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Previous DLA lifetime award - Losing out in Pip transition

cat_hugcat_hug Member Posts: 127 Pioneering
Hi,
Just wondered how many of us here on the forum had a DLA lifetime award, but then lost out after transition to Pip.

I'm just curious to know of other people's experience on the transition.

Were you awarded a lower rate under Pip; a short fixed term award, or nothing at all? 

For those of us in this category, are there many who appealed their Pip decision but to no avail?

If you were awarded DLA for life, was it awarded recently or a long time ago?

Anyone who's been following my posts, you probably know I was given a lifetime award under DLA of middle rate care and Lower rate mobility.

Award made in 1998. Under Pip, was awarded enhanced Mobility, but no Daily living.

I'm just trying to get a sense of how many other people have been similarly and adversely affected with this transition? 

And if there are many who are still worse off after MR and/or appeals.

Thanks in advance for anyone who shares their experience on this subject.

Enjoy your evening and stay well.

Best wishes

Cat 

Replies

  • woodbinewoodbine Community Co-Production Group Posts: 4,498 Disability Gamechanger
    I was on DLA from the late 1990's my last DLA award was for middle rate care lower mobility, when i was transferred to PIP i was awarded standard care and enhanced mobility an increase of around £40 per week, from start to finish I was treated fairly and with respect and I fully agreed with the award.
    You have to remember two things in many ways PIP differs from DLA, and a lifetime award of DLA has never meant that you wouldn't be transferred to PIP.
    "Putting a child into care, isn't caring for a child" (T.Rhattigan)
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 6,621 Disability Gamechanger
    77% of PIP recipients get an award of 2 years or less. Largely, in my view, that is because they focus so much on the rate of benefit they forget to make the case for an ongoing/10 year award. One of the many things the Extra Information section at the end of a PIP form can be used for. 

    You can of course challenge the length of a PIP award in isolation without any aspect of your existing award being touched. 
  • cat_hugcat_hug Member Posts: 127 Pioneering
    Thanks for sharing @woodbine that certainly is a good outcome.
    Is your Pip fixed for 2 years? More?

    My original Pip award was for 'an ongoing period. When I challenged the award (not being awarded Daily living) and then wrote a letter of complaint about the MR decision taking too long ( 17 weeks) my award period was reduced from 'ongoing to fixed term of 2 years.
  • chiariedschiarieds Community Co-Production Group Posts: 9,181 Disability Gamechanger
    edited July 22
    Hi Cat.
    I had a lifetime award of DLA but I had to go to a Tribunal; I was told they'd decided unanimously to award me beforehand. I received middle rate care, & higher rate mobility. I can't remember exactly how long I was on DLA, but 15+ years.
    I was migrated to PIP, & was awarded standard rate for both components for 4 years (which was extended by 9 months in January). I put in a MR, & was awarded enhanced mobility. I felt my award was then 'correct,' but think that was because I was comparing it to DLA at that time (& before I joined this forum).
    From the Benefits & Work PIP Guide, June 2018:
    'The DWP’s estimates are that, once all current working age DLA recipients who have been reassessed for PIP:
    •29% will have had their award increased
    •15% will remain unchanged
    •29% will have had their award decreased
    •26% will have no award at all
    This means that the DWP expect 55% of all current working age DLA claimants to be worse off under PIP.'
  • cat_hugcat_hug Member Posts: 127 Pioneering
    @mikehughescq I've found the DWP to be pretty evasive and ambiguous on the subject of 'duration of award'.

    When I questioned why, after writing a formal letter of complaint (which was never acknowledged) that my award was reduced to a 2 year fixed term, they said ' ongoing period meant nothing and they can ask for a review any time, therefore , getting awarded a duration of 'ongoing which I was under the mistaken belief, was equivalent to 'light touch or 10 years, seems this is not the case and the goal posts can be moved/changed on a whim.

    I agree Mike, that people often forget about the award duration when fixated on the amount of award.

    Some clarity from dwp on this would be helpful but seems impossible to get 😥
  • cat_hugcat_hug Member Posts: 127 Pioneering
    @chiarieds thanks for sharing. Glad you finally got enhanced mobility.
    A 9 month extention is not exactly a concession. I hope this was also extended after MR? 
  • calcotticalcotti Member Posts: 2,209 Pioneering
    chiarieds said:
    Hi Cat.
    I had a lifetime award of PIP, but I had to go to a Tribunal; 
    Just to clarify - did you mean DLA in this opening sentence?
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • chiariedschiarieds Community Co-Production Group Posts: 9,181 Disability Gamechanger
    Award just extended, like many others, due to Covid-19, & it doesn't really mean anything as you can still get reviewed earlier.
  • calcotticalcotti Member Posts: 2,209 Pioneering
    edited July 22
    chiarieds said:
    This means that the DWP expect 55% of all current working age DLA claimants to be worse off under PIP.'
    Which unfortunately tells us nothing about the length of awards. Am also not sure that the results have matched the 2018 DWP expectation. The statistics will be somewhere on gov.uk.
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • chiariedschiarieds Community Co-Production Group Posts: 9,181 Disability Gamechanger
    I agree @calcotti - it doesn't mention length of awards; I just thought it might be of interest as to what the DWP 'had estimated,' as Cat is interested in if people have been adversely affected by this transition from DLA to PIP.
    Oops; senior moment, I did indeed mean I had a lifetime award of DLA.....so used to talking about PIP! Now corrected, thank you.
  • cat_hugcat_hug Member Posts: 127 Pioneering
     Original, I've ended up saying way more than intended so apologies in advance for rant message. (Not toward anyone here, just the sheer frustration of an unjust system)

    I was told that people who have a lifelong disability that won't improve/will only remain static or deteriorate, incurable etc, would be awarded 'light touch/10 year reviews.

    When I tried to get clarification about this, I was told by pip advisors that award duration is essentially meaningless, as they can call you for a review at any point, irrespective of how long the duration of your award is for.

    I've had this told to me by more than one Pip advisor, so I wonder if they are told to say this to anyone who does challenge or question the duration?

    I am pretty certain that my original award of ongoing period, was purposely reduced as a punitive measure for daring to complain.

    I've no way as such to prove this (I raised this query again just last week with Pip) as to why my award was reduced to 2 years after I complained.

    At first she gave me the stock answer about duration of award being irrelevant and tried telling me that there was no record of me getting awarded for 'ongoing period

    When I said I had the original award notification which stated clearly, for an ongoing period, she then asked if she could call me back with info about who to write to/why my complaint was never followed up etc.

    In hindsight, I think she must have realised that giving me ambiguous stock answers, wasn't going to fly with me and my saying I have a copy of the original award stating for an ongoing period etc gave pause.

    When she called me back, she said that she had found the copy of my original award which did indeed state for ongoing period.

    However, because I'd been to tribunal and the judge had changed it from 2 years to 4 years, they could not override the judge.

    I explained that the judge clearly had not noticed for whatever reason, the original award notification, but was going off the 'revised fixed term of 2 years (no doubt this was supposedly a win for me) but I questioned again, how this appeared punitive and the dwp playing 'fast and loose with people's awards because they dared to lodge a formal complaint.

    Again the pip advisor defaulted to judge's decision cannot be overruled etc, completely divesting the dwp of any wrong doing about changing the award duration.

    Then back to her original argument about the irrelevance of duration, since they can call a review anytime.

    That says to me (and forgive me if I feel this an abuse of power)

    That Dwp hold the cards. You should shut up and put up because we can make your life difficult if you complain, and even if you have something in writing, from us, we still have the power.

    Essentially saying that unless you go away quietly, they can do what they want and you have no way to remedy this.

    Which is why I believe there needs to be clarity. So people can exercise the right to challenge a decision, without fear of punitive repercussions.

    It's so frustrating because at every juncture, I've never been able to get this issue answered. It's as though the person who took umbrage at my written complaint, reset the parameters and the original award quietly disappear
    ed into the ether.

    FTT judge didn't take this into consideration, going only on the revised decision of 2 year fixed award and increasing it to 4 years.

    This has followed right through my appeal process to UT. Where again, the judge said the appeal re award duration held no merit, as the FTT judge 'had given me an extention of 2 years'

    Despite having the letter of award duration stating it was for an ongoing period, written in black and white, it has been ignored and the punitive decision has followed on like a bad smell.

    Just makes you feel so powerless and hopeless when the systems that are in place, to remedy such matters, won't even glance at the evidence presented in front of them, but only look at was done afterwards. 

    Which in turn, begs my question of whether written duration of the award, holds any credence whatsoever, if the dwp can abuse power this way, by making your life more difficult?

    Sorry. Never meant to rattle on, but until or unless, I get any plausible answers to how this can happen, I will always feel that this is an injustice. One thing in my life that I've always detested and ferl passionately about.

    My anger is not directed at anyone here, but I what I perceive to be a great injustice and an abuse of power to a societal group who are vulnerable to begin with.
    And breathe... rant over.. 
  • calcotticalcotti Member Posts: 2,209 Pioneering
    Latest statistics I can can find appear to show
    Award increased 39.05%
    Award unchanged 14.23%
    Award decreased 21.30%
    Disallowed post referral to AP for failing assessment 18.05% 
    Disallowed post referral to AP for not attending assessment 2.58%
    Disallowed pre referral to the AP  4.01%
    Withdrawn 0.76%

    So just under 47% are worse off after transfer.

    Again this tells us nothing about the length of award.

    Source for the above is here https://stat-xplore.dwp.gov.uk/webapi/jsf/dataCatalogueExplorer.xhtml

    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • littleacornlittleacorn Member Posts: 198 Pioneering
    I have had higher DLA for about 25 years. Was so frightened to complete PIP form so just left it as long as I could. Was awarded higher for both ongoing. Nw I wish I had applied earier as I lost out on so much money but the thought of loosing my car was unthinkable. 
  • cat_hugcat_hug Member Posts: 127 Pioneering
    chiarieds said:
    I agree @calcotti - it doesn't mention length of awards; I just thought it might be of interest as to what the DWP 'had estimated,' as Cat is interested in if people have been adversely affected by this transition from DLA to PIP.
    Oops; senior moment, I did indeed mean I had a lifetime award of DLA.....so used to talking about PIP! Now corrected, thank you.
    Which again, I think is an issue that is flying under the radar ad it were. There is a definite need for clarity about the issue of duration of awards.

    The way DWP/pip say it, you might have it in writing you've got 10 year award, but have the big stick and if you don't tow the line, we'll beat you with it and just call you in for a review when we want, because we can.

    George Orwell wrote in his Animal farm, all pigs 🐖are equal, but some are more equal than others'.

    Again, my view is definitely tainted based on personal experience.  I truly hope I'm the exception and not the rule. Which is another reason I am interested about others experience of being transitioned from lifetime DLA award to Pip.
    @mikehughescq pointed out that award duration is often overlooked and I agree. My cynical mind makes me think this is conducive to 'austerity measures' and cuts in disability benefits. Distract them enough so they take their eye off the ball.

    What you think you've gained now, we will take away or reduce in 2 years anyway.. ( as I said, that's my cynicism talking) 😆
  • cat_hugcat_hug Member Posts: 127 Pioneering
    I have had higher DLA for about 25 years. Was so frightened to complete PIP form so just left it as long as I could. Was awarded higher for both ongoing. Nw I wish I had applied earier as I lost out on so much money but the thought of loosing my car was unthinkable. 
    Totally understand @littleacorn and it irks me that people are afraid to say when their needs change or to challenge decisions, for fear of losing what they have if they rock the boat.

    That, IMHO, leaves a balance of power that's weighted unfairly and therefore ripe for that power to be abused. A system that keeps the status quo through fear. (Sorry, I probably sound like some radical conspiracy theorist!) 😆
  • woodbinewoodbine Community Co-Production Group Posts: 4,498 Disability Gamechanger
    @cat_hug you have to remember that the majority of claimants have a reasonable experience when claiming benefits, and most of those don't take to the internet to say so, on the other hand the minority who don't have a good experience do take to the internet and can be very vocal when they do so.
    "Putting a child into care, isn't caring for a child" (T.Rhattigan)
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 6,621 Disability Gamechanger
    edited July 22
    DWP are correct in saying awards can be reviewed at any time. That in itself does not render 10 year or ongoing awards irrelevant. Initially DWP were very excited at their ability to review people once a year or so but that was soon tempered by the realisation that it is expensive if you don’t have the staff and problematic if you review and end up giving longer awards. Nowadays the number of 10 year awards which get pulled out randomly are negligible. 

    Their guidance says to aim for the shortest justifiable award. In principle I’ve no issue with that. Not least because it is just guidance and ultimately decisions must be justifiable. The overwhelming majority of short awards are effectively a date randomly plucked out of thin air. If you ask DWP to produce the piece of evidence, medical or otherwise, which supported the chosen expiry date they simply can’t do it. That’s the tactic I now routinely use when challenging award length. “Show me your cards. Oh you’ve not got any”. 

    I don’t find DWP to be ambiguous and vague about awards at all. The guidance is clear. The problem is claimants and advisers. DWP can impose a short award every time, and indeed tribunals, because claimants are so delusionally obsessed with HCP reports and he said/she said that requesting a specific award length never enters their thinking. 

    Last observation. There are no PIP advisers. There are people in call centres, many outsourced, who are DWP staff in name only. They have no duty of care and they are not advisers. DWP as an organisation have no advisory role for the public at all. They are the last place on earth you should go for accurate advice.
  • littleacornlittleacorn Member Posts: 198 Pioneering
    @woodbine Although I found the whole experience of completing the PIP form very tiring, exhausting and emotionally challenging. My actually assessment face to face awhile ago was OK. I was well prepared and had reread and reread what I had put on the form many times over. I read as much as I could find from others experiences and tried to relate the questions they had been asked to myself. I hope now that I have an ongoing award that I will be at retirment age before I should be asked to attend again.
  • cat_hugcat_hug Member Posts: 127 Pioneering
    So Mike, my original award notification, which states 12 points - mobility (needs another person or guide god to plan and follow a journey;

    Daily living- 5 points

    Duration - for an ongoing period .

    Am I to take that as being the official award notice and any letters/ phone calls thereafter (the MR) Which stated 3 years fixed tern, were not official 'Award notification?` 
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