How to appeal your PIP and recover your benefits
Over 1.6 million disability claims are going to be reviewed after the DWP decided not to challenge a court ruling that said some changes to PIP were unfair to claimants with mental health conditions. Hundreds of thousands of appeals have already been made and many people have won back their PIP.
It’s not easy to regain the benefits you’re eligible for and it may feel like the odds are stacked against you, but many people get their benefit refusals overturned.
If you think you’ve lost your PIP unfairly, ask the DWP to take a second look at your assessment decision by requesting a mandatory reconsideration, which you can do within one month of the decision (although this can be extended up to 13 months in some cases, so don’t give up just because you’ve missed the deadline).
Like with all things, it pays to be prepared. Include supporting evidence, such as practical examples, medical records and supporting letters from health professionals. Submit this evidence separately if it’s not immediately available – and remember to keep copies.
If your mandatory reconsideration is unsuccessful, that’s not the end of the line: you can make an appeal by going to tribunal.
APPEALING TO TRIBUNAL
First, fill in the SSCS1 appeal form on the Government website which needs to arrive at the HM Courts and Tribunals Service within one month of the date printed on your mandatory reconsideration notice. Again, in certain cases it may be possible to extend this up to 13 months.
It’s especially important at the appeal stage to include supporting evidence, such as practical examples, medical records and supporting letters from health professionals.
If you need any help from Citizens Advice with the appeal, remember you can call us, email us for a callback or come to our offices. We will help you write a written submission for your appeal and look at the paperwork and evidence, although we don’t usually attend the tribunal.
You can attend the appeal by yourself, or can ask a friend or family member to accompany you. If you prefer, they can even speak on your behalf. You should mention this on your appeal form, but don’t worry, you can also request permission from the tribunal panel on the day of your appeal if you make a last-minute decision.
The panel will inform you of its decision as soon as it can, and you will also receive confirmation in the post. If you win your appeal, the DWP will automatically backdate the tribunal’s decision to the date of your original assessment decision, so you will get all the money owed. If you lose your appeal you will only be able to challenge the decision if the tribunal panel made an error of law.