Following the release last month of figures revealing how many claimants initially refused any PIP get enhanced awards as a result of lapsed appeals, should claimants be much more aware of them as the second stage in a three part challenge process?

Last month, Labour MP Marsha De Cordova asked DWP minister Tom Pursglove for statistics on lapsed appeals.

Lapsed appeal is the term the DWP use for when they make an award, or a better award, to a claimant who has lost their mandatory reconsideration and lodged an appeal. This causes the appeal to lapse because there has now been a new decision, although you can choose to appeal against this decision too.

The statistics reveal that over the four years up to April 2022, 10.5% of claimants who were not awarded any PIP and who lodged an appeal got an award due to a lapsed appeal. This is a total of 30,200 claimants.

Astonishingly, 51% of these claimants got at least one enhanced component.

It’s a big leap to go from no award at all to at least one enhanced component. To make an offer that high before an appeal suggests that no-one was looking very closely at the claim or the mandatory reconsideration stage.

And that the challenge process should really be thought of as:

Mandatory reconsideration

Pre-appeal reconsideration

Appeal

The very sad part of this is the number of claimants who drop out after a failed mandatory reconsideration, not realizing there is a real chance of a good award without having to actually go to an appeal hearing - even if you have been given no award at all so far.

According to the DWP’s quarterly statistics, between April 2013 and September 2021, only 38% of completed mandatory reconsiderations went on to appeal.

Yet over one in seven of those claimants then had their appeals lapsed because they were made a better offer by the DWP without going to a tribunal hearing.

And, as we now know, many of those were offers of enhanced awards for at least one component.

Indeed in the current newsletter, Benefits and Work has published feedback from a member who got enhanced rates for both components at a lapsed appeal, having previously been awarded nothing.

“I applied for PIP in May last year using your PIP guidance. I had a telephone assessment where I felt the assessor was trying to lead to answers he wanted. I got refused PIP with 4 points overall so asked for mandatory reconsideration. Again refused so applied for a Tribunal . . . Last week I got a call saying DWP did not want to go to Tribunal and has changed their decision. I received PIP backdated and enhanced rate in both categories. Being finally believed was so emotional for me. Without Benefits and Works I would not have known how to present my issues, or keep fighting when I was struggling so much with physical and mental disabilities.”

 So, we would suggest that even if you don’t feel you can face an appeal, you seriously consider lodging one to see if the DWP make you an offer before the hearing.

We’ll be updating our PIP appeals guide in the next two weeks to include more on lapsed appeals.

You can read the full parliamentary answer here

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  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Clare · 9 months ago
    Are random checks being done or is this done on every claim going to appeal Either way it is worth making the appeal But the decision should have been correct first time What is happening to the decision makers who make these decisions which are over turned Is it done to reduce the figures for appeal wins So it looks like they are getting in correct more of the time Is it a manipulation of the figures
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    Penny pincher · 9 months ago
    I applied for pip in 2018, got refused. In 2021 I applied again  and got awarded the lowest payment. I've asked the DWP to look again at my pip claim from 2018. They say they have no records of me ever applying. I still have the paperwork. So I just left it at that.
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    leonc1963 · 9 months ago
    This happened to me,, the MR resulted in no change so enhanced care but no mobility.

    So submitted an appeal online using my MR letter as grounds of appeal no more no less word for word.

    3.5 weeks later I got a text saying DWP has lapsed the appeal and I should wait for a letter from DWP.

    That came the same day and was awarded enhanced PIP on both parts for 10 years with a light touch review whatever that is in December 2029

    Just goes to show what a farce the mandatory consideration is and proves is just there to delay and hinder the Tribunal Stage.
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    Nanamoo · 9 months ago
    The lapsed appeal was exactly what happened with my last renewal! I went from enhanced mobility & standard care to 0 from the assessment that was full of lies from the assessor. (Like saying he had observed me walking more than 50m, when I'd only let him in my home and shuffled the 3-4m from front door to my armchair and then the same to let him back out again.) Then to standard mobility at the mandatory reconsideration. I then asked to go to tribunal and before I got a tribunal date, I got a phone call from a decision maker called Steve Martin (remember his name because of the actor) on a Friday asking for more info. Gave him what he asked for and he said he would be in touch when he'd made his decision. He rang again on the Monday to say he was going to award me my original award of enhanced mobility and standard care. Saying that after he'd gone through all the evidence he had as well as from my previous tribunal, that he couldn't in good faith go against what was decided at that tribunal, as they had seen me face to face and could see what help I had needed. He even gave me a longer award!! Normally I'd only get 2-3yrs but this time he gave me 8yrs!! The backdated money was in my account by the end of the same week, never seen them do that so quickly before! 
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    Niamh · 9 months ago
    I view Mandatory Reconsideration as just a necessary evil to get out the way before you get the chance to appeal. I've had to do X3 MR and there was no change whatsoever and so went on to appeal each time. 
    This last time DWP contacted me prior to getting to tribunal and increased my Daily Living award from standard to enhanced. I already had enhanced mobility. 
    I spoke with my benefits advisor as I had questioned the short award length on my appeal papers, but she advised me to take the DWP lapsed offer, as a tribunal wouldn't look kindly on me turning up purely looking for extra time on my award.

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    penpo · 9 months ago
    hi can i ask had you already had a hearing date before dwp came to you with a changed decision please?
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      Mollie · 9 months ago
      @penpo I didn't have an appeal date when my award was changed. It had been a new claim with standard care given at first. After the MR I was awarded standard mobility and enhanced care and then this was changed to enhanced for both.
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    Alison m Ryan · 9 months ago
    very interesting scenario ,I transferred to u/c quite a while ago i was advised to do so my a j/c to stop all the sick notes having to be taken in ,Due to my  disability i was getting the disability premiums the minnute i swapped over all that stopped and i was left with around £100 per month less  possibly more and doing some digging in regard to the process in to the situation of the money awarded transfered over to u/c (  transitional protection) i was told at a meeting when i asked about this i was told that i didnt qualify even though  my circs had changed and i had been advised to voluntaily switch to u/c even though the job coach denied what hed advisd me to do .when i applied for the disability  exemption in waited 7 months for an answer they decided i was fit for work , at a m/r got knocked back again so went for tje appeal suddenly they changed there minds and it didnt get to appeal the same sort of thing happened with pip.All i can say is no your rights and dig your heels in wjich i did on 2 occasions and am proud to say beatthe system so dont give up it will pay off 
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    Relayer · 9 months ago
    I have supported people with benefits including PIP for the last 7 years and have done hundreds of claims and never lost one. I always advise of the entire process and the timescales involved so they know what to expect. Its a dreadful system which has been set up to put some of the most disadvantaged people in society at even more of a disadvantage, the Government and its departments and sub contractors should be thoroughly ashamed of the services they work for. Having worked in Care all of my working life it saddens me to see health care professionals working as assessors, surely at some point they did their training because the wanted to help people, how they sleep at night amazes me.
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Bill Glover · 9 months ago
      @Relayer Hi Relayer, 
      I really need help from someone like you. I’m quite desperate. I’m going into hospital for a complex hip replacement in July. Then follows a typical right hip replacement. 
      Left leg is 50mm short. My right knee is absolute agony , the leg won’t lift off the floor. 
      I’m awake all night , I can bearly put weight on either leg. 
      I have to use walking sticks . I’m in so much pain I’ve passed caring what happens to me. 
      I’ve worked as bricklayer for 44yrs . P.I.P don’t seem to believe how hard I’m struggling. They said I’m just standard rate for both. 
      My operations will go on for a long time & I have no way of paying my bills. 
      Have you any advice for me please?
      Kindest Regards 
      Bill Glover 

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    Rosie · 9 months ago
    I have just received a copy of my latest assessment and fear that I will be going down the mandatory reconsideration and appeal route as soon as I get the DWP's decision.  The assessment has marked me down on two categories which would take me from enhanced to standard on the daily living component. I have already started to prepare my objections as it is highly unlikely that the DWP will go against the assessment recommendations. I'm already not sleeping and worrying about it, and I haven't even got the decision letter yet.  
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      Claire · 9 months ago
      @Rosie Well done Rosie,what a good result.
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      Rosie · 9 months ago
      @denby Got my award letter today. Against all the odds the decision maker DISAGREED with the report and I will still get enhanced daily living and standard mobility. It's also for an ongoing period which takes another load of stress off me. Thanks for your input and encouraging comments. Rosie
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      Rosie · 9 months ago
      @denby Sent my extremely polite rebuttal letter yesterday and tracking confirms they got it at 6 this morning. Keeping my fingers crossed.
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Rosie · 9 months ago
      @denby Denby. I asked for a copy of the assessment report on 31 March, 3 days after the telephone assessment; it arrived on 9th May (39 days later!). I have an extremely narrow window of opportunity to challenge the report before the DWP makes its decision; they may even have made the decision already as they wrote on 11th April to say they had all the information necessary to make a decision. I will try your suggestion anyway, but I don't hold out much hope! Thanks for your comment. Rosie 
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      denby · 9 months ago
      @Rosie Rosie I hope you read this in time to act! You can actually write A S A P to 'The decision Maker' at the address your last letter from them cam from. Explain coldly why you disagree with the report. Stick to matters that will affect points and never use the word 'lie'. Say instead eg 'appears to have overlooked/misunderstood xy evidence'

      Doing this saved our daughter a third Appeal I am certain.
      Wishing you success,
      Denby
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    Mollie · 9 months ago
    The DWP has 3 opportunities to get it right before a 3rd party is involved and can take as long as they like. You, as the sick and disabled claimant, not only have to get it right the first time but are constantly faced and stressed with time limits. The system is loaded against disabled people.
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    Aw · 9 months ago
    I would like to know what the CAB are advising people to do. In 2016 I lost my mobility on transfer from DLA to PIP & the CAB wrongly advised me not to appeal (I didn't even know that MR existed as they never mentioned it) I spend 4 years struggling before I was given in back on review aswell as having my SDL raised to EDL with no change in circs. I am still angry that they did this and I hope they are giving better advice now.
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      leonc1963 · 9 months ago
      @denby The CAB is hit and miss as to the experience the advisors have, it my area they are not worth the salt as just not experienced enough to help with such complex cases 
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      denby · 9 months ago
      @Twinkle Toes Fortunately by the time disabled OH got home from a painful 2-3 hour wait in a crowded corridor at CAB, I had found the info needed on the .gov website re state pension. That's how we knew the CAB was giving out of date info!
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Twinkle Toes · 9 months ago
      @denby I started at the CAB in 2009 (as a volunteer then ended up with a paid role as an outreach worker) and went through some very complex training. I was helped by a fellow volunteer and had two supervisors who were both brilliant and thorough in their work. My training has been invaluable to me throughout my working life; it helped me move on from there in 2014 and have been a Support Worker ever since. Sadly, the CAB has changed, and not for the better. 
      I have fought many battles with the DWP both professionally and personally and have always won. I encourage my young people (and when I dealt with clients, at the CAB, I told them never to give up and often would do the forms, even though I was told that was not my job - I never have been very good at doing what I'm told) to stick with the process, knowing how difficult the DWP make it for everyone, I explain all the steps and how we will approach each one. I would always recommend an MR/appeal and would never tell anyone not to pursue their application, as that, of course, is what the DWP are hoping for.

      Aw and Denby - I'm sorry to hear that bad advice was received from the CAB. Always challenge them, if you feel that what you've been told isn't correct, and if not happy ask to speak to a supervisor as all sessions are overseen by a supervisor. 
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      denby · 9 months ago
      @Aw I'm afraid my OH had bad pension advice from CAB and judging from the member accounts on here, CAB need a kick in the pants to be much sharper and more pro claimant.

       If they do not have the staff or volunteers to provide the support, they should be upfront and honest about this. Above all they should never mislead claimants as they did Aw.

      Please B&W back office, could you write to CAB to protest about the poor standard? Claimants dare not in case of repercussions.
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