Further to my earlier blog post, I am pleased to announce that Theresa won her appeal, and has been found eligible for PIP, a full 16 months after applying for it. She has been awarded the enhanced rate of the daily living component, and the standard rate of the mobility component.
For many successful PIP claimants, it can be such a lengthy process before they are finally awarded PIP. It is draining to have to go through the different stages. Firstly to attend the medical assessment (which is often not close to their home), and then to ask for the decision to be looked at again (‘a mandatory reconsideration’). If the decision has not changed, and they are not put off, they then have to appeal and go to a tribunal, which is a daunting experience. All to be awarded the PIP benefit which at tribunal is decided that they were eligible for all along.
I hope that, as Theresa’s experience shows, it is worth challenging disability benefit decisions that you think are unjust.
Many people view what happens in Parliament through the prism of Prime Minister’s Questions, which makes the new Labour Leader, Jeremy Corbyn’s approach to this weekly set-piece all the more interesting. However, the real work of providing a legislative check and balance to the Executive is done in Public Bill Committees, scrutinising legislation line-by-line for hours on end and considering the merits or otherwise of detailed amendments.
Last month, Z2K raised concerns about the weakness of the amendments tabled by Labour’s Shadow DWP Team to the Government’s reduced Benefit Cap. These amendments exempted only a small minority of families affected from the £23,000 cap, leaving many potentially vulnerable households facing its full weight. The timidity of this approach paled in comparison to the forthright opposition of the Scottish National Party’s own amendments to these clauses. Continue reading
The following post was written by Z2K volunteer James Lewis
When it comes to welfare benefits appeals, Z2K take on a variety of cases of varying strength and intensity, and often successful appeals in seemingly difficult cases rely on building a relationship of trust and confidence with the client.
Jessica came to us for help with her Employment and Support Allowance appeal. She had initially presented her case on the basis of depression and migraines. However, after sometime spent establishing that at Z2K we want to help and to do so we need to know as much as possible, she divulged further information which strengthened her case. She told me that she had a house which until recently was in significant disrepair and suffered from a bad cockroach infestation, on top of this she had an adult brother with significant mental and physical disabilities which meant he required 24 hour care, split between herself and her mother.
On top of this, she has a young daughter who she looks after on her own. These circumstances caused the client to develop powerful and unforeseeable panic attacks, which meant that her legs went numb and she had altered consciousness and on many occasions involuntary evacuation of the bowel. This combination of symptoms together with her housing and family situation resulted in crushing depression and complete loss of confidence. Continue reading