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Successful PIP appeals double in a decade

24 September 2019

Disabled people are almost twice as likely to win their disability benefit appeal than they were 10 years ago, Disability News Service (DNS)  analysis of Ministry of Justice (MoJ) data has shown.

DNS says that the MoJ figures raise concerns about the overall quality of decision-making in DWP and they raise fresh concerns about the performance of outsourcing companies Atos and Capita, which are being paid hundreds of millions of pounds to assess PIP claimants.

The DNS analysis of MoJ figures from the last decade shows that the proportion of tribunal appeals that found in favour of DLA claimants was just 38 per cent in 2010/2011, the first year of the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition.

But in every year since then that success rate has increased, to 40 per cent in 2011/2012, 41 per cent in 2012/2013, then to 42 per cent, 49 per cent, 56 per cent, 58 per cent, 60 per cent, and finally 66 per cent in 20182/019.

Meanwhile, the rate of tribunal success for claimants of PIP, which was introduced in 2013 to gradually replace DLA for working-age claimants, has risen from 26 per cent in 2013/2014, to 50 per cent in 2014/2015, to 61 per cent the following year, and then to 65 per cent in 2015/2016 and 68 per cent in 2017/18.

The latest figures released by MoJ this month show that 73 per cent of PIP claimants in 2018/2019 saw their PIP appeal upheld by a tribunal.

This is almost twice the rate of success of DLA claimants in 2010-11.

Figures for the latest quarter – April to June 2019 – show the PIP rate of overturn has continued to climb even further, and has now reached 75 per cent, the same as the rate for employment and support allowance, the out-of-work disability benefit.

DNS add that:

“DWP has repeatedly tried to argue that only about four or five per cent of all PIP claims are eventually appealed successfully.

But many rejected claimants do not challenge the benefit decision handed to them by DWP, with DWP’s own research – published last autumn – showing that hundreds of thousands more claimants would have taken further steps to challenge the results of their claims if the system was less stressful and more accessible.

The rate of success is also far higher for appeals against PIP claims that have been completely rejected, with DNS revealing earlier this year that one in seven (14 per cent) of all rejected PIP claims is eventually overturned, either at the mandatory reconsideration stage – where DWP civil servants review decisions, if requested – or at tribunal.”

Commenting on the DNS analysis, Ken Butler DR UK’s Welfare Rights and Policy Adviser said:

“Undoubtedly a major contributor to the success of PIP appeals is the low standard of Atos and Capita Health Care Professional assessments and the lack of proper consideration given to disabled peoples’ own oral and written evidence.

The DWP should take proper account of disabled people’s evidence at the mandatory reconsideration stage.

That disabled people are having to wait several months or longer for justice at an independent tribunal is causing unnecessary stress as well as unjustified financial hardship.”

For more information see The shocking truth about disability benefits: Successful appeals double in a decade available @ www.disabilitynewsservice.com