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Can I challenge the award length?

Cloud Member Posts: 25 Connected
Can I challenge my award length? and if so, how do I go about it?   Would I risk losing my award/or points?

Is there a way of doing it without doing a MD?....a letter or phone call perhaps?  As it's only the award length I'm disputing not the points.

 I sent my PIP review forms and evidence back and I've just received my award notice.  They have kept me on enhanced rate, for another 4 years.
However my condition will never improve and is a neurological progressive disease, and will only get worse.  I sent in evidence from 4 consultants and the neurosurgeon that I'm under with evidence that it is inoperable due to the location and that I could not tolerate radiotherapy and the reasons as to why. I also sent in brain scan reports that show each time it is growing.
I wondered as to why they thought my condition would 'change' in 4 years and my question is: - can I challenge the award length?

I would be grateful if someone knows if this is possible and if so how do I go about it.

I was really hoping for an ongoing award as the evidence states clearly there is no realistic chance of any improvement.  And the stress of continually going through this process is exasperating my existing conditions.
Thank you in advance.


  • woodbine
    woodbine Community Co-Production Group Posts: 7,170 Disability Gamechanger
    My advice would be that a four year award isn't bad, my condition will never change and I got only two years. If your condition doesn't change over the coming four years theres nothing to say you wont get another award.
    Be extra nice to new members.
  • wilko
    wilko Member Posts: 2,449 Disability Gamechanger
    @Cloud, hello and welcome, why would you or do feel you need to change the award length. Four years is a long time and by your award end date things regarding award times may or will have bee updated. Leave well alone and enjoy yourself knowing you don't have to go through this process till another four years 
  • Cloud
    Cloud Member Posts: 25 Connected
    Hi, and thank you for your kind replies.
    Don't get me wrong, I am grateful and relieved that I have got an award, and that I will be ok (hopefully) for 3 and a half years before going through the whole process again.  But I seem to remember a news article saying that DWP were not going to continue reassessing so often the people suffering from progressive conditions that will only deteriorate and not improve, that they were awarding a 10 year award with a 'lighttouch review'
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 28,453 Disability Gamechanger

    A lot of people have conditions that won't improve and they don't have a 10 year award. My daughter is one of them. Enhanced for both parts was awarded twice and both times a 2 year award was given. There's no cure for ASD or a learning disability and she'll never improve.
  • janer1967
    janer1967 Member Posts: 15,138 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @Cloud I would try and go with what you have been awarded and the length rather than risk losing anything. I have a 5 year award and have lost my leg (which wont ever grow back) and also gone blind in one eye (again permanent ) along with other conditions. I agree 4 years is quite a long award as a lot as mentioned ate only 2 years
  • mikehughescq
    mikehughescq Posts: 8,847 Connected
    I’m going to offer a very different perspective. There are two key aspects of this.

    1 - human beings are very bad at assessing risk. That includes claimants and even advisers. We see high risk where negligible risk exists and vice verse.

    2 - DWP have actively encouraged a climate of fear around disability benefits in general. The online world thrives on such fear and it’s largely based around misinformation. It leads to poor decision making and acceptance of plainly incorrect awards. 


    1 - yes you can challenge the award length only. Here is the current key decision on the point.

    2 - no, there is no shortcut. Your next step is a mandatory reconsideration. You are likely off to appeal though. 

    3 - you should never take such a step without face to face advice which involves a very specific examination of the risk to your current award. By this I do not mean sitting in a room with an adviser who goes “ooh, well I wouldn’t do it” or gives some blasé “you could lose some or all of what you already have” without any further explanation. Yes, there’s always a risk but the question is how real is the risk. That involves looking activity by activity what you scored and why. It shouldn’t take long and I’m not going to pre-empt it but by and large someone on enhanced rate of both components for a long period faces minimal risk. Yes it’s a larger amount to lose but the fact it’s larger by itself doesn’t mean the risk is too.

    4 - the terms of your MR need to be very specific. They need to say that you’re not disputing the amount of each award. Just the length. You’ll need to cite the decision in question and you’ll need to give a clear rationale bullet by bullet as to your grounds for challenge. If all that is done then, whilst DWP will always claim otherwise, they can only look at the award length and not the points scored.

    5 - get any of this wrong; say the wrong thing; mention something about your award or condition in passing and they could use that to open up the question of the amount and the whole thing is then up for grabs. Get an adviser who knows the law and case law and you’ll be fine. 

    I cannot emphasise this enough. Face to face advice immediately. 

    For the record, I did one of these recently. DWP originally tried it on with a 1 year award. MR got a 4 year award but whilst there was a sort of logic to 1 year the 4 was just plucked out of the air. Tribunal took less than 15 minutes to award ongoing and never went near the current rates (only 1 of which was enhanced so theoretically a greater risk than here). 

    The only reason people don’t do this more often comes back to my first 2 points. Poor assessment of risk and a climate of fear. 
  • skullcap
    skullcap Posts: 172 Connected
    edited February 2020
    What everyone should then have as a matter right is excellent access for all in a short time frame to 'an adviser who knows the law and case law'.
    Unless the government are willing to fund such professionals then that will never be the case. 
    In defence of most claimants they simply just accept that that level of advice and support is not available and therefore are apathetic in giving up before they start.
    Mike comes over as believing that all is well and good with the current advice system. If he provides it it must be available to all wherever they live.
  • mikehughescq
    mikehughescq Posts: 8,847 Connected
    There’s no wider issue here. The OP asked a question and they now have a range of answers to enable them to think about what they do next. I’m seeing no suggestion they don’t have access to face to face advice and on this thread that’s all that matters.
  • Cloud
    Cloud Member Posts: 25 Connected
    Thank you....and a special thanks to @mikehughescq for taking the time to explain it all so well for me.


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