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Indefinite PIP awards

Matilda
Matilda Member Posts: 2,610 Disability Gamechanger
I won my PIP tribunal appeal the other day and have been awarded enhanced daily living and enhanced mobility for an indefinite period.

Does this mean that the DWP are unlikely to ever want to re-assess me again?
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Comments

  • Nystagmite
    Nystagmite Member Posts: 603 Pioneering
    There's no such thing as indefinite anymore. It's either a fixed award or ongoing. Ongoing means they'll contact you after 10 years.
  • Matilda
    Matilda Member Posts: 2,610 Disability Gamechanger
    My Tribunal letter states:

    "It is inappropriate to fix a term".
  • wildlife
    wildlife Member Posts: 1,308 Pioneering
    @Matilda I'm sure the Scope advisors tell people when they're questioning why they're being assessed when it's not due that the DWP can review a claim anytime. Hopefully they'll clarify that on this thread. A timescale should be kept to in my opinion...
  • Matilda
    Matilda Member Posts: 2,610 Disability Gamechanger
    The Tribunal judge said he wasn't fixing a term because by rheumatoid arthritis is never going to improve.  But the medical geniuses at the DWP might think they know better.  However, in 10 years time (the time after which ongoing awards usually are reviewed) PIP might have been overhauled into something approaching sanity.  We can but hope...
  • BenefitsTrainingCo
    BenefitsTrainingCo Member Posts: 2,628 Pioneering
    Hi @Matilda

    That's really great news that you have been awarded enhanced rates of daily living and mobility at a tribunal and for an indefinite period as well.

    Awards are generally given for a fixed period, but can be awarded for an ongoing period. As always, the DWP can review decisions when they feel it is appropriate. The maximum time between 'reviews' is 10 years. So the longest time they will leave you alone is 10 years.

    Lets keep fingers crossed that you keep your award for some time!

    I don't know if you have other benefit income, but it might be worth doing a 'benefit check' on http://turn2us.org.uk/ to see if there is anything else you may be entitled to now that you are receiving the enhanced rate of the daily living component.

    Laura

    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
  • wildlife
    wildlife Member Posts: 1,308 Pioneering
    edited June 2017
    @Matilda   That sounds like the DWP can review the claim anytime saying they've decided it's appropriate to do so. That 10 years is only the maximum length of time you have it for. I'd be interested to have this clarified and I'm sure @Matilda you would also. The other question that comes to mind is are they more likely to review it sooner rather than later if a Tribunal has changed the award and set the time limit rather than themselves?   
  • Markmywords
    Markmywords Member Posts: 419 Pioneering
    Matilda said:
    I won my PIP tribunal appeal the other day and have been awarded enhanced daily living and enhanced mobility for an indefinite period.

    Does this mean that the DWP are unlikely to ever want to re-assess me again?

    Congratulations @Matilda ,

    This is the wording I got too. The thing is, there is a difference between an assessment and a review of your award.

    The DWP could assess you at any time as it is written into the law. However, if they went on to use this to change your actual award then they have automatically put a finite limit on your award. That would be contempt of court.

    So it would be pointless for you to be assessed again but it can't be ruled out. If you were then just keep repeating to the assessor "I refer you to court judgement xxx/xxx/xxx. There have been no changes in my circumstances since then."

    The court judgement on your award is not time limited. The DWP have no legal right to change it. They would have to apply to the court to do so.

    Sadly we can't rule out the complete cancelling of PIP and something else replacing it. Let's not go looking for trouble though shall we? :smile:
  • Matilda
    Matilda Member Posts: 2,610 Disability Gamechanger
  • Matilda
    Matilda Member Posts: 2,610 Disability Gamechanger
    Thank you, @Markmywords.  That's very helpful.

    We'll just have to wait and see if DWP start to re-assess people in receipt of ongoing awards.   They'd be looking for trouble and wasting money if they were to. 

    Yes, better not to speculate on PIP being replaced with an even worse system (if that's possible)! :o
  • Matilda
    Matilda Member Posts: 2,610 Disability Gamechanger
    @wildlife

    There is no time limit on my award.  10 years is the maximum time before the DWP would review it (e.g. they might just look at it and take no action).  As @Markmywords says, if DWP wanted to change the actual award, then in practice that would be setting a time limit which they would have to apply to the court to do so.

    It would be interesting to know in practice what so far has happened with the DWP reviewing ongoing awards.
  • wildlife
    wildlife Member Posts: 1,308 Pioneering
    @Matilda Maybe someone will comment on here who has had this experience. It must be so reassuring for you to have won the appeal so convincingly but do you still feel you were unjustly treated before the Tribunal or are you able to put it all behind you and move on?
  • Matilda
    Matilda Member Posts: 2,610 Disability Gamechanger
    @wildlife

    Like many PIP claimants, I feel that I was unjustly treated before the Tribunal.  This is little comfort, but I don't think that Atos and DWP were against me personally.  

    As we know, the sole purpose of PIP is to reduce the disability benefits bill, even if assessors have to resort to lying as they frequently do.  This is the only way they can justify awarding fewer points than really are merited.

    I'm really not going to worry any more - unless and until the DWP decide at some point to re-assess me which is unlikely, I understand, but not impossible :) .
  • BenefitsTrainingCo
    BenefitsTrainingCo Member Posts: 2,628 Pioneering
    Hi Matilda and others,

    Just to say that I completely agree with my colleague Laura's advice. There is unfortunately nothing to stop the DWP from reviewing a fixed term award earlier: they have the power to do so, whether the decision has been made following a tribunal or in any other circumstances. I don't think having had a tribunal hearing makes it more or less likely - unfortunately, it can never be ruled out. 

    Markmywords is quite right to say that if that happens, the thing to emphasize is that there has been no change of circumstances.

    Meanwhile, we can put as much pressure as possible on government to stop the stress and public cost of reassessments for people with lifelong conditions. This is something they stated they would do for ESA (people in the support group, anyway), but there is no evidence as yet of it happening. It's surely logical to do the same for PIP.

    Matilda, congratulations on your result. We are all really pleased for you. I'm sorry we can't provide any reassurance on this matter but as you say, there really is no point worrying about it for the time being. I'd echo Laura's advice to check whether the award gives you entitlement to anything else, as it often can do.

    Will
    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
  • Matilda
    Matilda Member Posts: 2,610 Disability Gamechanger
    edited June 2017
    Will @BenefitsTrainingCo


    What is the position with DWP reviewing an award that does not have a fixed term?

    My appeal decision notice states that: "It is inappropriate to to fix a term" for both daily living and mobility.


  • BenefitsTrainingCo
    BenefitsTrainingCo Member Posts: 2,628 Pioneering
    Hi Matilda,

    I'm afraid it makes no difference at all. The law says this:

    'the Secretary of State may, for any reason and at any time, determine afresh'

    And that, in practice, is what happens. We await a sensible administration of benefits which doesn't constantly reassess people with ongoing, lifelong and/or progressive conditions.

    But Matilda, I don't want to worry you. You have just got a very good result. I have to be honest about law and practice but unless it happens to you, there isn't much action you can take (apart I suppose from asking your Parliamentary candidates where they stand on the issue!)

    Will
    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
  • Matilda
    Matilda Member Posts: 2,610 Disability Gamechanger
    Thank you, [email protected]

    @Markmywords above has said that it would be pointless to re-assess anyone with an ongoing award.  Because, if the DWP changed the award, then that de facto would be placing a time limit on an ongoing award - which would be contempt of court.  Is this so?
  • Markmywords
    Markmywords Member Posts: 419 Pioneering
    I think too much emphasis is being put on a potential time period.

    Point one: The court has definitively decided that you qualify for x and y under the criteria. There is no time limitation on this decision. There is no route of appeal to this decision.

    Point two: The courts are the ultimate arbiter of interpreting the law. The Home Sec. or his servants cannot overrule a court under any circumstances. This is constitutional.

    An impression is being given that the DWP might "lay low" for a while and then completely disregard the court's award decision. This is utterly false.

    Any changes would have to be approved by the court. As I said there is no route of appeal to a higher court. They capped it so and it works both ways. There can be no further action or case law as a Tribunal cannot do so.

    The only way to circumvent the situation would be, as I alluded, to repeal PIP and create something more open to manipulation.

    I am not a lawyer although I have won every one of the six cases I have had (don't ask.)
    No-one else here is a lawyer either and that should be kept in mind !
  • Matilda
    Matilda Member Posts: 2,610 Disability Gamechanger
    Thank you, @Markmywords.  That's very reassuring.  And the judge said to me that he was making an indefinite award as my medical condition was never going to improve.  Though I understand that 10 years is the maximum time before DWP would review it - but, as you say, review isn't the same as reassessment.
  • BenefitsTrainingCo
    BenefitsTrainingCo Member Posts: 2,628 Pioneering
    Hello Matilda

    You are correct that a re-assessment is not the same as  a review. Currently when a claim is being reviewed a short form will be sent to you, just asking (as detailed above) if your condition has changed. Given that you are on the enhanced rates, and your condition is unlikely to improve then their will be no change in regard to your needs for PIP purposes.

    We would all hope that a decision such as the one you received from a Tribunal would result in you being put at the very bottom of the pile when it comes to claims being reviewed. If it didn't and you were being reviewed after a couple of years, I would be encouraging you to see your MP, so that that they are aware of not only the stress it causes individuals but the way public money is being spent on reviewing such cases.

    Regards

    Maria


    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
  • Matilda
    Matilda Member Posts: 2,610 Disability Gamechanger
    Thank you very much, Maria!

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