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What is Mandatory Reconsideration? (A complete guide)

In this blog post, we aim to find out what is a Mandatory Reconsideration and what are the steps one should follow if disagrees with the decision the DWP made regarding a benefits claim. 

What is Mandatory Reconsideration?

Mandatory reconsideration is a distinctive attribute of the UK social security system through which someone can challenge a decision that they disagree with, including the decision not to allocate a benefit.

Mandatory consideration is imperative for anyone who wants to appeal to a benefits tribunal. 

Mandatory Reconsideration can be asked for the following benefits: 

  • Attendance Allowance
  • Bereavement Allowance
  • Carer’s Allowance
  • Carer’s Credit
  • Child maintenance 
  • Compensation Recovery Scheme (including NHS recovery claims)
  • Diffuse Mesothelioma Payment Scheme
  • Disability Living Allowance
  • Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Funeral Expenses Payment
  • Income Support
  • Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit
  • Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
  • Maternity Allowance
  • Pension Credit
  • Sure Start Maternity Grant
  • Universal Credit (including advance payments)
  • Winter Fuel Payment

Who is eligible for Mandatory Reconsideration?

Anyone who disagrees with a decision about benefits, tax credits or child maintenance is eligible for Mandatory Reconsideration.

You need to ask for this reassessment within one month of the date of the decision.

If you pass the deadline, the DWP has the right to decline your request. 

You can apply for mandatory reconsideration if:

  • You disagree with the reason for the decision
  • You thing the office dealing with your claim has made an error or missed and important evidence
  • You want the decision looked at again.

What will happen after you send your request for mandatory reconsideration is that a means decision-maker will look at your claim again and see if the decision was right or wrong.

In order to help your case, it’s important that you give new evidence or explain in as many details as possible how you think the decision has wronged you. 

Challenging a PIP decision – Mandatory Reconsideration

You have the right to challenge a PIP decision if you disagree with the decision that has been made about your PIP claim.

You can also request a mandatory consideration if:

  • You didn’t receive a PIP claim
  • You got a lower rate than you expected
  • You think the award is for a shorter period of time than you expected.

How to apply for mandatory reconsideration

Before applying for a mandatory reconsideration you should know that you have the right to ask for a reassessment within one month starting with the date on your decision letter.

The DWP has the right to reject your letter or the form if you send it after one month.

If you do miss this deadline, you can always request a PIP appeal within 13 months from that date. 

The best way to apply for mandatory reconsideration is to use the CRMR1 request form or to write a letter to the Department for Work and Pension and explain why you disagree with their decision. 

The statistics show that more than half of PIP decisions are changed after mandatory reconsideration or an appeal to tribunal.

Your chances are good, so if you do disagree with a decision and think you deserve more, give it a try.

Iit won’t cost you anything to ask for a reconsideration or to appeal. 

Here is what you have to write in your Mandatory Reconsideration letter

In your mandatory reconsideration letter you have to write why and how you disagree with the decision-maker.

It’s crucial to give facts, examples, details and medical reports as evidence to what you are saying.

You can even bring new evidence from your GP, community nurse or a paid carer in order to support your affirmations.

As guidance, you can use a very useful tool, PIP Mandatory Reconsideration Request Letter Tool, from the Advice Now team.

This tool makes it easier for you to ask the DWP to look again at their decision about your claim for Personal Independence Payment.


Reconsidering the decision

Basically, the Department for Work and Pensions can take as much time as it wants to send you back a report with their decision.

It can take any time between two weeks and several months before you get a response.

Our recommendation would be to call them two weeks after you send the CRMR1 form and ask if they logged your mandatory request and how much more time is it going to take to get an answer. 

If the DWP changes their decision, and you are happy with it, congratulations!

You will start getting the PIP payment right away and will get all the payments you were supposed to receive from the date of the original decision.

If after the mandatory reconsideration the DWP doesn’t change their decision, do not get worried.

You can always appeal to a tribunal. Read our blog about PIP appeal and get ready for the journey.  

When can you challenge an ESA decision and how to apply for  Mandatory Reconsideration?

Claimants are not sure all the time if they can challenge or not an ESA decision.

In most of the cases, there are four reasons why you can challenge an Employment and Support Allowance decision.

Here they are: 

  1. Your letter says that you were denied the ESA award, and you think otherwise.
  2. You were awarded ESA, but you were put in the work-related activity group rather than the support group, and you disagree.
  3. Your ESA payments were stopped and you got a sanction.
  4. You are getting ESA, but you were denied Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI).

If you find yourself in any of these cases, you can apply for a mandatory reconsideration. 

How do I challenge the DWP’s decision? 

There are two steps you have to take when challenging the DWP’s decision. 

1. You must ask DWP to look at the decision again by filling a CRMR1 form for mandatory reconsideration.

2. If the DWP doesn’t change it’s decision and you still disagree with them, you have the right to appeal to an independent tribunal. If you decide to go for this, you have to know that your ESA payments will not be paid during this period if you claimed another benefit during the reassessment period. You still can receive other benefits in the meantime, such as Universal Credit.  After your hearing, you won’t need to start a new claim for ESA.

Are mandatory reconsiderations successful? 

As you have probably noticed the steps for challenging an ESA decision are similar to the process of challenging a PIP decision.

Overall, 70% of social security appeals, including ESA and PIP appeals, are successful.

The success rates for benefits include ESA 74% and PIP 73%.

You have no costs to lose if you feel wronged and decide to request a mandatory reconsideration or appeal to a tribunal. 

How to fill a CRMR1 form

The CRMR1 form has five parts, but not all of them need to be completed.

We’ll address each one of them separately. 

Part 1 – You have to give general information about yourself including your name, date of birth and contact details.

Part 2 – If you are completing the form for yourself, go to Part 3.

If someone is completing the form for you, they need to put their details here.

This could be a parent, carer, relative or a legal Deputy. 

Part 3 – You have to mention how long it has been since the DWP made the original decision.

If you are asking for a Mandatory Reconsideration later than one month after that date, please give a reason for your delay. 

Part 4 – This is the most important part. Here you have to write why you disagree with the DWP’s decision.

You have to give evidence, examples, and comment with which part or parts of the decision you do not agree with.

Make the department understand and see things how you are living them. 

Part 5 – Check you have completed the form correctly and included all of the information you can.

Finally, sign and date the form before you send it.

What to include in your Mandatory Reconsideration besides the CRMR1 form

Besides the filled, dated and signed  CRMR1 form, you have to include any extra information that supports your claim. 

You should send: 

  • Any new information such as test results or scan results
  • New medical reports from any nurses, doctors or other professionals that look after you
  • Reports or care plans from any new therapists or nurses 
  • Your current repeat prescription list, if you have one.

You shouldn’t send:

  • Information you have already provided
  • Medical appointment letters or cards
  • Bus or train tickets to medical appointments you’ve attended
  • Factsheets or general information about the health condition or disability.

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Conclusions

In this blog post, we found out “What is mandatory reconsideration” and who is eligible to apply.

We gave you examples of challenging a benefits decision from the Department for Work and Pension: How to challenge a PIP decision and an ESA decision.

The reason we chose this particular two benefits, is because they are with the highest rate of success when asking for a mandatory reconsideration or when appealing to a tribunal. 

We hope the section that guides you into filing the CRMR1 form made the process seem a lot easier.

Some of us get a bit stressed when dealing with formal papers. 

Have you applied for a mandatory reconsideration before?

If so, please let us know in the comments section below how was the process to you, did you get an answer yet and wast it satisfying?

Your information is valuable to us and to other users. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you get a mandatory reconsideration?

In order to get a mandatory reconsideration, you have to write to the DWP at the address on your decision letter.

You can fill and send the CRMR1 for or write your request in a letter.

There is also the option to make the request over the phone. 

How long does it take for a mandatory reconsideration?

Some mandatory reconsiderations take two weeks, but some take several months.

It is always good to contact them after a few weeks without an answer, in order to ask how much longer the process is going to take.  

How successful is PIP mandatory reconsideration?

The success rate for PIP mandatory reconsiderations is just 19%.

The success rate for those claimants who go on to appeal, on the other hand, is 73%.

Does PIP stop during mandatory reconsideration?

During mandatory reconsideration, you will not get any payments.

If you are moving from DLA to PIP you will continue to get DLA for 4 weeks following the decision.

Is PIP backdated after mandatory reconsideration?

After mandatory reconsideration, if the DPW changed their mind, your benefit will be backdated to the date of the original decision.

Is it worth asking for a mandatory reconsideration?

It’s still worth asking for a mandatory reconsideration, as long as it’s within 13 months of the decision.

If you are putting up the request later than one month from the date of the original decision, you’ll need to explain your reasons for being late. 

Recommendations

  1. Personal Independence Payment: What You Need to Know
  2. Government’s Response to the Independent Review of the Personal Independence Payment Assessment
  3. The Tools of Argument: How the Best Lawyers Think, Argue, and Win
  4. Argument Structure: Secrets of the World’s Best Debaters: Master the Structure of Arguments
  5. Resilience: Powerful Practices for Bouncing Back from Disappointment, Difficulty, and Even Disaster

Resources

  1. The CRMR1 form
  2. Challenging a PIP decision
  3. Challenging an ESA decision

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