In this article, we address the issues of PIP appeals and are answering some questions like “What is a PIP appeal?” and “How to appeal PIP?” If you are considering challenging a DWP decision, read this article and get ready with us.
What is a PIP appeal?
A PIP appeal is a request for a tribunal hearing, that can be made only after someone has applied for Personal Independence Payments (PIP) and has been rejected or didn’t get the award they were expecting.
If you wish to make a PIP appeal, first you have to ask the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) for a mandatory reconsideration, meaning they have to look again at your file and all the evidence.
If after the mandatory reconsideration the decision-maker decided there was no mistake made, and you still disagree with their decision, you have the right to appeal the DWP’s decision to an independent tribunal.
Can the DPW decision be challenged?
If you want to challenge the DPW decision, you have to send them a reassessment request.
Whether or not you are entitled to PIP benefit is based on how your condition affects you and what kind of help you may need.
Personal Independence Payments are based on a points system.
There are two main components of the PIP:
- The daily living and
- The mobility component.
If after your assessment you receive 8 points you will probably receive the standard rate of the daily living component.
If you receive 12 points or more at the assessment, you will get the enhanced rate.
The mobility component works on the same logic.
8 points will get you the standard rate, and 12 points or more the enhanced rate.
It’s important to mention that, if you receive the decision that you are not entitled to the PIP award or you disagree with the rate you are receiving, you can request a mandatory reconsideration.
If the decision-maker changed it’s decision and you agree with the new conditions, great.
But if it hasn’t, you have one month to ask for a PIP appeal.
How to appeal PIP
There are two ways to ask for a PIP appeal.
The first and the most popular one is to fill in an appeal form, called the SSCS1 form and send it by post.
The second option is to appeal against the DWP’s decision online.
Either way you have to use the SSCS1 form to ask for a PIP appeal.
Also, when appealing you must include a copy of the mandatory reconsideration, any evidence regarding your health status, and other requirements you might have for the tribunal.
Make sure you have all the necessary documents.
You can find the SSCS1 form for PIP appeal here.
Following, we are going to explain some of the sections and give you recommendations on what you should write for a higher chance of success.
- You will notice there is an About you section. Make sure you fill in Section 2 if the decision you are appealing against is about your benefit or the benefit of a person you have been appointed by DWP or a court to take care of. In case you are making an appeal on behalf of someone you have a legal responsibility for (e.g. your child), you need to fill in Section 3.
- Section 5, About your appeal, might be the section with the most relevance in your PIP appeal. In this section, your main concern should be explaining how and why you think the DWP made a mistake in your case. You need to give as many details as you can. A good starting point for disputing the decision is the initial decision letter and the medical assessment report. You can use these documents to highlight the statements you disagree with. The new evidence should contain as many examples as possible, such as facts and supporting medical evidence.
- Section 6 is for you to decide whether you want to attend a hearing or should the case be decided without your presence (on papers). Although the paper choice seems less intimidating, you are much more likely to win if you appeal to a tribunal and speak to them face-to-face. Your chances of winning the appeal will increase once they can hear for themselves how your disability affects your daily life.
- If you decide to attend the hearing, in Section 7 you can specify what your needs and requirements are for the date of the hearing. This might include any special transport to get to the tribunal, a wheelchair accessible entrance, a signer or an interpreter.
Don’t forget to sign the SSCS1 form and send it to HM Courts and Tribunals Service along with the other required documents.
Getting ready for the PIP appeal
It’s important to get ready for the PIP appeal as soon as possible.
It is possible that you won’t get told the date of the hearing until 2 or even 3 weeks before.
However, you don’t have to sit and wait for this day in order to start preparing.
There are many things you can do that will require some help and time, but will have a great impact on your chances of winning.
Here are some of our recommendations:
- Register for text or email updates about your appeal.
- Get some professional help to prepare you for the hearing (Citizen Advice bureau can give you more advice on How to appeal PIP).
- Announce the tribunal as soon as you know if something important came up and you want to change the date of the hearing.
- Read carefully all the information the tribunal service will send you so you know what to expect.
- Arrange transportation, ask a family member or a friend to be there with you on the day of the hearing.
- If there is new evidence, send it to the tribunal as soon as you can. Useful evidence explains how the disability or your condition affects you and can be obtained either from your GP, nurse, social worker or occupational therapist.
- You should check the location of the hearing and decide what expenses you can claim and how to claim them. You can get more information about this from the tribunal service.
Most importantly, try to keep calm and to get on with your life.
When the day comes, you will be ready.
What happens at the hearing
At the hearing, your case will be evaluated by an appointed judge. Remember that you don’t have to go alone at the tribunal hearing.
A person who you trust, such as a family member or a friend can accompany you and serve as moral support.
An important fact to mention is that the judge and the panel that will examine your case, do not work for the DWP.
The hearing pane’s goal is to analyze your case and give you the award that you are entitled to.
At the start, if the hearing the judge will introduce the tribunal and will explain what the reason for the meeting is for.
You, the claimant, will be called “the appellant” and the DWP will be called “the respondent”.
As the hearing goes on, you will have to describe how your usual day looks like.
You may also be asked what is your reason for appealing.
Don’t hesitate to give as many details and examples as possible.
Your friend or family member that accompanies you, is allowed to speak on your behalf.
Their opinion and side of the story can be extremely valuable.
You also are allowed to express facts and feelings about your health condition, so don’t hesitate to speak!
After all the evidence was discussed and all the questions asked, the judge will ask you to leave the room while the panel can make a decision regarding your case.
Usually, the panel makes the decision that day, although in some cases people had to wait 3 to 5 days to get a decision letter in the post.
The day of your PIP appeal
Only thinking about the day of your PIP appeal might make you feel nervous, want to back up and perhaps overwhelm you.
We have some suggestions that might help you feel more confident about this important day.
- Make sure you arrive in plenty of time, you don’t want the hearing to start without you.
- Take a friend or a family member with you, they can be of great support.
- Make sure you’ve read the appeal papers that the tribunal has sent to you.
- If there is new evidence, bring it with you.
- Try to answer every question that they ask you as broadly as you can. Give details and examples. Don’t be afraid to speak up if you hear something is said incorrectly.
- You can ask the judge to repeat or rephrase a question if you didn’t understand something.
- You have the legal right to ask for the hearing to be stopped if you did require help with translation or communication and it is not available when you arrive.
What should you expect after your appeal is heard?
After your PIP appeal you will know better what is to do once you receive your decision letter (that is if you weren’t made aware of the decision at the tribunal).
If the panet decided that the DWP was wrong and you should be awarded PIP, your new amount of money will start in a couple of weeks.
Usually it takes four to six weeks for the DWP to start de payments.
You will also receive a backpay.
That is payments that you should have received from the date of your claim.
Again, it may take several weeks before you receive the money.
It is not a bad idea to contact the DWP once you receive the official letter with the decision from the tribunal.
This can sometimes speed things up a little.
If you, however, receive bad news from the tribunal and you were not successful with your PIP appeal, unfortunately there are not many options left.
The Court will send you along with their decision a guide that explains their thinking and what options do you have next.
There is the possibility of appealing to the Upper Tribunal, which is a higher level of court.
However, you must satisfy certain conditions for this. For example, you can only appeal if there was a mistake in law, which is oftentimes not the case.
Are PIP appeals successful?
Nick Smith, Labour MP for Blaenau Gwent, revealed data that proves the rate of PIP appeals is surprisingly successful.
This, however, is not such good news, because it highlights the fact that the assessment process for benefits claim is broken, and that many initial assessments are getting it wrong.
If a high number of tribunals come to the conclusion that the initial assessment was wrong, there are definitely a few issues in the whole process of assessment.
This being said, if you feel the victim of an injustice committed by the DWP, you should take into consideration appealing to a higher court.
Side Note: I have tried and tested various products and services to help with my anxiety and depression. See my top recommendations here, as well as a full list of all products and services our team has tested for various mental health conditions and general wellness.
In this article, we discussed whether PIP appeals are successful and answered some questions like “What is a PIP appeal?”, “How to appeal PIP?”” and “What happens at a hearing?”.
For more questions and answers make sure to check our FAQ section.
We hope that by reading this article you now understand how to appeal a PIP decision, and you feel more confident to win a PIP appeal.
As long as you have more than enough evidence and the right people by your side, the chances to be successful are pretty high.
What did you think about our recommendations?
Did we manage to answer all of your questions?
Feel free to share your opinion in the comments section below.
Your feedback is deeply appreciated.
FAQ about PIP appeals
How many PIP appeals are successful?
Overall, 70% of social security appeals, including PIP appeals, are successful.
The Tribunals Service statistics show that claimants are winning ESA and PIP appeals at the highest rate ever recorded.
How long does an appeal take for PIP?
An appeal for PIP takes between two weeks and several months.
If you have sent a Mandatory Reconsideration Notice, contact the DWP after 2 weeks to check if they received and logged your application.
If you have no answer after 8 weeks it’s a good idea to contact them again and ask how much longer it will take.
Do you still get PIP if you appeal?
If you appeal, your chances to get PIP might increase.
More than half of PIP decisions are changed after mandatory reconsideration or an appeal to a tribunal.
So do not hesitate to challenge the decision of the DWP if you think it’s wrong.
Can DWP overturn the PIP tribunal decision?
The DWP cannot overturn the PIP tribunal decision, however, they can appeal against it, in exactly the same way as you can.
How many ESA appeals are successful?
Overall, 70% of social security appeals, including ESA and PIP appeals, are successful.
The success rates for benefits include ESA 74% and PIP 73%.
What happens when you make an ESA appeal?
When you make an ESA appeal, the ESA benefit won’t be paid during your appeal if you claimed another benefit during the reassessment.
You still can receive other benefits in the meantime.
After your hearing, you won’t need to start a new claim for ESA.
- Represent Yourself in Court: How to Prepare & Try a Winning Case
- Personal Independence Payment: What You Need to Know
- How to Remain Calm In the Midst of Chaos
- Nolo’s Guide to Social Security Disability: Getting & Keeping Your Benefits
- Caregiving Diary: Daily and Hourly 245 Page Planner
- Advice Now: How to win a PIP appeal
- How to submit a PIP appeal
- Challenging a PIP decision: the tribunal hearing