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“I just wanted to thank you all for your help … With your advice I appealed my MR and went from standard for both to enhanced until 2023!! I’ve renewed my payment for this year as your advice is second to none!! Thank you all from the bottom of my heart You are all heroes to me”

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Dear Reader,

In this edition we highlight the arrival of our new, on-demand PIP elearning for claimants, carers and professionals.

We warn that the DWP may now have reached the end of awarding back-payments under LEAP.

We reveal that Benefits and Work members can now download the first ever guidance to claiming PIP for Long Covid, after the DWP finally handed over previously unseen documents.

Finally, we ask you to give a little of your time to complete a survey for John Pring and Channel 4’s Dispatches.

 

UNIQUE PIP ELEARNING
Our step-by-step guides have been helping claimants get the correct award ever since PIP was introduced back in 2013.

But sometimes you need something more than a guide to your own claim.

Which is why we’ve been working for many months now to create PIP training courses that are effective, easy to use and affordable for claimants, carers and small charities, alike.

And judging by the feedback we’ve had from volunteers who have tried them out, we’ve succeeded.

“Well rounded, informative and clear. Brilliant.”

“An essential course for anyone completing a PIP2 form.”

“An excellent learning tool”

You might be a professional who supports service users with PIP claims.

Or perhaps you’re a claimant and you’ve found yourself helping friends, relatives or other claimants with completing the PIP2 ‘How your disability affects you’ form.

Maybe you regularly answer PIP queries on forums.

Or there could be a particular aspect of PIP, such as reliability, which is vital to your claim and you want to be certain you understand it completely.

Our invaluable PIP elearning modules cover some of the most important and challenging aspects of PIP regulations.

They allow you to understand the topics in-depth and to test your learning with interactive quizzes.

You can watch videos as often as you need, redo exercises and retake quizzes until you are certain you understand the subject.

And we’ve ensured that on every page there’s a discussion box where we guarantee you will get an answer to any question you might have about the training, so you’ll never be left confused or uncertain.

Our on-demand modules currently cover the following topics:

  • Introduction To PIP
  • The 'How Your Disability Affects You' Form
  • Attending The Assessment
  • Aids And Appliances
  • Reliability And Fluctuating Conditions
  • PIP Mobility And Mental Health

Just like our guides, these PIP modules come with a 7 day, no-quibble, money back guarantee.

And if you are a Benefits and Work member you’ll even get a 20% discount.

You can buy the modules individually or as a bundle.

With a member’s discount the modules cost claimants and carers just £6.00 each or £27.20 for the whole bundle.

For professionals, the cost – including personalised certificates and access to a professionals’ forum – is £15.60 per module or £76 for the bundle.

Don’t miss out on this valuable new resource. To find out more and get started in seconds - visit our training site.

 

HAVE THE DWP ENDED LEAP AWARDS?
Letters seen by Benefits and Work suggest that the DWP may have reached the end of awarding back-payments under the LEAP review.

Previous correspondence seen by Benefits and Work told claimants that the DWP had looked at their claim again and decided that their award would not change. These were decision letters which could be challenged.

However, most of the letters claimants are sending us copies of now state that:

“The main health conditions we have for you on our system indicate your PIP claim(s) are not affected by these changes.”

The DWP said that they would look first at claimants they thought were most likely to be eligible for arrears.

The fact that they are now contacting claimants they do not think are affected suggests that they have finished contacting those they view as potentially eligible.

Benefits and Work members who receive one of these letters, but consider that the LEAP review does apply to them and want to provide evidence, can download our guide to PIP claims and reviews, which has nine pages solely on the subject of ‘Planning and following journeys’.

Members can also view the 2 hour webinar on ‘Claiming the PIP mobility component on mental health grounds’ on the PIP members page.

And, whether you are a member or not, you can sign up for our PIP mobility and mental health online training module, which covers the subject in detail, with videos, quizzes and a forum to support your learning.

We also have a brief survey, just 9 questions, that you can complete here if you have received a LEAP letter in the last three months and would consider supporting a legal challenge to the way the review has been carried out.

 

FIRST EVER LONG COVID PIP CLAIMS GUIDANCE
Benefits and Work members now have access to the first ever guidance on claiming PIP for Long Covid, based on information previously only available to DWP, Capita and IAS (Atos) staff.

Regular readers will remember that the DWP had refused to release any PIP Long Covid documents to us on the grounds that to do so would “prejudice the effective conduct of public affairs”.

However, we persisted and they have now sent us three internal documents dealing with Long Covid claims.

But they came with strict warnings that copyright belongs to the private sector companies, which means we can’t publish them.

We have, however, quoted extensively from the documents in a 7-page, Long Covid PIP supplement, to be used in conjunction with our Guide to PIP Claims and Reviews.

It is clear that this is not information that the DWP wanted to be seen by the public.

There are warnings in the documents that they are ‘For internal use only. Not for distribution.’ and that they ‘must not be directly quoted when offering written or verbal advice to DWP in assessment reports or other settings.’

But as the DWP and the private sector assessors have still not published any official guidance about Long Covid, our supplement provides a valuable insight into how your condition is likely to be assessed.

It will help you to know what sort of evidence is required and also what symptoms are likely to be overlooked unless you draw attention to them.

It answers questions such as:

  • How long after your initial Covid infection can you make a claim?
  • Do you need to show you have had a positive Covid test in order to claim?
  • Do you have to show that your initial infection was severe?
  • How do the DWP decide whether the effects of Covid are likely to continue for another 9 months (the PIP prospective test)?
  • What symptoms do the DWP expect people with Long Covid to have?
  • Which PIP activities do the DWP consider will be affected by Long Covid?
  • Will you need to show you are getting medication or specialist input?
  • What happens if you already have an existing PIP award and you develop Long Covid?
  • Can a Long Covid claim end you eligibility for a 10 year light touch review
  • How long is an award likely to last?

And, given that an explosion of Long Covid cases may be the cause of PIP claims being made in record numbers, this is information that is long overdue.

If you are in any doubt that Long Covid is a condition that the DWP are very worried about, it should be dispelled by one piece of guidance:

Even if a customer is already on enhanced and enhanced and has now reported Post/Long COVID syndrome as a condition you should still refer these cases to an AP [Assessment Provider] - In-house decisions must not be made on any case where Post/Long COVID syndrome is stated as a disability.”

The Department would not be incurring the cost of pointless referrals to Capita and IAS unless they felt this was a situation that needed extremely careful monitoring.

Benefits and Work subscribers can download our Long Covid PIP supplement from the PIP members only page.

 

JOHN PRING AND CHANNEL 4 DISPATCHES NEED TO HEAR FROM YOU
Have you got time to complete a survey to help John Pring, the man behind the Disability News Service, and Channel 4 Dispatches shine a light on the disability benefits system?

Last month we got a great response to our request for people going through the PIP or ESA appeals process to contact a production company working with ‘a major TV broadcaster’.

We can now reveal that John Pring is working with the producers of a Channel 4 Dispatches documentary which will look at how the disability benefits system affects disabled people.

The producers told us:

Channel 4 Dispatches is making a documentary about how the disability benefits process impacts on disabled people's health and wellbeing. The documentary will examine the impact of assessments and interactions with contractors and the DWP and asks whether more should be done to help service users.

“As part of our programme, we are carrying out a survey to measure this impact.

“All respondents will be anonymous and all the data will be kept securely. It will only take about 15 minutes to complete. We would be grateful for any responses.”

So please do complete the survey if you possibly can.

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: 98547

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
Long Covid PIP claims supplement

John Pring and Channel 4 Dispatches need to hear from you

Have the DWP ended LEAP awards?

Long-Covid Benefits Timebomb

 

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 Enhanced Mobility award
“Dear fellow forum members and moderators, Just a quick message to hopefully help someone by listing what I believe helped me get Enhanced Mobility Rate from standard rate at my Personal Independence Payment Mandatory Reconsideration. First of all apart from the B&W’s members guides, which I followed to the letter, I had very valuable advice from fellow forum members and moderators and for me anyway, the B&W guideS are excellent, but I strongly feel that if I had not joined this forum I might not have been as successful...”

PIP Tribunal – Enhanced award
“Nearly two years since I was “invited “ to move from DLA (mrc hrm) to PIP I’ve had
my Tribunal decision. Enhanced for both. I feel numb. And exhausted of course. I’ve used your guides every step of the way.”


PIP Tribunal success
“I am pleased to announce that after waiting just over a year & a half from telling the DWP of a change in circumstance to receiving my letter from the Tribunal today 30/06/2021, that the Tribunal has ruled in my favour to increase both Daily Living & Mobility to Enhanced Rate. Thank you Benefits & Work for all your information & guidance.”

Mysterious large payment of PIP into my account
“I was awarded PIP a few months ago but was unsatisfied with the low rates, and so I immediately put in an MR, but have heard nothing since. I was discussing it with my welfare rights officer only on Monday and he said he'd give them another week before he chases it up for me.
And now today, I suddenly appear to be £2000 better off. I've not been contacted by DWP in any way shape or form about it apart from the mysterious phone call the other day, but that was supposedly about ESA, not PIP.
UPDATE: I finally heard from them by post this morning and it turns out that my MR was successful, purely on the strength of the statement I sent in. I'm now in receipt of Enhanced rate of both PIP components until 2024.So, for anyone who is undecided about sending in an MR, sometimes it's worth it!”

thank you for your invaluable website and guidance
“I just thought I would add my experience to encourage others to persevere and to thank you for your invaluable website and guidance. Having been awarded no points for either daily living or mobility after both the initial assessment and mandatory reconsideration I appealed but before a date for the appeal was set I was contacted by the DWP. During the telephone discussion the Decision Maker (DM) changed the decision in my favour and I was awarded the standard rate for the daily living element and the points awarded for the mobility element were increased although not sufficient to be awarded the standard rate.
As I wanted to consider this I arranged to speak to the DM the following day. When she contacted me she stated that after our discussion she had spoken to a senior colleague as the points awarded for mobility "did not rest easy with her" and that they had decided that I did qualify for the standard rate mobility element. So I have now been awarded the standard rate for both the daily living and mobility elements, which I believe to be fair, without having to face the stress of an appeal.”
Charlie

Thank you to Benefits and Work for all the information and support
“A huge and grateful thanks. After several traumatic experiences with PIP points being allocated, changed and reduced by 20 points, an exhausting and very challenging face to face interview a couple of years ago, I was awarded higher rate living and standard rate mobility PIP. Yesterday, I received an unexpected letter from DWP to say my PIP has been extended for a 10 year period. I do have a lifelong condition. Thank you to Benefits and Work for all the information and support. I will continue to subscribe each year.”
Ella

 

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: 98547

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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