We wanted to highlight the work of one of our pro bono partners – Cooley LLP UK. Cooley have been taking cases to tribunal for Z2K since September 2018 and have so far taken 22 cases since then. This has resulted in the financial benefit for our clients as a result of this intervention being £448,640.50. We hugely appreciate the value Cooley are bringing to the project, and we wanted to highlight the impact of one of their staff.
Ross Keeble is an Associate for Cooley (UK) LLP and has undertaken the most appeals to date: three Personal Independence Payment (PIP) cases and one Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) case. When asked about being involved in the project, he said:
“It’s difficult to overstate the importance of the benefit appeals work being done by Z2K, in partnership with many law firms across the City. Without the professional advice and guidance provided, many individuals would be unable to challenge the often unjust negative benefits decisions. These decisions serve to deprive people not only of the financial support to which they are entitled (and on which so many rely), but also of the recognition that the vast majority of benefits claimants want to work to support their families and society as a whole, but are physically and/or mentally incapable of doing so.
I’ve been involved in four cases so far, representing Appellants with a range of physical, mental, cognitive and intellectual difficulties, and have convinced the First-Tier Tribunal of the Social Entitlement Chamber to overturn the Secretary of State’s negative decision in each instance. The training and support provided by Z2K has been of the highest grade, and has been integral to the success of each of these appeals.
On a personal level it has been incredibly rewarding working face-to-face with clients to help them secure the judgments they deserve, experiencing first hand just how much it means, not only on a financial level but also emotionally. I look forward to continuing to represent Z2K’s clients in their PIP and ESA/UC appeals and have no hesitation in recommending Z2K, and the crucial work they do, to other legal professionals.”
Ross recently supported Yousef*, a 21 year old whose parents approached Z2K through an outreach session in Westminster. Yousef was denied Personal Independence Payment (PIP), scoring 0 points at assessment for both Daily Living and the Mobility components respectively. Following a Mandatory Reconsideration (MR), he was awarded 6 points for Daily Living and 4 points for Mobility. To get the standard rate of PIP, you need to score between eight and 11 points for Daily Living, and to get the enhanced rate you need to score 12 points or more. Prior to the re-assessment, the DWP had previously scored him 9 points for Daily Living and 8 points for Mobility. The appeal was bought forward on the basis that he should have initially been awarded the enhanced rate for both components of PIP. Thanks to Ross’s support and efforts, Yousef’s appeal was allowed and he was awarded standard rate for both, increasing his income from £0 to £81.90 a week. This support and intervention is life-changing for people like Yousef, who without the support, was left with no income at all.
On behalf of everyone at Z2K, a huge THANK YOU to the team at Cooley for your continued commitment to the project. If you work for a law firm and would like to get involved, email Samantha on email@example.com to find out more.
*Name has been changed to protect the client’s identify