Personal Independence Payment
We helped a vulnerable and upset client to successfully challenge a Department for Work and Pensions’ (DWP) Personal Independence Payment decision. The client suffers from chronic conditions which severely impact his ability to perform daily activities. The DWP had decided to lower his Daily Living Component to the standard rate (£60 per week), and to remove the Mobility Component. This decision affected his use of a Motability Scheme car, which was crucial for the client because he finds public transport too distressing and overwhelming.
The client had felt dismissed and misunderstood most of his life, and his interaction with the DWP had been no different. It was challenging to gain his trust, but I showed him kindness and empathy and took the time to listen without judgment. As the client became more comfortable with me, his candour allowed me to build a true picture of his daily struggles and the support he required. Preparing the mandatory reconsideration request had a tight deadline. After additional research, I was able to write a comprehensive, well-reasoned letter, which included relevant case law to further strengthen the client’s case. I also engaged with a senior adviser who specialises in disability benefits, and used his suggestions to improve the letter further. My client was successful, and the DWP awarded him the enhanced rate for both the Daily Living and Mobility Components. The client is now receiving a total of £152.15 per week in Personal Independence Payment (as well as backdated payments), and he could keep his car.
Poor Living Conditions
Our face to face service is critical to many of the most marginalised members of our community. For example, a pensioner who was living in a rural caravan approached us because his health was deteriorating due to his living conditions. He couldn’t make an application to go on the housing register because he didn’t have internet, a reliable phone or an email address. He was also struggling to understand the housing system and had no proof of his identity. We liaised with the housing register, helped him overcome each of these hurdles and duly secured him sheltered housing in just a few weeks.
Personal Independence Payment
Client, now in her early 30s, approached us for help with PIP. She had complex, painful and quite rare physical health conditions which became apparent in her teens, and which prevented her from ever working. She had applied for PIP via CAB in 2014, got no points, and had asked for a reconsideration. Still no points, and she took it no further.
We helped her to apply for PIP in late 2021. She was awarded Standard Rate Mobility (£24 pw), but given only 6 points for Daily Living, so no award made for that element of PIP. We helped her to challenge the decision by asking for a reconsideration. The award of the Mobility element was unchanged, but she was awarded 11 points for Daily Living, up from 6 originally. As a result, she was awarded the Daily Living element at the Standard Rate of over £60 pw, together with a significant lump sum as the award was backdated.
We offered to help her appeal against the decision as she was only 1point short of getting the Enhanced rate for Daily Living, and only 2 points for Mobility, but she decided not to pursue this.
This client came to us for help with filling in a Windrush Scheme Application, a Home office demand triggered by her application for Pension Credit. We had previously successfully won a PIP appeal for her. Client was in her 60s, came to England when she was two as part of the Windrush migration from the West Indies, being brought here by their mother because at the time there was a much better chance of receiving appropriate treatment for a disability in England. Their mother, three children and 7 grandchildren are all British Citizens. Because of her disability they have not travelled out of the country so never needed a passport. The form was complicated to fill in and despite her having kept documentation she had accumulated over the years she had no evidence of arrival in England. The Home Office response to the application was to insist on biometric tests which as a vulnerable client had to be done in her home. After several months she heard she was given ‘lawful status’ and the ‘right of abode’ in Britain and again after months of waiting has finally heard that she has been given British Citizenship. A very happy client!