Havering Welfare Benefits Adviser Lorraine Moss today writes in the Havering Daily:
If your PIP application is refused, the first step is that you have to request a Mandatory Reconsideration. This means that the decision maker will be asked to review your application and then decide whether they feel the original decision was correct. Mandatory Reconsiderations were first introduced as a method to reduce the number of cases actually going to appeal. However, the current success rate is very low, only 15%. You have to submit a Mandatory Reconsideration before you can lodge an appeal. Please see Challenge a benefit decision (mandatory reconsideration) – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk). If you are disagreeing with the actual rate of PIP that has been awarded or if you think that you should have been awarded both components, you need to be careful, they will look at the whole claim again and in some cases, this can result in you losing what you were originally awarded.
You must submit a Mandatory Reconsideration within a month of the date of your PIP decision letter. This can be done over the phone or in writing. As I stated in last weeks article, it is best to call the DWP and ask for a copy of the assessment report. This way you can then go through each point and state why you disagree with the assessor’s decision. Include as much information as you can and if possible, ask for people who have close dealings with you to write a letter to support your claim. You can also ask for more time to complete your Mandatory Reconsideration. Please make sure you do this in good time and do not wait a day before the deadline. Make sure that you make a copy of your Mandatory Reconsideration before posting it.
If Your Mandatory reconsideration is refused, you can then lodge an appeal.
Personal Independence Payment Appeals
To lodge an appeal, you need to complete a SSCS1 form which you can download here Form SSCS1: Appeal a social security benefits decision (Notice of appeal) – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk). You must include a copy of your Mandatory Reconsideration decision with this form. Alternatively, you can submit your appeal online please see Appeal a benefit decision: Submit your appeal – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk). This must be done within one month of the date of your Mandatory Reconsideration letter.
Please see Challenging a PIP decision – appealing against the decision – Citizens Advice which has detailed information to assist with making an appeal.
Due to the Covid crisis, many appeals are now over the telephone. If you do have to attend a hearing, I can assure you that they are very informal. I attended a tribunal with a friend of mine. The lady concerned was on Disability Living Allowance and she had to apply for PIP. Her application was refused and I agreed to represent her at the hearing. At the time I was not a Welfare Benefits Adviser and did not know that much about welfare benefits. However, I prepared all of the appeal on her behalf. When we arrived at the tribunal, the Judge asked to speak to us and informed us that they had already gone through all of the paperwork and they could see that the original assessor had made a mistake and my friend was in fact entitled to PIP standard daily living. We were very pleased but it also made me wonder how many other people this may have happened to. There could be so many people who may have passed but because they never proceeded with an appeal, they never got to receive a benefit that they are legally entitled to.
I know that the whole appeal process is extremely daunting, but with a success rate of over 70%, it is really worth considering. You can get help from your local Citizens Advice Bureau, please see HOME | Haveringcab or from Havering Peabody please see Here to Help Havering (Peabody) | The London Borough Of Havering.
Please also see How to win a PIP appeal | Advicenow you are able to download a very comprehensive guide with step by step advice.