Disabled mother wins two-year PIP benefit battle. What happens to those who can’t appeal?

Uncannily accurate: The Conservative government’s genuine policy towards PIP claimants may as well be as it appears in this cartoon from 2017.

How do people survive for up to two years while they are fighting the Conservative-run Department for Work and Pensions’s cruel decision to cancel their disability benefits?

That’s what This Writer wants to know.

Maureen Ringland was lucky enough to have friends who helped her out – and who will be paid back with appropriate portions of the £13,000 payout she has received.

This is a woman with severe autism, Reynaud’s Disease and Hypohidrosis – the last of which may cause hyperthermia, heatstroke and death. Her condition means she cannot cope with simple daily tasks.

But when she was tested for Personal Independence Payment in 2017, she was told her £83 per week daily care allowance and £58 per week mobility allowance was cancelled.

She had to go through the DWP’s immensely convoluted procedure for challenging adverse benefit decisions – first a request for a “mandatory reconsideration”, then an appeal before a tribunal.

It was two years before the government department relented, reinstated and backdated her PIP.

The DWP has claimed the decision was reversed because the family submitted new information.

But this is a transparent excuse; when anyone appeals against a disability benefit decision, they include as much information as possible. This may include medical details from their GP or a specialist doctor, for example, including the kind of details that they may not have believed was necessary when they submitted their original application.

When Mrs Mike was transferred from DLA to PIP last year, I recall we included everything but the kitchen sink (as the saying goes), with this in mind.

We may conclude that the DWP tried to cancel the money this grandmother needed to survive, in the belief that she would not be able to challenge the decision; either she would not be able to gather and provide the necessary information to mount a challenge, or her debts would mount to such a degree that she would have to abandon her claim.

That has not happened, it seems, because she has a capable husband and friends who were able to support her financially.

Few people can say the same.

In its own comments on the case, the DWP pointed out that only five per cent of PIP refusals have been overturned by a tribunal.

What the department’s spokespeople do not say is that those five per cent also total 65 per cent of appeals that have been made.

All in all, an extraordinary 70 per cent of social security appeals are successful.

But only 10 per cent of PIP decisions are appealed – and 56 per cent of new claims, together with 28 per cent of claims by people who have been transferred from Disability Living Allowance, are refused.

With 1,542,000 reassessed DLA claims and 2,649,000 new claims handled between its inception and March 2019 (the most up-to-date figures available to This Writer), and 175,000 in progress, that leaves 1,585,000 rejections uncontested.

What happens to those people?

Source: Disabled mum wins £13k payout after two-year benefits battle

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14 thoughts on “Disabled mother wins two-year PIP benefit battle. What happens to those who can’t appeal?

  1. Govt Newspeak

    you make an excellent point, my disabled husband has admitted that he wouldn’t know where to go and what to do about appealling and he’s too ill to go about it if he did know how. One of our appeals went to the Upper Tribunal and its 110-pages long. Suffice to say: I had to learn about DWP appeals mightly quickly!
    I have always felt for those that can’t/are too ill/don’t know how to appeal, which is the greatest cruelty.

  2. Jeffrey Davies

    Is the day fast coming where we find these creatures of the dwp JCP up before the beak telling all they were only following orders. Hmmm I dearly hope so so that some crumb of comfort is giving to those who lost relative’s friends through this loving government

  3. Stephen Davis

    Should read the small-print; the DWP say it isn’t an error on their part because that means the £13000 becomes savings after a year.
    But try spending the now increased benefit after two years learning to live without it, it is made more difficult because you can’t pay back loans given by family without clear evidence of the loan, something just given without contract.

  4. Richard Middleton

    I waited three-year for my dla and the backpay said thay would only give me six months back pay.and now dwp is talking 70 pounds a week of me becouse my son lives with me thay say im not severly disabled enough be couse my son lives with me he goes to work but he has epilepsy. It not fair thankyou mr middleton

  5. david

    at both my appeals th4e DWP have said it’s because of new information, when I have never supplied new information just pointed out their errors. The Tribunal just weighs up all pertinent information and agrees with me. So new information is just their form of victim blaming.

    1. Andrea Taylor

      I have had to move closer to family and also have had to move into an adapted Bungalow. I was initially told my esa would not be effected, then I was put on ucredit. I am in hundreds of pounds of debt and have been told even though I have only moved I have had 13 weeks of waiting and am not in titled to back pay! Please help!???

  6. Em

    Vox Political, good article except you repeat the incorrect information that the assessment related to an ability to work. If it did it either wasn’t PIP or was PIP plus ESA potentially with severe disability allowance. PIP is an in work (or can be in work) benefit that does not assess work capacity. It’s important people we clear on this, many ppl assume it’s only for those out of work and actually you can be eligible and able to work or actually working. Can you clear this up in your article and perhaps also educate your source? Many thanks!

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      It was my mistake – I have spent a lot of time writing about ESA assessments and can find myself writing “fit for work” automatically. Thank you for the alert – I have corrected the piece now.

  7. Mrs J MCFarlin

    My autistic grandson won his appeal after having to go to court, but DWP said they can only backdate it 3 months as that is the new rules, he waited 14 to go to court!

  8. Jenny Hambidge

    There is a deliberate policy of refusing benefit to a random number of people – the more the better.They use a model called the biopsychosocial model which implies that what is important is the way in which people experience illness and disability and that many/most of these factors are under the control of the disabled person. There is a move away from opinions of a person’s GP or who ever made the diagnosis – GPs letters are hardly relevant any longer, for example. What an assessor is looking for is the ability or the potential ability to function (if the person tries hard enough and alters their lifestyle), never mind the diagnosis or prognosis given by their medics. That happens at the assessment. That is why assessors do not have to have specific knowledge of PARTICULAR medical conditions. Cardiovascular conditions, low back pain, and depression are red alerts for DWP assessors to look for evidence that people could help themselves if they only had the motivation to do so. To this of course could be added FM and ME..

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Yes indeed. Thank you, Jenny, for that reminder. Anyone who is interested in further information about the biopsychosocial model and how it impacts on ME, fibromyalgia, depression, back pain, and so on is encouraged to use them as keywords when searching the articles on This Site – I have written a wealth of information about them all.

  9. kaitlyn

    I had to wait over a year to finally get my tribunal. DWP claim I don’t need my wheelchair because my feet moved in the assessment. Tribunal immediately ruled in my favour because I was prescribed my wheelchair on the NHS. They don’t just hand out £2500 chairs willy-nilly!

  10. MR A

    I waited 3 years for my pip I have epilepsy and other learning conditions, they made up excuses when they are the ones who screwed up kept apparently ‘losing’ the paperwork I sent them , this story sounds more easier than what my case was had to write to MP DWP highraky etc to win mine so this person had it easy compared to me!!

  11. Dale Burrage

    I wish someone would help me get justice for my Disability benefit being stopped three years I struggled on just £15pwk and it’s still not right now, the battle has been horrendous on my health, and everything else I ended up 5K in debt now paying back slowly

Comments are closed.