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A question for Benefits Advisor - PIP

sjtjsjtj Member Posts: 3 Listener
I was awarded the lower rate of PIP on both Living and Mobility in Sept 2014 - awarded to Sept 2017
In February 2016 I had a letter saying it had been reviewed and I was still entitled to both parts at lower rate. Again the award was to September 2017.
In September 2016 I was asked to fill in review questionnaire and as a result of this, there is no change to my medical conditions, they have removed the mobility award, reduced my money and taken back pay.

My question is If I was awarded it to Sept 2017 shouldn't I get it until then and only after that they can reduce it? What is the point in telling me I have it until 2017 if in fact they can take it off me - for no change in my conditions.
I have tried to read the Case Law for PIP and some mention the early review and the reasons for triggering this, however I can't make head nor tail of the decisions. I am preparing my paperwork to take this to tribunal and would like to include case law if possible.

Hope you can help.

Replies

  • BenefitsTrainingCoBenefitsTrainingCo Member Posts: 2,692 Pioneering
    Hi sjtj

    Unfortunately the DWP do have the power to change the previous decision including the period of the previous award and it is referred to as a supersession. 

    A supersession inserts a new decision from a date later than the decision it replaces and the most common ground to supersede is there has been a relevant change of circumstances. In your case it would be interesting to know what the DWP are claiming is the relevant change of circumstances (if this is the ground of supersession they are using) particularly given you say there has been no change to your medical conditions and you don't mention having needed to attend an assessment.

    There is a growing body of caselaw on this very issue and the latest decision I have seen concerning this can be found here. However, I must stress that this is complicated stuff and even some experienced advisers find this a difficult area to deal with. I would suggest you have a read of it and please post back on here with any questions and we will do our best to advise you further.

    Best wishes

    Paul



    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
  • MatildaMatilda Member Posts: 2,616 Disability Gamechanger
    sjtj - do you think that the DWP might have made a mistake?  Can you appeal against their decision?
  • sjtjsjtj Member Posts: 3 Listener
    Hi Paul

    Do you mean they needed to already know of a change in circumstances to send me the "Making sure your award is right"? 

    I answered it by saying no change to each section and added notes saying, 
    On my first form I said I was taking a medication but it did not work and I have stopped taking it (they know I have a problem taking meds as it triggers another condition I have)
    I also said I had a weeks course of Iloprost in January and that had slightly lessoned my symptoms for a few weeks at the worst time of the year for me, then the effect wears off completely. I would be having the treatment again in December 2016.
    After completing the "Making sure your award is right" I was called for an assessment, after that I found out they had reduced the PIP.

    That case was very hard to understand, but I see the part about the review.

    Thanks 

    Sandra
  • Lynne53Lynne53 Member Posts: 52 Courageous
    4.19 am in Travelodge to make sure we don't miss husband's fitness for work assessment later today.  We dont know the town it's in very well and I have a million things on my mind. Not least is the car park being a quarter of a mile from centre.  I am exhausted and my poor husband is ill with it all.  I thought we were a humane society but I feel like the absolute dregs

  • MatildaMatilda Member Posts: 2,616 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi Lynne - hope all goes well.  I agree that it's criminal the way the DWP are treating disabled people over these assessments.
  • sarahannesarahanne Member Posts: 3 Listener
    I am signed off of work with depression, anxiety and stress. Part work related part a number of losses in my life over the past 4 years including loosing my son at 38weeks pregnant. I'm still currently getting csp but this will end soon and I'm not sure I I'm ready or will ever be ready to return. What support is there if i stay signed off or if I hand in my notice. What would be the best option. Your advise would be greatly appreciated.
  • Lynne53Lynne53 Member Posts: 52 Courageous
    Thanks for good wishes and just caring.  Didn't go as planned we got a taxi driver who didn't know where the centre was and we don't know the town so after meticulous planning we were still late!  They were kind at the centre though.  I am exhausted though and my poor hubby's feeling bad. X

  • Lynne53Lynne53 Member Posts: 52 Courageous
    All that's left now is the PIP appeal, but when you've lost everything you have to fight back
  • MatildaMatilda Member Posts: 2,616 Disability Gamechanger
    Pleased that they were understanding at the centre, Lynne.  Yes, don't give in to the DWP - a large number of PIP appeals are successful.
  • BenefitsTrainingCoBenefitsTrainingCo Member Posts: 2,692 Pioneering
    Hi sjtj

    I am replying to your post of 12 January.

    Generally, the DWP has the power to review a PIP claim at any time. Legally they can do this by sending out a review form and asking you to attend another assessment on the back of the review form. The new medical assessment then counts as a "relevant change of circumstances" and allows for a new decision to be made.

    We have noticed a growing number of these early reassessments long before the award is due to end. This may be somewhat underhand and reminds us of similar things happening with ESA a while ago.

    As far as your case is concerned i think you should focus on challenging the decision to reduce your award rather than the question of whether the DWP can look at the award again before September 2017. This is because you are incredibly unlikely to succeed on the second point but could very well succeed on the first.

    What is the date of the decision to reduce your award? You may be able to successfully challenge this decision but you usually have to take action within a month of the decision being made. In the first instance you should ask the DWP for a mandatory reconsideration. This is best done in writing but can be done over the phone and is a good idea if the deadline is tight. If you do it over the phone you should follow it up with a letter confirming the phone call.

    We look forward to hearing from you again

    David
    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
  • sjtjsjtj Member Posts: 3 Listener
    Hi "The Benefits Training Co"

    Thanks for your reply, I have already got a mandatory reconsideration letter. I am preparing my paperwork for the Tribunal and just wondered whether anything about the early review could be added to my paperwork.

    Thanks again

    Sandra
  • BenefitsTrainingCoBenefitsTrainingCo Member Posts: 2,692 Pioneering
    edited February 2017
    Hi Sanda, 

    There's no harm in adding something to try to argue that the DWP didn't have grounds for the supersession because there was no evidence of any change of circumstances. I think you'd have to be very clear about the effects of your meds, why they didn't work, why you stopped taking some and that the others stopped working (even though I know you've said all this before), and why nothing found at the medical indicated any change of circumstances (or you may need to argue that the health professional's conclusions were wrong  - it's good practice to get a copy of the assessor's report & make sure you alert the tribunal to any discrepancies, inaccuracies and inconsistencies with your own evidence). 

    If you can get help with the submission to the tribunal from an advice agency such as Citizens Advice  or a law centre that will help enormously.  They would be able to help you quote the relevant case law, such as the one Paul mentioned.

    I'm afraid as David explained, the DWP can review your PIP at any time so despite the length of your award, it's not an 'early review' in their minds. But you can argue that they should not have changed the award, that there were no grounds for supersession and that the supersession decision is wrong.

    Hope that helps - do get some expert assistance to help with the paperwork if you can, and to represent you if possible.

    Will
    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
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