomlinson, minister for disabled people, told MPs in a written answer that:

“As of 13th April 2021, 42,400 people were repaying Carer’s Allowance overpayments.

“The total original value of those debts was just over £138million; the total amount currently outstanding is £89million.

“The Department has a duty to recover overpaid benefits as quickly and efficiently as possible, but it is not intended that the recovery of an overpayment should cause any customer undue financial hardship.”

However, the National Audit Office found in 2019 that, due to high staff turnover, the DWP had 104,000 unprocessed reports of changes of circumstances by carers.

This inevitably led to large overpayments being run up.

Those same claimants are now being penalised for something that was not their fault.

The eagerness of the DWP to recover overpayments of carer’s allowance contrasts with its reluctance to pay out to claimants owed arrears of PIP under the LEAP review.

 

IMPROVED PIP MOBILITY ON MENTAL HEALTH GROUNDS VIDEO
With the growing awareness that the LEAP review has been largely a con trick, with thousands of people missing out on an award they are entitled to, understanding who qualifies for a PIP mobility awards has become more important than ever.

In July 2020 we held a webinar on PIP mobility and mental health. The recording has been available to watch in the members area ever since.

But we’ve now uploaded the video to Vimeo, meaning that you can fast forward and rewind in a way that wasn’t possible before.

Members can watch the video from the link on the PIP page.

 

NEW PIP TRAINING DATES
We have three new PIP training dates, with two of the courses being new ones.

These Zoom sessions are only for professionals, but we hope to have news of online training for claimants in the next few weeks.

Making the Best Possible PIP Mobility Claims On Mental Health Grounds
Zoom Tuesday 8 June 9.30am to 12.30pm £85 + VAT (£102)

We’ve run this course several times before, but with the LEAP review it’s even more important to understand precisely how claimants can qualify for the standard and enhanced rates of the PIP mobility component on mental health grounds. Developmental disorders such as autism are also covered in the course.

PIP Claims and appeals: mental health and developmental disorders
Zoom Tues 6 and Weds 7 July 9.30am to 12.30pm £130 + VAT (£156)

This two day course is for you if your service users with mental health conditions and developmental disorders are frequently denied the correct award of PIP. You will learn how to complete the PIP2 form as effectively as possible, how to help service users prepare for an assessment and how to challenge a decision when necessary

Supporting Claimants to Challenge PIP Decisions – Mandatory Reconsideration and Appeal
Zoom Monday 12 July 9.30am to 12.30pm £85 + VAT (£102)

Supporting claimants with a PIP appeal can be a daunting prospect. This Zoom session is for you if you are not going to represent your service users at appeals, but still want to help them negotiate the complex mandatory reconsideration and appeal process. This course will give you the knowledge and skills to help your service users get the right outcome if they challenge a PIP decision.

For more details of all these courses and to book places visit our training page.

 

HOLIDAY’S COACHING REQUEST
Finally, many thanks to everyone who responded to Holiday Whitehead’s request for free coaching clients. Not surprisingly there was a very large response and sadly, not everyone could be included. Holiday has now contacted the clients she will be working with.

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: 39842

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
Legal challenge to failure to give £20 uplift to ESA claimants

Conditions DWP say most likely to get PIP back payment

DWP admits LEAP letter was untrue

Over 42,000 carers hit with overpayment bills

Claimants left with nothing when PIP claims end before review

 

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 letter arrived
“Well although I had telephone confirmation that my PIP was being renewed I still couldn't really believe it until I see it in black and what. Thankfully after such a stressful high anxiety wait, both prior and after the assessment the letter arrived today and I have enhanced on both again yet this time it says for an ongoing period on each, on the second page it says, we will also contact you while you are getting PIP to see if your needs have changed and to look at the amount you get. This will be after 31March 2031. The relief is amazing but I also know that many here are still going through the dreadful waiting period and that feeling is horrible. Please hang on in there, don't give up. Use all the help and guides on this site as they are invaluable. I hope you all get the result you hope for.”

Thank you – success
“I have been a member for years and will continue to be a member for years but I wanted to thank you for your excellent guides that helped me to support and navigate my daughter through her UC / work capability assessment and after the telephone assessment on Tuesday she was told Friday she was put on the Limited capability for work-related activity. There is no doubt I wouldn't have been able to do it without your guides. and the wonderful support of this forum............ Many thanks”

Thank you so much for all your help and advice
“Today I called the DWP as I had my telephone assessment on 1st April and on your advice I requested a copy of the report which was actually a encouraging result . Despite that the anxiety of waiting for the decision was increasing so with my Daughters support I made the call. The young man on the phone was helpful and checked on the screen. He said a decision had been made on 23rd April and I've retained the enhanced rate on both daily living and mobility. He said a confirmation letter will arrive. The last award I had was for three years but my conditions have worsened and are now chronic. I asked him when would I need to have a review and he said both awards are ongoing. I'm not 100% sure how that works but I am so relieved and cried happy tears for a change. This process is so very stressful especially when people are so poorly already, I wish there was a better way for claimants. I'd like to thank all at Benefits and Work for all your help and advice and for everything you do for others in my situation.”

Big Thanks to BandW
“Hi Just to say a big thanks i got my pip renewed to Feb 2024 and also got standard mobility also a bit of back money into my bank so happy, added because of benefits and work guidelines would not have done it without yous”

PIP Tribunal Result
“Hi everyone. I have had my court hearing conference call this morning fpr my PIP appeal and before I even started they informed me that I had been awarded the wrong amount of points for my daily living and gave me 8 from 6 so I am now entitled to the STANDARD DAILY LIVING COMPONENT but over the course of the tribunal they decided that I didn't have warrant enough points for the mobility component. I am chuffed with the outcome regardless of them denying the mobility award, and, it was a relief to get something as I had been on it for life before an error on their part cancelled my previous award. Thanks to this site I was able to give better worded responses and able to claw something back. My award is being back dated to 1st July 2020 so looking forward to a decent payout as well.”

PIP Review success – on paper
“Like lots of people we received a PIP review pack after receiving a letter to say it had been extended due to Covid-19. I returned the pack at the beginning of April and was in waiting mode for a letter of invitation for some sort of assessment (either telephone or face to face). Came in from work tonight to a harmless looking white envelope which amazingly contained my son’s PIP award. The letter was dated only 10 days after I’d sent the review form so a fairly quick turn around which included Easter!! I’m stunned but so happy not to have to put my son through another gruelling assessment.
Thank you to BandW for the excellent guidance on completing the forms”


Enhance PIP awarded
“Hi Guys… long story short version.. Requested change of circumstances as health had deteriorated.. DWP kept award the same.. MR done but extra info sent prior.. DWP kept it the same.. Submitted appeal online added transcript of my covert recording which I done as I have memory issues.. DWP stated that THEY decided that I have no memory problems, unfortunately for them they used that argument in most of my descriptors for justification. In my appeal on line there was a box for me to add any information for the panel and the judge I wrote “ dear judge and panel, for me this is not about the money it’s about what right and wrong. Who do the DWP think they are to decide whether I have memory problems or not when the evidence is clear. If I do not meet the criteria to get the points then the DWP should say “ we agree you have issues with your memory however you don’t meet our criteria and they need to have a criteria “ I was not having them tell me I had nothing wrong with me. Anyway this morning I got a text from appeals department saying DWP had changed their decision in my favour case closed. It didn’t even get to the judge that was DWP first response.
I called DWP and I am now enhanced on both until 2026 which I’m thrilled with.. Please anyone who feels they deserve a higher award you have to go to appeal. The DWP need to start treating us with the respect that we all deserve. Thanks guys on this site couldn’t have done it without you all”


PIP 10 year award
“Good afternoon… thank you so much for your website help and support. I am still in shock as my wife has just received a 10 year award for pip on review with the highest rate of both, (paper based)..”

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: 39842

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