Challenging a PIP decision is straight forward; you just say that you disagree. It is the same when you appeal to a tribunal after the mandatory reconsideration stage. These decisions are mainly about the facts of your case, such as what you can and cannot do when preparing food, washing or bathing or dressing, for example. The decision made by an appeal tribunal cannot be challenged just by saying that you cannot do what they decided you can do.
A tribunal decision can only be challenged by identifying one or more ‘errors of law’ in a document called the statement of reasons, which the tribunal judge has to put together if any party to the appeal requests it. If you are unhappy with the tribunal’s decision, begin by requesting a statement of the tribunal’s reasons for their decision.
In that letter/phone call/email, we recommend that you also request a copy of the judge’s ‘record of proceedings’. We always take our own note of the evidence at a hearing and sometimes this can help you to show that the tribunal misinterpreted the evidence that it heard.
If the record of proceedings is hand-written, it can be hard going, but always make the effort as it can pay off. Bear in mind that you need to make the request for these documents within the time limit of one month, that runs from the date that the Decision Notice was sent, or handed, to you by H M Courts & Tribunals Service (HMCTS). Talk to us if you have missed that time limit as we may be able to help.
The tribunal that heard your PIP appeal is entitled to make what decision it wants, but it must arrive at that decision in a lawful manner. It cannot ignore the law or case law from the Upper Tribunal or higher courts, where it is relevant to your appeal. Where this applies, or where you can show that the tribunal misunderstood the law, this will be an error of law. It is not just about the law though; where the statement of reasons shows that the tribunal ignored or overlooked evidence, or where they have misinterpreted evidence, or taken account of evidence that is not relevant, then this too will be an error of law. In a statement of reasons, the judge will state what the tribunal found to be facts, and will give their reasons for awarding points, or not doing so, for each part of the PIP test that was relevant to your appeal – preparing food, planning and following journeys, etc. Look at those findings of fact, because the tribunal must decide what the facts are, and must not take into account irrelevant facts, if they are to avoid making an error of law. Reasons for a decision must be adequate, showing how the evidence that they read or heard lead them to the facts that they found, and why those facts lead them to apply the law as they did.
Other potential errors of law apply far less often, that the tribunal made a perverse decision, or that there was a breach of the rules of natural justice. You may well have looked at the tribunal’s Decision Notice and thought it ridiculous, but that is very different to showing that it is perverse. Here, you would have to show that the tribunal acted irrationally, that no reasonable tribunal could have made this decision, given the evidence it had before it, and given what the law says. A breach of the rules of natural justice would involve a procedural error, such as not explaining to you at the start of the hearing that some of the points awarded by the Department were in doubt, so far as they were concerned, and might be taken away; or, not allowing you or your witness to speak, when it was their turn.
Put your application for permission to appeal to the Upper Tribunal in writing. Try to keep it concise and avoid the temptation to re-argue the evidence; at this stage, the focus is on matters of law, as outlined above. Do not be put off if the judge turns down your application for permission; it can be renewed, directly to the Upper Tribunal, using the form UT1 that should be sent to you with a refusal decision. It is quite common for an Upper Tribunal judge to find an error of law, where the local judge said no.
There is another way of getting the tribunal’s decision undone, and for you to get another hearing before a different panel, but it will apply far less often. We are talking here about having the decision set aside on procedural grounds. A judge will look at your application without either party being there, and he or she will need to accept that it is in the interests of justice that the decision in your appeal be set aside. In addition, they will need to accept that something went wrong at a procedural level, not looking here at either the facts of your case, matters of law or whether the tribunal made the right decision. Examples of when this would apply would be where you could not attend your hearing, perhaps because you were ill; or, the appeal papers or other evidence was not available to the tribunal when it should have been; or, where evidence was not received by you or the Department when it should have been, giving sufficient time before the hearing.
We have seen examples of where a client has successfully applied for permission to appeal to the Upper Tribunal without representation, but there is no doubt in our minds that your chances of success will be increased by having help from a competent representative. Some clients come to me having been refused permission by the local judge, so that we take over with the application direct to the Upper Tribunal, which is also fine.
A properly completed pip claim form is the foundation for getting the right outcome on your claim, whether you end up with the right award when your claim is first dealt with, after a Mandatory Reconsideration or an appeal to an independent tribunal. You need to know where the Healthcare Professional and Decision Maker are coming from, as well as what the law says the words and phrases in the test mean.. MORE
Your PIP claim, whether a fresh claim or for a move from DLA to PIP, is very likely to involve a face-to-face assessment. Yes, the PIP claim form asks for details of medical people who are or have recently been treating you, and for any medical evidence you have, but in my experience, it is rare for the Department to contact anyone. They would much rather rely on their own PIP assessment, arguing that the disability.. MORE
You would not be reading this if you were happy with what is in your decision letter. In a perfect world, you would be able to say to yourself that if you were refused benefit or if you were awarded less than you hoped for, then it must be because you just didn’t meet the criteria; that the Department for Work & Pensions must know what they are doing. Experience says that you cannot rely on that being the case..MORE
You would probably not be reading this if you were happy with the PIP decision letter. The first thing to remember is that if it is wrong, we can almost certainly put it right, so do not panic. Challenging the PIP decision is a two-stage process and the first of these is a paper challenge, called a mandatory reconsideration. ‘Mandatory’ because you cannot go around it..MORE
You must have received your mandatory reconsideration notice before you can put in an appeal to an independent tribunal. It is better to use the standard SSCS1 appeal form, but the rules say that a letter is acceptable, as long as it includes all the necessary information. The appeal form/letter is sent to the HM Courts & Tribunals office in Bradford..MORE
Challenging a PIP decision is straight forward; you just say that you disagree. It is the same when you appeal to a tribunal after the mandatory reconsideration stage. These decisions are mainly about the facts of your case, such as what you can and cannot do when preparing food, washing or bathing or dressing, for example. The decision made by an appeal tribunal cannot be..MORE
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As of November 2023 we have a 98.65% Tribunal success rate, based on 716 appeals.
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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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