According to Tom Pursglove DWP Minister For Disabled People, 42,000 claimants lost their PIP Personal Independence Payments) awards in 2021 because they allegedly failed to return their AR1 PIP review forms.
This has caused an astonishing unexplained increase of almost 300% in just two years.
Theres a strong probability that many of the claimants that have been disallowed their payments have indeed returned them in time and the inept and archaic DWP system could be either losing them or taking far too long to record that they have been received.
Not to forget that some claimants may have failed to return the review form because the distress that completing these forms can cause triggering physical or mental health conditions.
As I reported a couple of weeks ago the tragic death of Laura Winham who’s disability benefit was stopped without any welfare checks by the DWP and other organisations after she failed to return her PIP claim form after being told that she needed to transfer from DLA to PIP.
Please note that all agencies involved were aware that she had a severe mental illness and needed support to do so.
According to Pursglove, claimants with serious mental health or cognitive conditions or who are vulnerable in other ways should have their files ‘watermarked’ to show they need additional support. Clearly this isn’t happening in all cases.
According to DWP policy claimants such as these should not have their PIP stopped because of a failure to return a form.
Are the DWP ignoring their own policies and procedures?Unsurprisingly this appears to be the case doesn’t it.
For a long time now the DWP (Department of Work and Pensions) have been lying about why they lose so many PIP (Personal Independence payments) appeals at the time of appeal.
The DWP cite that the only reason why claimants win their appeal at the hearing stage is as a result of the claimant has submitted new evidence that the DWP were unaware of.
However this is a lie.
According to the team over at Benefits And Work and through my experience of representing people it is clear to see that the claimant hadn’t submitted any new evidence, but instead were given the opportunity to tell the panel exactly the same details that they’d produced in their application and subsequently their PIP assessment.
It’s clear to see that the main difference is that the claimant was given a good and fair chance of describing their situation and that their statements weren’t falsified as is often the case during their original assessment.
Figures given by the DWP in response to a parliamentary question prove further that they were lying.
The figures released show that in 2021 the main reasons that PIP claimants successfully won their PIP appeals are as follows:
New written evidence provided at the hearing: 1%
Cogent oral evidence: 32%
Reached a different conclusion on substantially the same facts: 59%
Once again the DWP have been caught lying which sadly isn’t unusual.
The stress of applying for PIP, being refused and taking a claim to appeal can be too much for many to endure. A claimant can be waiting for a substantial amount of time until their appeal date thus resulting in many giving up their claim which is understandable.
It is however worth remembering that if a claimant goes through the appeal process they do stand a chance of being successful proving it to be worth enduring this cruel process.
Thanks to the team over at Benefits And Work for providing this information.
Thanks to everyone that reads and share my blog posts every week, it makes a huge difference and raises a lot of awareness!
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As reported by Benefits And Work the cost of a single benefit appeal has quadrupled to over £1,000 since 2013.
However since the DWP (Department of Work and Pensions) introduced having to apply for a mandatory reconsideration, appeal rates have fallen from 549,000 in 2013 to now reaching 92,000.
Added to this the cost of benefit appeals has fallen dramatically from £140 million to £101 million a year.
Even though the DWP even losing on average 70% of PIP appeals, this is still saving them money because they don’t pay these costs because the Ministry of Justice does.
The DWP are aware that not every claimant actually takes their case to appeal though. Many give up after going through the stress of applying for a mandatory reconsideration, which have been proven to be traumatic and distressing.
For example if 16,000 claimants fail to get their PIP award of a standard rate daily living component for two years and don’t appeal, then the DWP saves over £100 million which is a massive saving for them. This casts no doubt as to the real reason as to why this system was implemented in the first place.
The government and the DWP will always put saving money before the wellbeing of vulnerable people, this should never be forgotten.
A huge thanks to everyone that reads and shares my blog posts, it makes a huge difference and raises much needed awareness.
As you may have noticed I’m working extra hard writing extra blog posts during the week and I’m trying to push as much information to you as soon as it happens. The subject matters might change but they’re all relevant to our situations and the state of the UK at the present time,
If you like my work and would also like to help me to keep both the blog and campaign going theres a donate button at the top and side of this blog post and a donate button at the top of this blogs front page.
A huge thank you to each and everyone together we can make a difference in this world x.
UK doctors suffering from Long Covid have been denied PIP according to a recent report by The Guardian.
Long Covid can be very debilitating leaving sufferers unable to do the most basic tasks without some help and assistance.
The report describes how badly the doctors are being treated by the DWP.
For example a respiratory consultant has described how they were refused PIP (Personal Independent Payments) whilst having urinary incontinence, difficulty standing, preparing food, eating, washing, dressing or engaging with people face to face. They also stated that they can’t stand for more than 10 minutes, find it very difficult to prepare food.
They went on to say “I thought that I had illustrated quite clearly what my disability was.” “When I got the report back, I thought is this about me?’”
The article also reveals that the process of making a PIP claim was so hard and mentally exhausted that it worsened their symptoms leaving them feeling much worse than before making their claim.
Some describing that they’ve been forced to use almost all their savings on private treatments and have considering selling their home as a result of this process.
For example an infectious disease expert that developed Long Covid found that their claim was rejected in part because they can drive a car, the assessor stating in their report that they showed “significant physical function” and “substantial cognitive powers”.
According to the Office for National Statistics from May 1st 2022 an estimated two million people in the UK have reported having Long Covid and it also beggars the question how many people having Long Covid are being refused their PIP payments despite having these symptoms and worse.
For many years now the whole PIP testing system has been heavily criticised and is flawed against the person applying for it. Many give up and try to continue without it because the process is too arduous and painful. It is noted that approximately 70% of PIP claimants win their appeal if they choose to do so.
The whole process urgently needs a huge reform and claims need to be processed correctly and fairly whilst taking into account the true symptoms and difficulties that PIP claimants report. Many PIP claims are refused upon the basis of lies made by the assessors conducting PIP assessments.
Sadly whilst the Conservative government remains in power any changes to the system remain very unlikely.
If you are also finding it hard to claim PIP or/and ESA for Long Covid related illnesses please comment below or tweet your difficulties via this blog on Twitter or Facebook. Let’s get our voices heard!
Please read and share it helps massively to raise awareness .
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A huge thank you to everyone that has and does help support my work. Every penny makes a massive difference and enables me to continue.
The DWP has recently backed down on their high pressure pre-tribunal tactics the day before they faced a judicial review initiated by a disabled woman. Her case concerned the way the tactics that the DWP has been using putting extreme pressure upon PIP claimants via telephone into accepting a lower PIP payment offer rather than attending a tribunal to hopefully receive higher PIP payments.
The claimant known as ‘K’ had been approached by the DWP who made a low offer and told the claimant, known as ‘K’ that they had just one hour to make up their mind. During this conversation the DWP also warned K that tribunals ‘are not very nice to go to’ and if K took it to tribunal they could lose her whole award.
The DWP are well known for their bullying tactics, particularly towards disabled and vulnerable people. K explained that they felt extremely pressured to make a quick decision and wasn’t given the time to make a decision or to seek advice upon this from others.
Needless to say the DWP should not be putting pressure upon people like this, using fear as a tactic to manipulate disabled people into accepting a lesser payment that they are entitled to.
Unsurprisingly the DWP refused to accept it was doing anything wrong for a year until the day before the hearing, when it suddenly agreed to make a number of changes.
These changes being;
Advising staff its essential that they inform claimants that even if they accept a revised offer they still have the right to appeal against it.
Telling DWP staff that they must ensure that benefit claimants do not feel ‘pressured’ into making a decision.
Introducing mandatory training to all staff involved in ‘lapsing’ appeals by the end of October to ensure they understand the updated guidance.
The DWP unsurprisingly, refused to agree to end the practice of making pre-tribunal offers to claimants .
We shall see if the DWP continue to use their intimidatory tactics, or if they agree to the actions agreed upon in the court case.
As you all know the DWP like nothing better than to target the most vulnerable and disabled people, knowing that they might find it hard to appeal decisions made towards them by the DWP, and personally I do think that some DWP workers do get a kick out of doing this.
It’s never ok to treat people like this. No one should have to fight for the very means to survive especially in times like these when everyone is struggling even more because of the pandemic.
Can you imagine how awful it is to receive a letter from the DWP that you are no longer entitled to the very monies that have kept you going? Your very means of survival taken away at the push of a button and an uncaring letter sent to you?
This is the reality of life for thousands of people every day, it sends people into mental and physical distress. It’s a never ending circle of abuse metered upon them by the DWP initiated by the government.
No one should ever be forced to go through this cruelty and we must continue to fight to end this. You can do this by sharing my blog posts and other campaign groups posts. Write to your MP to share your disgust, share posts on Twitter and Facebook. Join a campaign group, share your worries and concerns.
Your voice matters so let’s make sure that you are heard!
This week is a very difficult week for me. As you know my son recently died and it is our joint birthday this weekend on the 1st of August.
The pain of loosing a child, even though they were an adult is unlike any other pain that I have ever felt before. A part pf me wants to run away for the day, hide and speak to no one. Another part of me says sensibly that I can’t do that because his sisters will probably want to do something.
To put it bluntly I’m a mess but I’ll be ok, that’s what I keep telling myself. It feels like two minutes ago when Joseph entered this world at 7.40am .
Joseph was autistic, dyslexic and he also had a few other conditions, but he was an extremely brave, high functioning individual. He loved living on his own in his flat, and he was the local odd job man, always helping others.
Joseph did also have to fight the DWP every time his PIP and ESA was up for renewal. He attended tribunals and was helped by local organisations and myself. I know that he found this extremely hard to cope with but he did and I’m so proud of him.
This blog post is written in remembrance of Joseph, and all the good that he did in this world. He would have been very happy about this decision.
Please read, share, tweet, email and talk about this blog post and the issues surrounding it. This makes a lot of difference and it helps lots.
Please support my blog and campaign and blog. I don’t receive and funding for what I do and I am still helping families locally with food etc. I really couldn’t continue without your support.
For anyone that would like to donate towards my campaign and blog theres a donate button at the top and side of this blog post.
A huge thank you to everyone that has previously supported my campaign and blog.
Personally I’m trying to make my front garden into a memorial garden for my son and any advice etc is more than welcome!
Many thanks to Benefits and Work for being the inspiration for this post.