Anyone else get a feeling of fear when a letter arrives in the brown envelope regarding benefits? — Scope | Disability forum
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Anyone else get a feeling of fear when a letter arrives in the brown envelope regarding benefits?

Hi all,
Does anyone else get the awful feeling of dread when a letter arrived from any of the benefits department's?
I've heard some just lately and it's been regarding a small increase in ,my case, esa and pips, . Until I've opened the brown envelope and read the letter only then, if it's good news, can I relax a bit .
Not nice at all!


  • Leigh14
    Leigh14 Member Posts: 346 Pioneering
    Hi Alan. I’m exactly the same, I think there are many, many people that feel like us. I admit I get to the point where I find it hard to concentrate and find it difficult to sleep.
    You’re absolutely spot on when you say ‘Not nice at all’
  • woodbine
    woodbine Member, Community Co-Production Group Posts: 7,719 Disability Gamechanger
    I agree but I don't see what they can do about it, some have suggested they send emails or text, but surely they would have the same effect?
    Be extra nice to new members.
  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 144 Pioneering
    What they could do is stop sending us for these stupid assessments when they know very well we're not going to, sadly, get any better !
    The more they pressure me the more stressed I become and that's why, I guess, I hate getting the letters? They must know by now, whose real and whose just trying it on?

  • Rachel10876
    Rachel10876 Member, Community Co-Production Group Posts: 75 Courageous
    Hey hey love,
    Yes definitely I’m the same as you love dreading the brown envelope too. xx
  • Steven_O
    Steven_O Member Posts: 3 Listener
    I got mine on Thursday, a review form as my PIP award expires in November.  After a very tough last couple of years both physically and emotionally for me, this is the last thing I need and I'm convinced that my PIP, which was awarded at appeal in 2018, will be taken away from me at review.  The DWP just don't care. 
  • woodbine
    woodbine Member, Community Co-Production Group Posts: 7,719 Disability Gamechanger
    The DWP in all fairness are just doing their job, the main idea behind PIP was that it would be reviewed more often, and that's what is happening.

    @Steven_O welcome to scope, how are you today?
    Be extra nice to new members.
  • Ross_Scope
    Ross_Scope Posts: 7,436 Scope online community team
    Hi @Steven_O

    Welcome to the community, sorry to hear that the review notification has caused you quite a bit of concern. I suppose it is at least a positive that you have plenty of time before your PIP is due to run out, rather than receiving the review letter at short notice, but of course I understand why it has caused you worry.

    If it would help you to receive some more professional advice and support throughout the review process you could go through Citizens Advice or enter your postcode into Advice Local.

    You are more than welcome to post about it on the community too, as you have done here, and we will support as best as we can.
    Online Community Coordinator

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  • Steven_O
    Steven_O Member Posts: 3 Listener
    What could they do about envelope colour? This perhaps seems to have passed everyone by.

    Regardless of the original intent behind PIP, the reality is that assessments have largely ground to a halt in specific areas such as DLA to PIP conversions and there are significant backlogs in others. The exact opposite of what @woodbine suggests is happening. DWP realised probably within 3 years of introduction that repeat assessments require massive amounts of staff that they don’t have and never will have. That’s been made 10x worse during the pandemic when many of those staff were moved to UC. Whereas in 2015 you might win an appeal and find yourself reviewed almost straight after leaving a tribunal room nowadays you will largely be left alone until an award expires. 

    More and more people are realising they’ve the right to ask for a longer award length too at the outset of claims and renewals and all these things combined mean we’re a long way from the original hostile environment of PIP.

    @Steven_O to assuage your worry do a search on here for PIP form filling or take a look at You might also want to look at threads like

    There is much you can do to ensure your award is both maintained and extended if appropriate but the onus is on you to be proactive.
    Some useful insight there - thanks.  And hello to you all, by the way.  :)

    I have Asperger's Syndrome, diagnosed in 1992 after an initial autism diagnosis in 1978.  I was on lifelong DLA until 2018. My initial PIP application was refused, my MR rejected and so it went to appeal. I later discovered that I had been due to be awarded sufficient enough points to get an award both at the initial and MR stages, only for a decision maker to overrule it each time.  The appeal went in my favour with a score of 15 and 10 respectively with an award expiry date of February 2022, later extended to November 2022 due to the Covid pandemic.

    Asperger's, as you will know, is lifelong and limits my abilities in a number of areas.  It also means that I panic about various things, both minor and major, and can get myself easily worked up - I have bad memories of my DLA to PIP transition. I live in Scotland and had been hoping that Social Security Scotland would do the review, as they take over PIP later in the year.  I find filling in forms very stressful and so will be doing it with the help of my support workers and also Fightback4Justice, who helped one of my friends with her PIP claim. 
    I've already got an extension to the deadline given on the form but still plan to get it in as quickly as possible -just to be safe.
  • Steven_O
    Steven_O Member Posts: 3 Listener
    You should not have, or need, to pay for help with form filling when that service is available free. Please take a look at https://advice for alternatives but following the advice in the links posted will mean you won’t need to use an advice service at all. There is zero evidence paid services produce better outcomes than those which are free.

    It is absolutely critical that your claim pack uses the extra info section to make detailed request for an ongoing/10 year award. If that does not happen the guidance will result in you receiving another short award. I would consider it negligent to not address the issue as an ongoing award is, as you observe, absolutely appropriate.

    That's something I'd never thought about. How do you go about making the case for an ongoing award? The review form does (thankfully) include the extra space. 
  • Rachel10876
    Rachel10876 Member, Community Co-Production Group Posts: 75 Courageous
    Just to let you know that I have also received a dreaded white envelope from them too recently. X
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 31,151 Disability Gamechanger
    So colour isn’t really the issue then.

    No, not anymore. I've received white and brown envelopes in the past 6 months.
  • TheAlien
    TheAlien Member Posts: 229 Pioneering
    I've had white envelopes from them recently.  I think its less of the colour of the envelopes and more to do with the fact that we know its from them.  The return address on the back is a dead giveaway.

    I too go into a panic when I see any correspondence from the DWP, but there's just no way to prevent it. No matter what format they use, they still need to contact us.


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