Thursday, 25 May 2017

PIP CHALLENGE Support needed

Billie Legal Challenge (see below)
https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/wish/

MANDATORY RECONSIDERATION TARGETS
The DWP have as good as admitted that mandatory reconsiderations are a sham.

In response to a recent Freedom of Information query, the DWP revealed that they have a target of upholding the original decision in 80% of all mandatory reconsideration requests.
Worse still, they managed to exceed that target in the year to March 2017 by turning down 87.5% of all applications.

The DWP have since claimed that PIP is not included in the 80% target.
However, it remains the case that over 80% of PIP mandatory reconsideration requests also fail to get the decision Changed – however coincidental the DWP might claim that figure is.
Having a target for the percentage of requests that should fail almost certainly renders the mandatory reconsideration process unlawful.

In legal terms, the DWP is fettering the discretion of decision makers, who should be free to decide every case on its merits, rather than worrying about being disciplined if they fail to hit their targets.
Just how rigged mandatory reconsideration decisions are is made absolutely clear by one other statistic.
63% of claimants who have their mandatory reconsideration request turned down and who then go on to appeal to an independent tribunal, win their case.
So, no matter what the decision is on your initial claim, and no matter how utterly you are turned down at the reconsideration stage, don’t lose heart. 
You have a very good chance indeed of winning your appeal.
(https://www.benefitsandwork.co.uk/news/3632-24-may-2017-update?utm_source=iContact&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Benefits%20and%20Work&utm_content=v2+May+24+2017+newsletter)

PIP CHALLENGE
Billie, a claimant with severe mental health issues, has launched a legal challenge against the recent changes to PIP. The new regulations have made it much harder for people with mental health conditions to get an award of the mobility component.
In January of this year the DWP lost a case before a panel of upper tribunal judges.

Rather than accept defeat, the government rushed through new regulations which came into force in March.
The effect is to make it much harder for claimants with a mental health condition to get an award of the mobility component of PIP.
Billie (not her real name) has severe mental health problems which mean that she is extremely vulnerable when travelling. She needs a lot of support to do this reliably and safely.
Billie was refused an award of the mobility component of PIP under the new regulations.

She has launched her High Court challenge on the basis that the change in the law discriminates against claimants with mental health conditions and also on the grounds that the DWP should have carried out a proper consultation before deciding whether to bring in the changes.
Billie and the Public Law Project are collaborating with human rights barrister Aileen McColgan of Matrix Chambers, who is working on a no-win no-fee basis.

However, £3,000 is still needed to cover court fees and other expenses.
We know the government is desperate to slash the benefits bill.
This time it was claimants with​mental health conditions who were targeted. Next it could be an claimants with an entirely different condition.
Whatever your health condition, everyone has an interest in ensuring that the DWP learns that it can’t just change the PIP regulations whenever it chooses.
At least, not without facing a serious legal backlash.
If you can afford a small donation, Billie’s Crowdjustice page is here

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