How much time does it take to get PIP benefits?

  • Obtain a claim form.
  • Fill out the form and send it in.
  • The evaluation stage
  • Receiving your claim decision

All things considered, the decision was correct, and you received the award you deserved. That does not always occur. If you are dissatisfied with the decision, you should be aware that the following steps may be taken.

  • Request that your claim be reconsidered - a Mandatory Reconsideration.
  • If you are still dissatisfied, you may file an appeal with an independent tribunal.
  • If you believe the tribunal's decision was incorrect, you can appeal it.

Let us break that down: obtaining the claim form

The number to dial depends on your location; dial 0800-012-1573 if you are in the United Kingdom. The Northern Island but 0800-917-2222 anywhere else in the United Kingdom Keep your GP's name, address, and phone number handy, as well as your bank account information and National Insurance number. You will be asked if you have arranged for assistance in filing your claim, so have their name, address, and phone number on hand. There is no doubt in my mind that working with someone experienced and knowledgeable will increase your chances of receiving the appropriate award. Consider how you will know what the appropriate award is if you do not have that assistance.

You can deal with this first stage using a textphone by dialing 0800-012-1574, and if you are unable to start the claim by phone, you can provide the required information in a short form, which you can request by writing to:

Personal Independence Payment New Claims, Wolverhampton WV99 1AH, Post Handling Site B

Filling out the claim form

Get help - good quality help, so use the days before the form arrives to find it. The form requests contact information for health professionals who are aware of how you are affected; keep in mind that this is the key, not what is wrong with you. People like occupational therapists, physiotherapists, social workers, community psychiatric nurses, counsellors, and support workers are among them. However, keep in mind that they are unlikely to approach any of these because they would rather rely on their own evaluation of you Do not rely on them asking for anyone else's opinion, reports, or GP notes about you. If you have any letters or reports that provide information about how your conditions affect you, seek advice from the person assisting you with the claim on whether they should be sent or not. Appointment letters, for example, say nothing about how you are affected, so sending them is pointless. Because two people with the same medical condition may be affected in very different ways, they ask that you not send general information about your condition. When I am called in to assist with an appeal, I sometimes wonder why a client has sent in some medical letters. You could argue that the Department should see everything, flaws and all, but the truth is that some clients send in material that undermines their case because they couldn't see it. Take advice from whoever is assisting you. If you have no choice but to do this alone, read everything twice before sending it in; once to ensure that it is relevant and tells the reader something about how you are affected by your condition, and once to ensure that it is relevant and tells the reader something about how you are affected by your condition. as well as a second time Looking for something that a negative thinker could latch onto as a reason not to believe what you said on your form, a reason not to award points, from the Department's perspective. Having said that, I don't see why anyone would choose to do this without assistance; there is free help available, and if the wait for that free help is too long, or you can't get to them, Then assistance is available on the condition that you pay affordable instalments until your claim is successful and you receive your arrears dating back to the time you called PIP for the first time.

You must understand where you should score points; this is the only way you will know what the assessor and Decision Maker require to award those points. If the person you approach for assistance refuses to give you advice on which points should be awarded, walk away because this indicates that they do not know enough to assist you. My articles, PIP Descriptors, contain useful information. The form will include a deadline for you to return it. If you see that you will need more time, call them at 0800-121-4433 and request an extension. You should be prepared to answer why you require more time. Reasonable requests are typically granted.

I'm sending it in.

Send only copies of the supporting documentation, with your name and National Insurance number at the top of each page, and send the entire package'signed for,' noting the Royal Mail tracking reference. Ensure that the Post Office deducts the value of the pre-paid postage on the envelope that came with the form from the cost of posting.  

The evaluation stage

Normally, I would estimate that you will have a face-to-face assessment within 3 to 10 weeks of submitting the completed form. The assessor is unlikely to be familiar with your condition, and while the majority of assessors are qualified nurses, that title can encompass a wide range of knowledge and experience. A physiotherapist, paramedic, or occupational therapist could instead evaluate you. For some claimants, that may be a good fit, but you can understand someone's concern when the assessor introduces themselves as a physiotherapist, for example. I do not recommend expressing that concern in the assessment because clients who have come to me for help have described obvious resentment on the part of the assessor when their ability to do the job is called into question. The Department would most likely reassure you that the assessor is not there to examine, diagnose, or treat you, but rather to assess the impact of the person's conditions through the PIP test, and that the assessor is a trained disability analyst. All of this is correct, but I've heard enough reports that the system can be quite broken. There are undoubtedly good and highly competent assessors out there, but there are also assessors who should not be doing the job. It's a lottery, and all you and I can do is prepare you for the test. Hopefully, the person assisting you with your claim includes preparation as part of their service. If not, I recommend that you read my article, PIP Assessment Questions. You may have to wait 2 to 10 weeks to hear back from them.

The choice

You should have either your own list of which points you should receive or written advice from whoever assisted you. Contrast that with the points made in the decision letter. Congratulations if you received the award you sought. Return to the first couple of paragraphs and determine how long your award will be valid. Many awards are for three years, but there are also awards for four, five, and ten years. If it says you have your award "for an ongoing period," this means there is no end date and you will most likely be left alone for around 10 years before they contact you to see if anything has changed. When determining the length of the award, the issue is whether they expect your symptoms/abilities to change, and if so, when. You can expect them to invite you to submit a renewal claim three to six months before the expiration date.

The incorrect decision necessitates reconsideration.

If you are dissatisfied with the decision, call them at 0800-121-4433 and ask for a copy of the assessment report; what you have in the decision letter are excerpts from a 28-30 page report. After carefully reviewing the entire report, you will have a much better understanding of where things went wrong.  

My advice to someone at this point in the process is based on the number of points they have earned. I do not recommend putting effort or resources into a reconsideration if someone has received no or very few points. Even if they worked together, the chances of getting from where they are to where they should be are slim. It is preferable for that person to go through the motions and request that the Department reconsider the claim. You may point out where the assessor's thinking was incorrect, and you may provide additional information and evidence, but please do not claim that the assessor lied, no matter what the provocation. The assessor presumably has nothing to gain by lying on your report, so if it comes down to who to believe, you are likely to come out on the short end of the stick because you do have something to gain from the claim process. Better, I believe, to suggest that the assessor misunderstood what you said or meant, or that the report is incorrect. Look for examples of things that are simply incorrect in fact, rather than matters of opinion. Check the report's back page to see if there is a gap between when the assessment was performed and when the report was completed. Many are completed on the same day, but I have seen gaps of up to 14 days, which you could point to as a possible reason for the assessor making mistakes.  

You are not far from the correct points.

If you are not far from having the points you should have, then put effort and resources into reconsideration. It is worthwhile to try to avoid the delay, stress, and (potential) cost of a tribunal appeal. You can do what I would do, which is to go through the PIP test to see where additional points should have been scored, why they should have been scored, and how strong a claim you have for those points, so that we can prove what we're trying to prove. I would talk to you about possible sources of evidence to support that point of view, such as medical evidence and witness statements from people who have firsthand knowledge of how you are affected. I would examine the evidence you have, but I would collect more. Obtain GP notes for the last 18 to 24 months. See above for instructions on how to evaluate that evidence before submitting it. Set out your request for reconsideration in a letter, rather than the form provided by the Department. Try not to focus on trashing the evaluation report. I don't think you'll be successful just by doing that. Instead, explain why you should have received the points you requested under a different heading, such as food preparation. Explain why the evidence supports that, and where the assessor went wrong, if possible. They may have formed an opinion based on a misunderstanding about your medication or specialist assistance. Perhaps they point to you being able to perform a movement in the Musculoskeletal section that you claim was incorrectly recorded, or that you could only do with great difficulty, or that you were not actually asked to do. You have one month from the date on the decision letter to file a request for reconsideration. If you see that you will require more time, call them at 0800-121-4433 and request it. Expect to be asked why you require this, so prepare an answer. A reasonable request will almost certainly be granted. Expect a decision on your reconsideration within a few to several weeks.

An appeal to a tribunal is possible.

You will not be able to file an appeal until you have completed the reconsideration process. When filing your appeal, you will need the date of the mandatory reconsideration notice, which you can find online or on paper form SSCS1. Your appeal must be received within one month of the mandatory reconsideration notice's date. There is a section on the appeal form where you can explain why you are submitting it late. The tribunal office will still forward your appeal to the DWP, who have the option to object, but I have never seen them raise an objection with a reasonable reason. The law allows an additional 12 months, for a total of 13 months to what is known as the "absolute time limit." There is case law that allows for the breach of even that absolute time limit, but only in the most exceptional of circumstances. If you find yourself in this situation, seek professional assistance. Please read my article The PIP Appeal Process to learn everything you need to know about filing an appeal. The time it takes from filing an appeal to having a hearing varies by region, but plan on 6 to 12 months.

Contesting the tribunal's decision

Hopefully, the tribunal will have ruled in your favor, but if not, this does not have to be the end of the road. You should investigate why your appeal was denied, and you may require assistance to accomplish this goal. Perhaps the tribunal was correct and you are not entitled to any award or more than what the Department awarded. It is also possible that, despite the fact that you should have had more, the tribunal was justified in reaching the decision it did because something you said to them undermined your case, or because they saw some evidence that was incorrect but, once again, It weakened your case, and they chose to believe it over what you said. You can only challenge a tribunal's decision on a point of law, not because you think they got it wrong or because you have new evidence or a new diagnosis. To begin, you would request two documents from the tribunal office: a statement of the tribunal's reasons for their decision and a copy of the judge's record of proceedings. This is a copy of the evidence taken at the hearing. Your request for a statement of reasons must be made within one month of receiving/receiving the tribunal's decision.  

The alternative to challenging the tribunal's decision is to file a new claim and do a better job this time. I would advise you to seek assistance, especially if you did it on your own the last time. You can do both; you can start a new claim based on how you/what you can do now, while also pursuing the arrears back to the date of the first claim. Keep in mind that if an award is made on the new claim, a new tribunal hearing your appeal would only be able to make an award from the date of the claim to the date of the award on the new claim.

You must identify one or more legal errors in the statement of reasons in order to make an application to the Upper Tribunal for permission to appeal. This application must be submitted within one month of receiving the letter containing the statement of reasons. That procedure is beyond the scope of this article. Please contact me if you find an article that I did not write.

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