I have written to Frank Field MP the Works and Pensions Committee chair hoping he will take action on the issue of due consideration not given to many Mandatory Reconsiderations as all it does is cause needless cost to HMCTS by forcing claimants into appeals in the hope they will back down and drop there rightful claims as well as needless stress, worry and anxiety to claimants
Thankfully although they tried this on me they quickly backed out of an appeal with HMCTS as by then they decided to give my Mandatory Reconsideration the due consideration it was due but it took me to lodge my appeal with HMCTS to get them to do this and I had given HMCTS no more information/evidence that I had already given to DWP, indeed my grounds for appeal was a copy and paste of the MR letter!
I had the tenacity and the will to challenge this all the way but that cannot be said of everyone due to illness and disability and thus the bureaucracy of this extra layer added to the appeal process is failing many as I read of many accounts of citizens who just cannot go that extra mile through HMCTS Appeal and thus lose out on an entitlement they was due and that is wrong and needed investigating
Well they did have the recording of my initial call to claim PIP and it was duly sent on a CD, however things change quickly very quickly in this instance.
At 10am on the 6th June 2019 I got a text from HMCTS saying my claim had been upheld and thus the appeal I had only submitted on the 20th May 2019 has been lapsed I was rightly on tender hooks as to what exactly had happened so off I went to make a strong coffee to take my mind off and await a DWP letter.
That DWP Letter came through my door before I had even finished that coffee at 10:30am I had won, the DWP had lapsed under the weight of the evidence and did not want to go to hearing so was awarded enhanced on both care and mobility components, but not only that.
On further reading twice in fact before it sunk into my Stroke brain they had awarded it to me until 9th December 2028 10 years with the words:
ONGOING AWARD WITH A LIGHT TOUCH REVIEW IN 10 YEARS.
Now I am 56 years old so will be 66 years old by the time that review comes around but more than that I thought by the publicity I had read the 10yr light touch awards are for pensioners? that does not appear to be the case as I am I few years off retirement yet.
I am not complaining as it is finally the right award given my lifelong health conditions but in light of this, my advice to everyone who has a lifelong condition regardless of age should appeal the length of award at both Mandatory Reconsideration or HMCTS Appeal.
In my MR Letter I wrote the following:
Page 27 Award Period
The PA4 Report states:
Based on the available evidence, I consider there to be no requirement to
arrange a review of this claim as significant change is unlikely and
furthermore, he has no ongoing treatments and no variable conditions, therefore
his condition is unlikely to change in the foreseeable future therefore a
further review is not needed
Given what had been assessed and written
above I question why the need for a review in 3 years had been given on my
award letter knowing that a review would be sent out in two years as my
conditions are lifelong and not going to change for the better indeed that was
the view of my DLA Award which was indefinite.
Given the statement issued by Sarah
Newton the Disability Minister who said:
“We’ve listened to feedback from
organisations and the public, and this common-sense change will ensure that the
right protections are in place while minimising any unnecessary stress or
“new guidance had been issued to
decision makers in August 2018 “to ensure those who are awarded the
highest level of support whose needs are unlikely to improve or will
deteriorate receive an ongoing award with a light touch review at the 10-year
Given my health conditions that I have had for the past near 29 years and will continue until my life ends, I would say a light touch 10-year review is better served in my claim for Personal Independence Payment and not the 3-year award given. I now turn to the inaccuracies in the rest of the report as they should at least go on record as I have already been awarded 19 points for care and thus am not challenging the care component
It is those words that got me the 10yr ongoing award with a light touch review but it raises the question why did the DWP force me into submitting an appeal to HMCTS anyway when they could have done this at Mandatory Reconsideration as I submitted no more evidence and my grounds to appeal was the MR Letter I had sent to DWP and thus could only have been that which swung it in my favour, I had not even send my submission to Court as was awaiting the bundle of documents from DWP which they were relying on.
So in short from submitting my Appeal to HMCTS on 20th May 2019 to today just shy of 3 weeks I have gone from just enhanced care to full PIP award with enhanced mobility and a 10 yr ongoing award.
My job is done and the stress release has been amazing!
Below I have now added the two important pages of the 11 page letter, they detail the enhanced award for both care and mobility but as I said above what is more important and of interest to many is not the enhanced award in itself but both the length of award and the words “light touch review” being that the Secretary of state for Works and Pensions said such an award was for pensioners initially making a claim for PIP and those already on PIP will be converted at a later date
I was 56 on the 4th June 2019 so some way of pensionable age so clearly that statement was wrong and also applies to those with lifelong health conditions that will struggle with mobility and daily living regardless of age.