It is true that if you challenge your award, it can be increased, kept the same or decreased. So there is a risk to your existing award if you ask for a reconsideration or appeal. However, the majority of people who attend a tribunal and argue their case are successful.
The first thing to do is check to see if you meet the criteria for a higher award. Have a look at the PIP descriptors at www.scope.org.uk/support/disabled-people/benefits/personal-independence-payment. If you think you do then try and get evidence from a doctor or health professional to support your argument.
It would be a good idea to get some help with this from a specialist adviser - ring the Scope helpline on 0808 800 3333 to see if there are any organisations near you who can assist.
Dear Michael I am going through this process . My husband suffered a stroke. He was on DLA highly rate for care and mobility. After assessment, DLA will cease in Jan 2017.he has been awarded PIP standard rate for Daily living activities and no award for mobility.I have written and asked for a mandatory reconsideration. I'm awaiting a reply. I have obtained a copy of ATOS report and written a draft of the discrepancies with the discriptors we believe to be 'best fit'.We now have a Letter from GP. Can you offer any more advice?than you
It sounds as if you are doing everything you can. You have the ATOS report and you have identified the discrepancies, and you have medical evidence from your husband's GP. It also sounds as if you have been able to think about what points your husband should have got for the daily living and mobility components - you can look at these here if you want to check.
Once you get the mandatory reconsideration, if it doesn't change the decision then you need to consider going to appeal. There is a high rate of success at the appeal stage. That's the point where your list of discrepancies, and the medical evidence, will be really useful. Getting help from a local agency to prepare a submission for the tribunal is a good idea (for example, Citizens Advice), and they may even be able to represent your husband.
Another thing to consider is whether you want to complain to ATOS about the discrepancies. You can contact them on [email protected]
You should appeal within one month of being sent the mandatory reconsideration notice. Do post back if you have more questions.
fibro, I'm really sorry to hear about what happened. Was the award reduced further after a mandatory reconsideration, or was it at appeal? As Matilda says, it is worth exploring whether the tribunal did this fairly by warning you in advance, so you could either put forward arguments for keeping the original level of award, or withdraw your appeal.
If they didn't do this, then how long ago was the appeal decision? It may be worth challenging it further (you would need specialist advice, eg from a law centre or CA, or it may be that the best way forward is simply to start the process again by saying that you think your award is wrong and ask for it to be looked at. Depending on what led to it being wrong, it may be possible for it to be changed. I know that would be daunting for you, but it does sound as if you may not be getting the correct rate of PIP.