A Tip From Fightback About PIP/ESA Appeals
Fightback appeal note
If you win an appeal for PIP or ESA do not expect the backpay and payments to increase quickly. It takes on average 4-8 weeks for DWP to sort it out and they will often delay as much as they can.
Remember they also have the right to challenge the decision,as do you, and your case it is often passed to the legal team for scrutiny, especially if the value is over a certain amount. This seems to be particularly applicable in the case of PIP where backpay often exceeds £5000.
If you win an ESA appeal then you will still need to send in fit notes for a while until they acknowledge the decision has been overturned.
Finally in a small number of cases DWP have been challenging the legality of the tribunals decision, thus costing the public purse potentially, thousands in legal fees, and causing even more financial hardship to thousands who have already endured, what is often 6 months of hardship or more.
If this happens to you then remember legal aid is available to upper tier appeals so you maybe entitled to financial help and the cost of a solicitor and even a barrister, in this case.
In our opinion DWP should just accept gracefully that they have made an error, however many of the call centre staff are now being told to inform customers that the dwp still retain the right to decide whether a claimant get the award so inform claimants the decision maker will have to decide. This sends many people into a flap, but in most cases is just a case of the decision maker checking that you have no outstanding debts with DWP or tax credits, and another chance to drag their feet paying up.
If you successfully overturn a decision you may also expect a benefit review which will just be to check everything is correct. If you have been honest on your forms, then it’s nothing to worry about and most people find its over and sorted in weeks.
It would be interesting to hear how much the DWP legal team is actually costing per annum. We know that the cost of prosecuting someone for susoected benefit fraud often outweighs the cost recouped in many cases and often cases fall down due to unreliable evidence in court.
Legal advocate Fightback