Controversial changes to Personal Independence Payments (PIP)

Disabilities Minister Sarah Newton recently announced that all 1.6 million Personal Independence Payment (PIP) claims will be reviewed as an administrative exercise as a result of the High Court decision in December 2017. It has been disclosed by the government that they believe up to 220,000 people could be entitled to a higher award as a result. 

Controversial changes to Personal Independence Payments (PIP)

Controversial changes to Personal Independence Payment (PIP) New PIP rules prevented an award of the enhanced PIP mobility rate, for claimants who suffered psychological distress and needed someone with them when travelling on a familiar journey. The High Court found this exception to be blatantly discriminatory to people with mental health conditions, and so DWP will review all cases and backdate all affected payments up to November 2016. 

This will be a paper exercise which will see no face-to-face assessments. With no two people being the same and as no two people’s needs are the same, it is difficult to see how a paper exercise will ensure a person-centred approach. It is also likely to cause a great deal of alarm amongst claimants, who may worry that their award will be reduced instead of increased. 

It is going to be a massive exercise not only for DWP to look again at 1.6 million claims to see if claimants should receive more points for mobility (in fact there are already hundreds more staff being taken on to cope with it), but also for staff supporting claimants who may wish to challenge their awards, or indeed make new claims where they have previously been refused. 

The mental health charity Mind found in its survey last year that 22% of the people it surveyed did not actually appeal against a PIP refusal because of their condition; they did not feel able to do so. 

This practical, hands-on training on benefits claims and appeals looks at the court ruling in more detail and the impact on claimants. With the potentially high numbers of claimants that will be seeking advice, having an understanding and being able to give information is vital in helping to reassure them at what is likely to be an anxious time. *This course will be continually updated as guidance is issued. 

You will learn: 

  • Who is likely to be affected by this ruling 
  • How to minimise the impact on claimants 
  • Making a claim for ESA/PIP on mental health grounds 
  • Changes to PIP for those with Epilepsy 
  • The effect of Universal Credit on ESA/PIP 
  • A look at The Commons Work and Pensions committee damning report about PIP and ESA assessments 
  • Tips to boost your PIP and ESA chances 
  • Dealing with Appeals and Mandatory Reconsiderations. 

This course is suitable for staff who wish to expand their knowledge of disability benefits in order to help support claimants with making claims and challenging decisions. 

Alison Markantonis

Income management Alison Markantonis

Alison Markantonis is an experienced welfare benefits, financial capability and employment skills practitioner, who has worked successfully in the affordable housing and benefits sector for the last 27 years. She has worked with many housing and support organisations and brings her extensive experience to specialise in demystifying the benefits system, money management and employability skills training for both frontline staff and tenants. Her approach is participative and interactive, using case studies and her own experience to take the complex, and make it not only simple, but also applicable.

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