Higher rate mobility and care in just over a week
Just to let you all know that I sent my own completed first claim off just over a week ago (special delivery) with literally an essay per question, two consultants letters, a whole page of people I have seen over the last 18 months, another page of tests I have been put through, a copy of my repeat prescription request and a four page carers statement.

Today I received a brown envelope with higher rate mobility and higher rate care indefinitely

Thanks B&W for all the help and support!!!!!!

Confirmed: DLA to be axed and replaced by PIP

Dear [fname],

The DWP have confirmed that disability living allowance (DLA) is to be abolished and replaced by a new benefit called Personal Independence Payment (PIP) in 2013/14. All existing DLA claimants will be reassessed for PIP once it is introduced.

A brief consultation has begun – but not to decide whether to replace DLA, only to decide the finer details.

From the scant information available, we look at what’s staying the same, what’s changing, why your ESA medical may also be your PIP medical and who is most likely to lose out with the introduction of PIP – designed to reduce spending on DLA by at least one fifth.

Whether you have a PIP or an ESA medical, you can be sure that it will be Atos who carry it out.  The coalition have now extended the Atos contract by a further three years, giving the multinational a virtually unbreakable stranglehold on benefits medicals.

And that may not be the end of your dealings with Atos.  They are one of the companies shortlisted by the DWP to run compulsory schemes to get sick and disabled claimants back into work once they have been placed in the work-related activity group.

The voluntary sector did spectacularly badly in the same bidding war, with Shaw Trust being shortlisted in just one of the eleven regions.  A consortium of nine charities, including Mind and Mencap, however, are desperately trying to become subcontractors to the big boys like A4E, Atos and security firm G4S.  The charities are flaunting their combined £688 million turnover and cash surplus of £16 million in the hope of turning private sector heads and getting a few scraps of the billions being invested in getting claimants into work.

Not, we’re sure, that the charities see it that way or will thank us for publicising their consortium.  Citizens Advice certainly weren’t happy with our unenthusiastic write-up of their ESA campaign – so much so that they asked for a right to reply, which we were happy to give them.  Pop into the blog and see if you agree with what they say.

In other news, we have definite confirmation that the time limiting of contribution based ESA will be retrospective when it is introduced in 2012.

There’s nothing definite about the date when PCA exempt claimants will be transferred to ESA, however.  A Benefits and Work member has used the Freedom of Information Act to uncover the fudge that the DWP are employing to deal with the issue of claimants with no renewal date.

Not that any other dates relating to the migration of IB claimants to ESA can be trusted, it seems.  It has now emerged that there will be a delay of  months after the first medicals before any IB claimant actually gets a decision about their ESA entitlement – or lack of it – due to DWP software not being ready in time.

Also delayed - for existing claimants at any rate - are the cuts to local housing allowance which were due to be introduced in April and October but which will now go ahead in January 2012.

On which final crumb of comfort we turn to the forums for reassurance that, for the moment, some people are still successfully claiming the benefits to which they are entitled.

Higher rate mobility and higher rate care from no award on appeal

Support group on first application

Successful IB appeal

Lower rate care and mobility from nothing on appeal

0 to 15 points at ESA appeal

Work-related activity group on appeal

Middle rate care and lower rate mobility for ME/CFS on appeal

DLA reawarded at the same rate

Lower rate care and mobility on reconsideration

From lower rate care to lower rate care and higher rate mobility on review

Good luck,

Steve Donnison


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