PIP Mandatory Reconsideration
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; you have to go through this stage before you will have the option of an appeal to an independent tribunal.
We might advise you not to instruct us 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 me.
Better we have found to go through the motions, with you just asking the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to look at the PIP decision again, and instead you focus your efforts on a tribunal appeal, where the quality of decision is very much better.
What do we mean by this? Well, as an example, the law says that if you can do one of the activities in the test, preparing food, walking 20 metres, etc. then they must consider whether you can do it safely, do it as often as reasonably required, do it to an acceptable standard, and do it within a reasonable time. This is in regulation 4(2A), but it might as well not be there as far as Healthcare Professionals and Decision Makers are concerned as we have yet to see this part of the law applied correctly. A tribunal will look at these factors and can be persuaded to award points where they apply. The sad fact is that there is often a difference between what a Decision Maker can be expected to award on a claim, or a mandatory reconsideration, and what an appeal tribunal can be expected to award you. The most recent Government figures that I have seen showed that just 17% of PIP 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’, just for piece 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 one month, plus an additional 12 months) and you should talk to us if you have missed even this extended time limit as we may be able to help.
When we 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 PIP 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. Once we know what it is we have to prove, we can then take you through the assessment report written by the Healthcare Professional at the face-to-face meeting, to see where this went wrong. Some clients believe that the reasons included in the PIP decision is the full report, but the assessment report is usually about 28 pages in length. I go through this with you pretty much line by line, to see what is wrong, what has been misunderstood and what has not been included at all.
We will have agreed sources of evidence to support our view of where you should have scored points. 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 me 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 of you 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 PIP 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.
We get a great deal of satisfaction in getting the original decision changed at the mandatory reconsideration stage, avoiding the need for a tribunal appeal and getting arrears of the new award dating back to the date of claim.
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.