The first thing to remember is that we can almost certainly put it right, so do not panic. Challenging the ESA decision is a two-stage process; the first is a paper challenge, called a mandatory reconsideration. ‘Mandatory’ because you cannot go around it; you have to go through this stage before you have the option of appealing to an independent tribunal.
We might advise you not to instruct me to help at this mandatory reconsideration stage – it depends on the gap between the points that you scored and the points that you should have scored. If you have scored few or no points, then even working together, the chances of persuading the second Decision Maker that the first one got it totally wrong would be close to nil, so it would not be a good use of your energy or resources to instruct us.
Better we have found to go through the motions, just asking the DWP to look at the decision again, and focus your efforts on a tribunal appeal, where the quality of decision making is very much better.
The most recent Government figures that we have seen showed that just 17% of ESA mandatory reconsiderations resulted in any additional points being awarded, never mind the correct award being made, so it can make sense to concentrate on a fight that you can win, rather than one that you are very likely to lose.
The time limit for requesting a reconsideration is one month from the date on the decision letter, regardless of how long it took to reach you. Comply with that time limit if you possibly can, and keep a copy of your letter. We send reconsideration requests ‘signed for’, for peace of mind, and where the time limit is close, ‘next day delivery guaranteed’. Do not give up if you miss the one-month deadline as it is often possible to get a late request accepted. There is an ‘absolute time limit’ of 13 months (the month, plus 12 months); talk to me if you have missed even this extended time limit as we may be able to help.
Whenwe work on a mandatory reconsideration, we make every effort to get the right result, so that the delay, stress and expense of a tribunal appeal can be avoided. We begin by going through the ESA test with you to see where you should have scored points, why you should have scored them and how strong a claim you have for those points, as well as to see if you should have qualified for the support group. Once we know what we have to prove, we can then take you through the assessment report, to see where this went wrong.
We will have agreed sources of evidence to support our view.
This could be medical reports or letters that you already have, or that we request.
It could be medical notes from your GP surgery, but could also be witness statements taken by us from people who know for themselves how you are affected by your medical conditions.
With the groundwork done, we are in a position to put together the mandatory reconsideration request and the first part of this would explain to the Decision Maker what was wrong with their assessment and why they should not give it much weight.
We go on to explain in detail where you should have scored points and why, referring to the ESA legislation, the regulations and the Upper Tribunal case law that supports your case.
Do not forget to protect the points that were awarded by the Decision Maker as you cannot ringfence these when challenging a decision.
There are two sorts of ESA claims, contribution-based and income-related. Entitlement to the first of these depends on you having paid sufficient National Insurance contributions. Income-related is another way of saying means tested. In the following weeks, you will be required to complete a work capability questionnaire or form ESA50. This asks for a description..MORE
Whether you are claiming contribution-based or income-related ESA, the claim process is very likely to involve a face-to-face assessment. It is a good idea to ask for your work capability assessment to be recorded, to help protect you from what you say being misunderstood, but you should still not go alone if you can help it. You may well be asked how you got there..MORE
You would not be reading this if you were happy with your decision letter. OK, so what do you do when a decision that you do not agree with arrives? We recommend that you call ESA to request a copy of the assessment report, because this is very likely to be where things went wrong. We go through the report with you pretty much line by line, to see what went wrong..MORE
The first thing to remember is that I can almost certainly put it right, so do not panic. Challenging the ESA decision is a two-stage process; the first is a paper challenge, called a mandatory reconsideration. ‘Mandatory’ because you cannot go around it; you have to go through this stage before you have the option of appealing..MORE
You must have been through the reconsideration stage before you can appeal to an independent tribunal. It is better to use the standard appeal form (search online for form SSCS1. You and the tribunal have the same appeal papers sent to you. They will contain a copy of your work capability questionnaire ESA50, the assessment..MORE
A tribunal decision can only be challenged by identifying one or more ‘errors of law’ in their statement of reasons, which the tribunal judge has to put together if any party to the appeal requests it. Up to this point, you were able to challenge a decision simply because you thought it to be wrong. If you are unhappy..MORE
Are you in need of professional PIP or ESA legal help ?
Don't hesitate to contact Disability Claims.
As of February 2024 we have a 98.65% Tribunal success rate, based on 716 appeals.
We hope to hear from you soon.
Many thanks to Sebastian Brooks. I recommend him. He is most knowledgeable and professional. With his help, DWP got the correct award for me and did so without the need for an assessment.
So glad we found Sebastian Brooks! Without him I doubt we would have navigated the PIP process and gained our awards. Sebastian worked with us and the results were such a relief. I would recommend Sebastian to anyone going through the application process or if, like me , you have to go to tribunal.
I used Disability Claims UK to help with my child's first PIP claim and I cannot recommend them enough. From the outset, Sebastian Brooks was professional, approachable and efficient and explained the process and the law around it in easy to understand language. It felt like there was a mountain to climb but he made it all seem so straightforward, helping to collate all the paperwork and giving honest and reliable advice.
I knew straight away that I had made the right decision in reaching out to Glenn Brooks for help with my Pip application. He is very professional, supportive and talked me through the whole process. After two stressful applications in the past on my own, both with 0 points, with Glenn's knowledge I have been successful. I have been awarded standard daily living and also standard mobility for fibromyalgia. I would absolutely recommend the help from Disability Claims and I will definitely be contacting again when my renewal is due. Thank you very much.
Joanne Porter - April 2021
I couldn’t have got my pip sorted without Glenn he walks you through the whole process and prepares you for the assessment, he makes you feel at ease but is totally professional. I would highly recommend him to help you with this. It will take the pressure off this arduous application process , including the stress of the forms. He knows this benefit inside and out, and it’s so reassuring . I’ve just heard I’ve received the full award I was entitled to and I couldn’t have received this without Glenn’s help. The thing that helped me the most was the preparation call before the assessment . He provides an excellent service .
Melanie Simpson - March 2021
Glenn Brooks always answered my call or txt's to help me with any questions or problems.
he's very polite and professional with me.
No question's were ever unanswered.
And i was very pleased with my tribunal outcome WE WON BRILLIANT.
I highly recommend you give Glenn a call he's the best.
Andrew Hunt - February 2021
I have to admit when I opened the application form my heart sank. It appeared so long and complicated & I really couldn’t be sure of the context so I referred to the guidance book and blind panic set in! Where to start?
Thankfully, I discovered Glenn Brooks Disability Lawyer on Google and he calmed my severe anxiety, supported and guided me through the whole process with a clear upfront fee.
For that I got expert advice & very patient, caring support. One thing’s for sure Glenn is not just totally focused on supporting his clients he is passionately empathic – he really cares about you. Thank you Glenn.
Paul Lonsdale - January 2021
Can I first congratulate you on the way you have written the content of your site. Despite there being quite a number of sites that appear to offer information and help, yours was by far the most informative and written with insight from a claimant's point of view.
Thank you for that.
Madeleine - April 2021
Glenn Brooks is simply a God sent from start to finish. From the first phone call I made to Glenn. He reassured me after listening to me and explained all I needed to know. Glenn was there for me from the start. His fees are reasonable and I worked out a payment plan. I wish many people going through mandatory reconsiderations and tribunal appeal can find Glenn. Without him by my side I would not have been able to cope or go through such a difficult process. My appeal was successful. Thank you for everything Glenn Brooks. Thank you.
AYODELE AWARUNS - December 2020
I had a thorough consultation with Glenn before deciding to move forward. Everything was very simple in terms of getting copies of paperwork for evidence to support my PIP claim.
I didn’t have to fill the forms in which I struggle with; it was completed over the phone. It was really helpful to have someone talk to you about your disability while the form is being completed as I would have missed key things that the assessor needed to be aware of.
I got the award I was entitled to and wouldn’t have had the confidence to do this without Disability Claims. I am very happy and will use the company again when my award is due for renewal.
Suzanne Ellis - September 2020
I have been dealing with Disability Claims for many years for help with claiming the right benefit. They helped me a great deal, particularly when the DWP got it very wrong. They were confident and reassuring that I was in the right and we won no problem on appeal. You can be as genuine as possible, with real issues but often it's how those words are put over - this is where Disability Claims came in. Filled out the same information (mostly) as I did, just worded much better and was successful without any problems. Highly recommend you deal with Disability Claims if you're worried or have issues. In an ideal world this service should not be needed, but the DWP are ruthless and don't care what your circumstances are.
“We were kept informed of the progress of the claim and the process we followed.
You obviously have good knowledge on the subject and was to formulate an
accurate statement, and present our case well at the appeal hearing. It is likely that
we will be in touch for help when our renewal form arrives.”
Mr M of Louth
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