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 – see the final page of the SSCS1 appeal form.
The appeal papers are put together by PIP and they send copies to the tribunal service, to you and your representative, if you have one. The appeal papers will contain a copy of your claim form, the assessment report, the original decision, your request for a reconsideration and the mandatory reconsideration notice.
You should already have had an acknowledging letter from HMCTS, the tribunal service, and this will have on it the appeal reference, beginning SC, but this reference is also on your appeal papers. You will need it if you contact the tribunal service, either to send in further evidence or to ask them when your appeal is likely to be heard. Waiting times vary from one appeal venue to another, and can be vary for different benefits.
Where do you begin when preparing your PIP appeal? Government statistics say that having an effective representative makes a difference. Our own tribunal success rate is over 95%, but across the UK, about 63% of PIP appeals are allowed, which should give you some comfort. We provide tribunal representation wherever you live, in England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland and we always represent in person. You no longer have to rely on an advice centre near to your home because we have successfully represented clients from Truro to Inverness and from Carmarthen to Ashford in Kent.
If you simply cannot attend the hearing, perhaps because of anxiety or being housebound, we can go in your place, hopefully with your witnesses. You could also ask that you ‘attend’ by telephone. We regard this as second best to you being there in person, so that the tribunal can meet you and get a better idea of the difficulties that you face with the activities in the PIP test, but attending by telephone is very much better than asking the tribunal to decide your appeal on the papers only.
We start the preparation for an appeal by going through the PIP test with a client to be clear about which of the Activities in the test are relevant to them, which of the point-scoring statements, what they call descriptors, apply, how many points they should have scored, why they should have scored those points and how strong a claim they have for those individual points. With that lot written down, you have a clear picture of what it is you are trying to prove, and you can better assess the value of any evidence you already have, such as letters from doctors. If the letter does not tell the tribunal anything about your ability to function, or at least says nothing about your symptoms, so support what you are trying to prove, then that letter is unlikely to be worth using.
Please read the whole letter, or all of your GP records, looking not only for helpful bits, but also for things that would be against you, perhaps statements about you that you consider to be wrong. We often have to give advice on whether a letter or report should go in, weighing up the potential good and the harm that might be done to the appeal. Because the tribunal must decide what Activities you need to use an aid for, or need help with from another person, and because doctors do not often have an opinion about this, think about who else knows how you are affected. Who knows from their own experience of you, how your medical conditions affect your ability to carry out these tasks? Think about family, friends, neighbours, or other professionals. Tribunals have found such statements to be very helpful. Ideally, have the person at the hearing as well, to support their statement.
We always put in a written submission, ahead of the hearing, so that this and the medical evidence and witness statements can be considered before the day of the hearing. If there are points that you want to make about what happened at the assessment, include them in your submission, rather than bring them up during the hearing. This is a general guide; there have been exceptions. Make it clear in your submission, just which descriptors you say that you should have scored points for.
Tribunals use our submissions as their plan for the hearing. Make sure that your representative is going to speak; some don’t. If the tribunal does not ask you the right questions, then we will. If you do not say all that we expect you to say about something, then we will take you back through your evidence when it is our turn.
We can ask your witnesses questions and can talk to the tribunal about the law and Upper Tribunal case law that supports your appeal. Mine should be the last word the tribunal hear before the end of the hearing. In the very unlikely event that the Department’s representative or a tribunal member is badgering a client, then we step in.
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
Are you in need of professional PIP or ESA legal help ?
Don't hesitate to contact Disability Claims.
As of October 2020 we have a 97% Tribunal success rate based on 592 appeals.
We hope to hear from you soon.
Going from DLA to PIP for my son resulted in only 2 points being awarded; my completion of the mandatory reconsideration form resulted in no improvement. At this point I realised that we needed professional help (with hindsight it would have been better if I had sought this earlier) and found the Disability Claims website via Google Search. They were most helpful and has an encyclopaedic knowledge of the system, they meticulously prepared for the appeal tribunal and represented us. The result was an increased award from 2 points to 22 points. We couldn't have achieved this without them. Highly recommended.
Simon - 20 November 2019
“From the moment I spoke to you, you took the anxiety and stress from me. I was still worried about the whole procedure which was affecting my condition. You were so very, very helpful and extremely understanding. I was awarded high Mobility and high daily living. The assessor who came out was a nurse. She was very understanding of my condition and how it affected me. It was a long assessment as I did explain everything in detail. You are so very, very good at what you do. Many thanks once again.”
Mrs P of Suffolk 10 July 2019
“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
Disability Claims are a courteous professional business. I highly recommend them to anyone needing help with PIP. They are cool and calm and after a few minutes speaking to them I was assured that I had made the right decision to ask their help. Most of all you are not forgotten about, as they check up on how things are, thank you. And to anyone faced with these forms they are your go to business.
Really professional and expertly researched legal representation. I went from 0 points on ESA to 18 points on appeal and got back in the support group. Highly recommended.
I strongly recommend Using Disability Claims. They are the best you can ever hire using PIP tribunal hearings appeal forms and reconsideration the best Welfare Benefit Solicitor in the whole of UK. I strongly recommend Disability Claims as the no 1 Welfare Benefit Solicitor.
With many disabilities, my full DLA allowance when changed across to PIP, and following my assessment, was reduced to standard rates, resulting in the loss of my car. Requested for a tribunal, and gobsmacked when the papers arrived, could not believe the ( I worded it inaccuracies) LIES that the assessor had told. Disability Claims attended the tribunal with me, and I was glad of their experience and reassuring me, if I got really nervous , that they would assist. My PIP was upgraded to enhanced care and mobility. I would certainly recommend that you should not accept any reduction in your benefits and should contact Disability Claims, I cannot express my gratitude enough.
Do not think of attending a tribunal without this business, they made the whole process so easy for my very stressed, distressed sister, who had her entitlement reduced and her car removed,at the change to PIP, they took the time she needed to calm her and put her at ease with some things that she was very uncomfortable talking about, they did a first class job at very short notice and worked until after 8PM on the evening of her initial interview, we would not hesitate to use their service's again or to recommend thrm to anyone who needs this kind of help.
The Disability Claims team are first class. If you need any help with any benefit they are the number one people to call.
They are excellent at what they do and will always explain to you each step of the process.
Fees are very reasonable for all the work and travel involved.
I have recommended them to people in need of their services.
Even get their help when the first forms drop through your letter box.
What can I say? They have helped my wife with her fight against this injustice winning every time which without them been harder..
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.
I would like to thank Disability Claims very much for their support and professionalism in dealing with my husbands case. At tribunal they took my husbands ESA case from zero points to support group. They are very pleasant, very experienced and knowledgeable in their work of supporting and advising on benefit claims. They are clear and to the point and I have no doubt that a genuine claimant will be supported 100%. They are very black and white as there is no room for grey areas in these case. I would recommend them to anybody who has a pending appeal or indeed any of the other services they offer. We certainly could not have got through this without their support and very clear understanding. There were no hidden costs everything was very transparent. Professional in every way. Thank you again.
Disability Claims is absolutely brilliant. I too wish that I had used them to fill the dreaded form in to begin with too! I will definitely be using them in the future if needs be. They were so patient, professional, caring, and lovely, lovely people. They travelled a long way to deal with my case and was with me every step of the way. Their service is not for free, but it is worth every single penny. I don't think I would have got the perfect outcome I did without them. In fact I know I wouldn't have. I highly recommend them to others.
Thanks so much.
PIP & ESA Updates
Our PIP & ESA updates newsletter is sent out to everyone who has signed up and keen to keep up to date on the subject of Personal Independence Payments and Employment and Support Allowances. Expect to see links to our latest articles, case studies, testimonials and of course solid guidance on how to navigate the difficult and sometimes complex field of Disability Claims.