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PIP Mandatory Reconsideration timescale
edited 25 April 2022 at 4:20PM in Disability money matters
49 replies 3.1K views
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The bottom line, and there are no exceptions to this, is what issue does the Act of Parliament seek to redress - "PIP is non-means-tested and is intended to help with the extra costs arising from ill health or disability" (House of Commons Library). If people are claiming PIP, but have no extra costs, then arguably they shouldn't be receiving it under the terms of the Act. Point being, PIP isn't a payment simply because people have a disability, instead the descriptors are intended to allow the claimant to show how their disability impacts on them because, in the final analysis, this is what will determine whether they incur any 'extra costs arising from [their] ill health or disability'. What I'm saying is that one has to understand the purpose of the criteria in order to be able to meet that criteria. On that basis, I would encourage anyone who's putting in a request for an MR to not only think about what evidence has been made available to the DWP (and this can include providing names and addresses of appropriate professionals), but also, how the claim meets the standards for award under the Act.
So, for anyone else turning up here, PIP is 'intended to help with the extra costs arising from [your] ill health or disability'. From experience of multiple MRs, if you can show that you do have extra costs, then include this information. Further, any PIP award will hinge on your ability to carry out tasks 'safely, to an acceptable standard, repeatedly and within a reasonable time period', feel free to use that exact phrase (from the PIP blurb itself), because if you can't carry out tasks in such a way then you should meet the criteria for an award.
Yes the intended purpose of PIP is to go towards extra costs associated with being disabled, but as it is not means-tested, dependent upon proof of extra costs, Nor is spending it held to account at all, realistically if one meets sufficient descriptors then one is entitled to it, regardless of one's actual living costs.
Plus people with very high care needs usually require extra funding (social care or direct payments, etc.) for carers / PAs on top of PIP anyway.
Meeting sufficient descriptors IS how a claim 'meets the standards for award under the Act'. PIP decisions do not hinge on whether somebody is spending more money because they are disabled, they are determined purely on the descriptors set out in legislation, nothing else.
Granted, examples of real-life extra costs *may* be relevant, but only if they demonstrate functional limitation within the scope of activities assessed and give evidence of meeting at least one of the scoring descriptors. And even then it has to be due to *need* rather than 'just' making life easier, which is a principle explicitly stated in the official guidance.
[I put 'just' in inverted commas because for PIP purposes making life easier/more comfortable is not a high enough threshold, but certainly in life it's important for disabled people to do that where we can. Internalised ableism can make us hesitant to do so, but it's a harmful thing and should be ignored where possible!]
To the extent that those descriptors award points for needing aids and adaptions to preform the PIP activity reliably, there is recognition that the purpose of PIP is indeed to help with the additional costs that disability and illness may bring. These aids can include a dosette box, a sock grabber, a perching stool, a shower seat, a walker, bathroom rails, raised toilet seat, to a walk-in shower and a motorised scooter.
However, purely the demonstration of extra spending by way of producing invoices would not (in itself) result in a PIP award. Conversely a report by an OT recommending the need for such aids is very useful evidence.
I have attended many PIP tribunals, and never once has a tribunal judge questioned (or cited as a reason in their SoR for not awarding PIP), the fact that a claimant is not paying any additional living costs.
For our Citizen Advice clients often trying to exist on a means tested benefit, that would be an wholly incorrect, inappropriate and inhuman test.
^^ Law -v- guidance, the former will always win out.
Please remain civil in your responses
I fail to find where extra costs are a criterion for any award.