DWP – Good News for claimants, PIP 12-month extensions official announcement!
For people waiting anxiously to have their PIP awards renewed and have had extensions every 3 months the DWP has officially announced that all renewals will be extended for 12 months. This now gives breathing space to people affected by the cost-of-living crisis.
The official confirmation came in the latest edition of the DWP newsletter, Touchbase.
The full text of the announcement is as follows:
“This month we have started automatically extending existing PIP claims awaiting review by up to 12 months. This will happen 35 days before the award’s end date.
“The extension provides greater certainty for claimants and in particular help with continuing to access other support, e.g. a blue badge for parking.
“From 31 October, a letter will be sent automatically to claimants confirming continuing entitlement for up to 12 months. Until then, we will update claimants by text message that their award reviews have been extended and will remain in payment.
“Anyone needing written confirmation before 31 October can contact the helpline on 0800 121 4433 and we will issue a notification of entitlement. Otherwise, claimants do not need to contact us unless their circumstances change.
“In line with our usual process, we may review claims before their new end date and if so, will write to claimants to inform them. PIP payments will be received as normal until we complete the review of a claim. If we have not completed the review by the extended award date, we may extend the end date of the PIP award again and will write to claimants to tell them about this.
“Please share this information within your organizations.”
** This post is primarily for the UK. I have written several articles about my GP (Doctor) Negligence and Doctor-Patient Confidentiality in recent times. I am for my own records posting evidence they have only confirmed my letters have been put on the system but both times have not been actioned. Furthermore, I have been in communication with several people, not only relating to this particular surgery but others around the UK also encountering similar problems. I have now discovered why GP (Doctor) Surgeries are backlogged… read more…
Local doctors’ surgeries across the UK are either closing or their clinicians are retiring early.
The impact of the aftermath of the pandemic has caused a strain on doctors and other workers in local GP practices which have seen some “struggling to maintain regular services” which has meant some closing surgery doors to all but the most urgent cases.
Playing “Russian Roulette”, with people’s lives is what is happening as each day brings new absences. Those with overall responsibility for general practice, such as NHS England and the Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), have had “no backup plan”.
A survey carried out by the Royal College of GPs (RCGP) found that at least a third of doctors were planning to retire in the next five years, leaving 14,000 fewer GPs than are currently working.
Addressing the Health and Social Care Committee, retired GP Dr. Andrew Green said, “We need to accept that 10-minute appointments are not safe. The only way that you can run a 10-minute appointment surgery on time is by cutting corners.
“Therefore introduce a questionnaire to be filled out by patients who could then write about their ailments for the doctors to review” similar to what I have done, although my surgery is as helpful as a chocolate fire guard. A ten-minute appointment can then be reduced to two or can be done online using encryption software”
According to “herd immunity” policy, which has allowed the coronavirus to rip through the population in successive and ever-higher waves of infection, has placed intolerable burdens on NHS hospitals.
“This is all smoke and mirrors andI believe the herd immunity is working because most people would have received their vaccinations. I believe it is down to the doctors themselves not managing their time properly or insufficient staff quotas”.
Evidence of the emails I received to state my letters were logged on the system.
To recap I wrote a letter which I emailed last year 9 pages long and this year 15 pages long, it was put on the system and both times never actioned.
I have been told previously by my surgery if I do not like how things are run to change doctors (I am not the only one judging by the Google Reviews). It is easier said than done if you have social disconnection problems, run a business, and do not have time to register at a new surgery never mind the shortfall on the prescribed medication, whilst you wait for your registration to be approved and your medical records sent over.
The NHS are playing “Russian roulette”, put it this way my doctor’s surgery, in particular, most definitely is playing with people’s health.
If you are unhappy you should first address your practice manager or write to your head doctor failing that you can complain to the NHS (see links below).
I know I could take this further and I will one day, but at the moment I am dependent on my medication, albeit there is a shortage of Gaviscon.
PIP Personal Independence Payment Delays And The Repercussions On Mental & Physical Health.
Disclaimer Scotland: People in Scotland will no longer be able to make a new claim for Personal Independence Payment (PIP) from August 29 when the benefit will be replaced by Adult Disability Payment (ADP) in all 32 council areas across the country. At present, 13 local authorities are now offering ADP to adults over 16 and under State Pension age living with a disability, long-term illness or a physical or mental health condition.
Most people don’t like complaining and will not make a formal complaint about anything let alone the DWP, because they believe it would be a waste of time and could cause a knock-on effect on their other benefits. For those that do complain and, after many months of pursuing, end up giving up. The ones that are determined come away with a pathetic apology and feel they have hit a brick wall. They accept the mediocre admission by the DWP or Atos, Capita, that these organizations made a mistake and nothing else happens, their mental health is simply disregarded without a second thought.
ANN ABRAHAMS – REPORT
However, the most recently released report reveals that a tiny number of people pursue their complaints further and end up being awarded large sums in compensation. The report is called ‘Small mistakes, big consequences’ and is written by Ann Abrahams, the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman. Ann Abraham should be a name that should stand out as well as your local MP.
“Remember nothing happens quickly after all these people are not in a hurry to find money to put food on their tables, only you are”…
Your illnesses and disabilities should be corroborated with medical evidence and letters from GPs and consultants. This payment is to help with your daily living and is not an alternative to being a benefit bum and living off benefits. This payment is for people who truly deserve the extra money because of their disabilities. The reason why the Government is clamping down is because of too many fake, lazy individuals that see this as free money.
Citizens Advice said: “PIP, which can see people with an illness, disability or mental health condition receive up to £157 a week, is a lifeline for millions of people, yet the government is playing with people’s lives and their health.
There are currently around 327,000 Disabled people on the waiting list, with an average waiting time of five months. Citizens Advice projects this means £300 million of payments that would be awarded are being held up, after all the government needs to look after themselves first before thinking about the other half of the population. You are not their priority, although you should be.
“Waiting for this payment is having a huge impact on people’s lives. Delays in assessment mean that support is held up, forcing people into impossible choices as they try to make ends meet.”
People are facing humiliation as 1 in 5 people have needed to go to a food bank in the last 3 months who have also had an issue with PIP. Many of those waiting for a decision will also be eligible for the £150 disability benefits cost-of-living support payment but are unlikely to get it before October’s mammoth energy price hike.
There are more people coming to Citizens Advice for help with PIP than with any other issue in fact an astonishing 41% more than any other issue.
Around 150 people are contacting advisors at Citizens Advice every hour for one-to-one help, and its webpage on “How the DWP makes a decision on PIP claims” had 27,700 page views last month, up 56% year on year.
Citizens Advice is calling on the Government to take urgent action to relieve pressure in the system and help get money to people who desperately need it. It is calling for an emergency plan from the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions to urgently tackle this backlog, including reducing the number of claimants required to have a medical assessment, which is the main reason for these delays – and extending the award period so people have to reclaim less often.
In March, Disability News Service (DNS) reported how the backlog of disabled people waiting for a PIP assessment had more than trebled in the last five years, from 88,500 in October 2016 to nearly 312,000 by December 2021.
DNShas also reported on similar problems with the Access to Work system, with DWP figures showing the number of disabled people waiting for decisions on their applications has more than quadrupled in a year from just 4,890 in March 2021 to 20,909 in March this year.
One of the ways the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is dealing with the lengthening PIP assessment backlog is by providing temporary (3 months), short-term extensions to PIP claimants who are waiting for their benefits to be reviewed.
Editors’ Opinion –“Do they not have enough unemployed people to do a bit of paperwork? How about outsourcing the work would be another idea and finally only appraise the people that have medical evidence to corroborate their illnesses”?
The Government is purposely dragging its heels in order to save money.
“This is Evil, a Disgrace, and a Shambles”.
Vicky Foxcroft, Labour’s shadow minister for disabled people said:
“With the cost-of-living crisis hitting disabled people particularly hard, it is shocking this government has not got a grip of the PIP backlog, which has been going on for months now”.
“Short-term fixes aren’t enough anymore. Disabled people deserve so much better than this; Tory ministers need to get a grip on this backlog, especially given the impact it is now having on other benefits for disabled people.
“A future Labour government would invest properly in disabled people, ensuring they had the support needed.”
A DWP spokesperson said:
“We closely monitor the progress of PIP cases awaiting assessment and take all steps possible to ensure claimants receive the vital support they require”.
“We can and do make in-house decisions on award reviews without referral to assessment providers where necessary and use a blend of phone, video, and face-to-face assessments to ensure support is given as quickly as possible.”
People Who Suffer From OCD
Daily Living Descriptor 6– Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
The Upper Tribunal has recently made a decision (CPIP/3760/2016) about how people with OCD can claim points under PIP.
Therefore there has been some confusion about people with OCD, who usually can do an activity perfectly well, but have to do it over and over again or in particular ways or at particular times.
(Assessors who are not specialized in diagnosing OCD or any other illness should not have any input about the claim – just because they have passed e-learning does not make them any more qualified than you or me).
The PIP descriptors and the regulations didn’t deal with this sort of situation very well and so lots of people with OCD lost out on awards. Now the Upper Tribunal has looked at the issue and made a judgment that will help people with OCD to earn points for PIP.
WHAT THE UPPER TRIBUNAL DECIDED
The Upper Tribunal case was about a person who took a very long time to get dressed because their OCD meant they had to repetitively try on lots of different outfits until she found one she was happy to wear. The DWP argued that this long time didn’t count for the purposes of PIP because it was just the person’s choice to try lots of clothes on. The Upper Tribunal, however, held that because the person’s hesitations and repetitive behavior were ‘the consequence of her health condition’, she was entitled to points because it took her more than twice as long as a non-disabled person to dress. But the UT did say that if the longer time had not been a consequence of her health condition, she would not have been entitled to points.
This decision is important because the principle that delays in being able to complete a task because of the consequences of a mental health condition like OCD can be applied to all descriptors, not just dressing. So a person with OCD who can eat perfectly well but who takes an hour to eat because of obsessive rituals about arranging the table, or a person who can wash perfectly well but who does so eleven times three times a day, could claim points under those PIP descriptors.
WHAT THIS MEANS FOR YOU
If you have OCD for example and have obsessive rituals or other behavior which means that you take much longer to do activities of daily living like cooking, eating, dressing, and so on, then you now can use this Upper Tribunal decision to strengthen your argument for claiming PIP.
Note that you will still have to be able to show that you have been diagnosed with OCD or a similar mental health condition and you do in fact have behavior that means you take much longer than a non-disabled person to complete daily living activities. Good strong evidence from people who know you will be needed.
You will also have to show that your behavior is a consequence of your mental health condition and not just your own preferred way of doing things. Showing that you can’t change the way you do things even if it is against your interests will be useful – eg that you miss appointments because you can’t get there in time owing to a dressing ritual.
DIFFERENT TYPES OF OCD
OCD is a very complicated illness it is not just about washing or checking or taking too long to shower, dress or cook food. It may be the fear of germ contamination (as I have). I know logically we are surrounded by germs but the thought of contracting something or being harmed through direct contact with an unsanitized area does not bear thinking about. I am cocooned in my own surrounding where I can keep my intrusive thoughts under control as best I can. My disabilities are not just OCD, they are Depression, Social Disconnection, and Cognitive Impairment (Cerebellar Atrophy) to name a few.
As with everything, it all takes time and you are not a priority.
Upper Tribunal decisions take time for your claims, mandatory reconsideration, and appeals, and it may take some months before DWP and assessors finally make the decision.
Unfortunately for you, this causes considerable stress on your mental health and pressure on your finances. You can either suffer and do nothing other than wait or you could complain.
If your appeal is taking longer than expected you have grounds to contact the ombudsman.
If you have been treated unfairly and given the DWP and Tribunal time to respond and they have not within the timeframe then you need to start getting all your evidence together to build a case. You can take it even further and take it to an Ombudsman (Last Resort).
The PIP system is flawed, it employs people who are not qualified in the field of the illness (one needs to be a specialist in the field and should undergo years of training as well as qualifications to determine what the claimant is suffering from). The system is designed to degrade people and to make them unwell. The more people that become unwell the more money Big Pharma makes and that is how the world goes round.
Making a Complaint
Do exhaust all avenues of complaint procedures before contacting the ombudsman and do collate as much evidence as you can. If you have a blog or social media page share it with the people I have mentioned in this article. People usually take notice if you have a professional site and you know what you are talking about.
If you want our help and need a letter we can send you a template with all users, names, and addresses and you fill in the blanks. Our template letters are £5.00 and you will get a download link once the payment has been processed, if you want us to write the letter for you it will cost £25 per 1000 words. Your privacy and data will be safeguarded with a non-disclosure agreement.
PIP Mailing Address is:
Personal Independence (2), 2 Mail Handling Site (A), Wolverhampton., WV98 18B
0800 121 4433 ( be prepared to wait 45 minutes to be put through)
** Just to explain when I spoke to PIP today over my daughter’s award the woman said that my daughter or I would have to submit evidence by post. Knowing they had an email I said could it not be done electronically (I bit my tongue about saving the environment) and the woman I spoke to blatantly lied and said there is no email address.
The amount of time I had to wait to be put through could easily cause someone who has multiple sclerosis or any other auto-immune disease and suffers from bad stress and anxiety to easily relapse. Furthermore, I do not know who they employ because I had to spell ‘Alemtuzumab‘ out even though I clearly told the woman the word can be found on www.lemtrada.com.
I am not looking forward to the assessment my daughter is due to have because if they make my daughter perform like a circus monkey that will mean I will have to intervene. My daughter documents her health in her online journal on this platform. I am not looking forward to having to deal with these people.
Definition of insult or insulting means: when we give a mock with a scornful countenance as in some smiling sort looking aside or by drawing the lip awry or shrinking up the nose. This may include an assumption that we are more knowledgeable than the person we are talking to, thus proclaiming that the person we are directing the comment to is not of high intellect.
I am rattled today because of an email I received from an agency that is run by my local council and they seem to separate themselves even though they are one. They are basically saying that they are not the local council and are passing the buck.
I am getting irate because this is costing me time having to argue with them and not to mention it is also affecting my daughter’s mental health and it is also affecting me. We both have disabilities and I fight my daughters’ battles even though it sometimes can also affect me too.
“No one can make you feel inferior without your permission.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
“Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.” – Mark Twain
“Trusting someone’s opinion over your own is admitting you believe they’re smarter than you are.” – Charles Faraone
It takes a lot to get me rattled but people (sheep reading off scripts) do push my buttons and eventually if one does it enough times “you will see me blow”.
I am normally a calm person but if people purposely wind me up and think I am an idiot to believe the BS, they have another thing coming.
Not only this, the said agency is basically insinuating that Multiple Sclerosis is Not a Disability and they are undermining the results by the Professor of Neurology.
“This post serves as the foundation of the whirlwind I will stir and will happily sing like a canary”.
So despite showing evidence that my daughter has had a relapse this said agency is still in need of more evidence. My daughter’s neurologist is on annual leave should I demand he drop his holiday and everything else he is doing to pussyfoot around these people?
I find the behavior of this agency is causing emotional distress and indirectly discriminatingwhich is against the law. If I have proven my daughter has relapsed and needs help getting around occasionally, as no two days are the same, you would think they would be more understanding but they keep putting obstacles in the way and causing distress.
I am dealing with this as I do not want my daughter to relapse again and I will not allow her to jump on one foot whilst touching her nose and act like a performing seal just to prove a point.
I reiterate medical evidence will suffice and she will not be questioned by someone who is not qualified for the role (my daughter’s friend is a PIP assessor with only GCSEs to her name).
Indirect discrimination happens when there is a policy that applies in the same way for everybody but disadvantages a group of people who share a protected characteristic, and you are disadvantaged as part of this group. If this happens, the person or organization applying the policy must show that there is a good reason for it.
A ‘policy’ can include a practice, a rule, or an arrangement.
It makes no difference whether anyone intended the policy to disadvantage you or not.
To prove that indirect discrimination is happening or has happened:
there must be a policy that an organization is applying equally to everyone (or to everyone in a group that includes you)
the policy must disadvantage people with your protected characteristic when compared with people without it
you must be able to show that it has disadvantaged you personally or that it will disadvantage you
the organization cannot show that there is a good reason for applying the policy despite the level of disadvantage to people with your protected characteristic
If the organization can show there is a good reason for its policy, it is not indirect discrimination. This is known as objective justification.
With this said if an organization treats someone with ‘Multiple Sclerosis’ or any other ‘Invisibile Disability’ the same way you would treat a normal able body person, they are in fact indirectly discriminating, which is against the law.
With Multiple Sclerosis you have good days and you have bad days.
The weather can impact your health.
No two days are the same.
The same can be said with someone with mental health issues, one day you can be somewhat fine and other days you could be not doing so well.
There is no way of measuring or predicting if a person will be ok from one day to the next.
Not only this arguing with people (sheep), causes emotional distress which in the case of ‘Multiple Sclerosis’ can cause a person to relapse.
If this continues I will be looking to seek damages for:
Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. These cookies do not store any personal information.
Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website.