I have a long-term health condition but I recently had my Personal Independence Payment (PIP) reduced after a reassessment. I want to challenge the decision – where do I start?
The first thing to try is the process known as “mandatory reconsideration”, which involves asking the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to take a second look at your assessment decision.
You’ll normally need to contact the DWP within a month of your assessment decision being issued, and it’s best to do so in writing. (Under some circumstances, you can ask for mandatory reconsideration up to 13 months after the date of your assessment decision.)
Your letter should list all the reasons why you think your PIP award should not be reduced. Make sure that you provide evidence to back up each point you make, such as practical examples, medical records and supporting letters from specialists who are treating you. If you don’t have the required evidence yet, you can submit it separately at a later date.
Once the DWP has looked again at your assessment decision, you’ll receive a Mandatory Reconsideration Notice, which states whether your request has been successful or not. If it is successful, your original award will be reinstated and your payments backdated.
If you are unsuccessful, you could appeal against your assessment reconsideration by taking your case to tribunal. For help filling in the tribunal form and preparing for your hearing, contact Citizens Advice.
Already in 2018 Citizens Advice South Oxfordshire and Vale has helped at least two clients to win appeals against the reduction or cessation of their PIP benefits. In one case a Henley client won her case at tribunal and had her benefits reinstated with a backdated lump sum to cover the stoppage period. In another case a Didcot client had his award increased to the enhanced rate of mobility and standard living allowance.
For further information on subjects covered by Citizens Advice, visit www.citizensadvice.org.uk or telephone Adviceline on 03 444 111 444 or drop in to the Henley Citizens Advice on Market Place.