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 November 2023 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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