Growth in the success rate for benefit appeals
Nearly two-thirds of appeals over PIP decisions are successful at tribunal
According to statistics from the Tribunal Service, the success rate for PIP appeals in the last quarter of 2015/16 is 63%; up from 53% in the same period of the year before.
The rate of successful appeals has gone up quarter by quarter since PIP was introduced – and the number of appeals heard has also gone up very significantly, from 3,826 to 15,971. The DWP introduced the “mandatory reconsideration” as an extra step claimants have to complete before going to appeal, but even with this, a clear majority of cases that go to appeal find in favour of the claimant.
Employment and support allowance (ESA) appeals also increasing
Success rates for appeals against ESA decisions are also high, approaching the two thirds figure. There were 14,691 ESA appeals in the last quarter of 2015/16, and the success rate was 58%. This compares with 11,202 in the last quarter of the previous year, when the success rate was 59%.
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Introduction of PIP leads to decline in DLA appeals
Since PIP was introduced as a replacement for Disabled Living Allowance (DLA), the number of DLA appeals has, of course, declined significantly. The high point was in 2012, when there were more than 22,000 appeals in a single quarter. The figure for the last quarter of 2015/16 was 1,720 DLA appeals, compared with 1,577 in the previous year.
The success rate has gone up to an all-time high of 58%, compared with 52% a year ago.
Total numbers of Social Security appeals have increased
There were 131,315 for the year 2015/16, compared with 124,602 in 2014/15. This is still well below the peak number of 453,555 which was attained in 2013/14.
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At the beginning of the year, the DWP considered changing the way that aids and appliances are taken into account when determining entitlement to the daily living component of Personal Independence Payment (PIP). Assessments for DLA did not take account of any aids. They were forced to make a U-turn on the decision.
There has been a reduction of £30 a week in Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) for those who are unemployed, too sick or disabled to work currently, but judged as able to undertake some work-related activity.
Eligibility for the mobility element of PIP, has been tightened up, resulting in 14,000 people losing their Motability vehicle as a result of no longer qualifying for the enhanced rate mobility component.
If you need to appeal a PIP decision, there is a useful guide produced by legal charity, Advice Now, which you can download from their website (it will open in a new browser window)
Access to Work guidelines have been changed, meaning that disabled people often have to make increased contributions to the cost of essential equipment to enable them to obtain employment, or hold onto the job they already have.
The DWP has made it clear that eligibility for PIP will be regularly reviewed to ensure that it is ‘financially sustainable’ in the future.
You can read more about Mandatory Reconsideration – the compulsory first stage appealing a benefits decision, here
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