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Thread: PIP success story and some reflections

  1. #1
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    Dec 2013

    Thumbs up PIP success story and some reflections

    An unwilling volunteer

    My most recent fixed-term DLA award ran out in the summer: highest rate care and higher rate mobility for a 5 year period. In total, I'd had 12 years of highest rate care and higher rate mobility, and around 5 years of lowest rate care and higher rate mobility before that.

    I reapplied for DLA, but for unknown reasons, the DWP rejected the renewal claim for DLA, treated it as a defective claim for PIP and issued the PIP2 How your disability affects you questionnaire. This was an error of law, despite it happening in early July after new DLA claims were impossible, as I had a Secretary of State's letter inviting me to renew.

    I faced a difficult decision: request revision of the decision to reject the DLA claim, or claim PIP. it would have been easy for me to request revision - I'm over half way through a law degree, and this is hardly a complex point of law. However, had I got a new DLA award, I could, at best, have got myself as far as the forced conversions to PIP due to start in October 2015. The legal powers for these conversions already exist: there will be 8 weeks between the request to claim PIP and the cancellation of the DLA award for non-return of the PIP claim, giving limited opportunity to obtain evidence. Whilst it would be possible to submit a PIP claim with evidence to follow, it is easier to write your claim with the evidence in front of you.

    As up to date consultant's reports had been prepared especially for the abortive DLA renewal. I chose to use these reports to claim PIP, making me a rather unwilling volunteer.

    Important points to understand

    I worked directly from the PIP Regulations, though cannot recommend this approach to anyone without a formal legal education. There are good PIP guides for the lay person available from various sources.

    It is crucial to understand the PIP points allocation mechanism, as it does not use the simple "best fit" approach from ESA. The PIP system is hard to describe briefly, though it is based around the proportion of days each scoring descriptor applies. A full description is in regulation 7(1) of The Social Security (Personal Independence Payment) Regulations 2013 (SI 2013/377).

    With PIP, you can only be assessed as doing something if you can do it safely, to an acceptable standard, repeatedly (as often as reasonably required) and in a reasonable time period (in no more than twice the maximum time taken by someone without a relevant disability). When put together with the points system's foundation in proportion of days, this serves to exclude occasional superhuman efforts, which might be particularly relevant to walking.

    The PIP2 questionnaire - my approach

    My disabilities do not allow me to write more than a handful of words, and, as each PIP2 is individually bar coded, there's no downloadable PDF version of the form. I created my own document which replicated the questions on the PIP2 and answered them. I joyously printed a load of labels saying "See enclosed document" and stuck them over each answer box on the PIP2 before signing and dating the PIP2.

    My assessor commented that it was far more useful to receive a nicely laid out printed document than a poorly structured handwritten form of dubious legibility.

    For each activity, I used the headings:
    • Issues I face
    • Aids and appliances
    • Particular aspects
      • Safety
      • As often as necessary
      • How well could I manage?
      • The time it would take me

    • The legal test

    Issues I face were brief statements like "My ability to sense temperature is impaired", with an explanation of how that issue impairs my ability to carry out the task if it is not obvious. I placed these under headings relevant to my disability (Sensory, Muscular, Concentration, Fatigue, Pain) to keep things organised.

    Aids and appliances listed all the aids and appliances I have, together with any that might be felt relevant by the assessor. In each case, I explained how well the aid or appliance would help me.

    Particular aspects were brief statements to those four key considerations, such as (under Safety) "My sensory problems create a risk of burns", with an explanation relating that statement to the Issues I face.

    The legal test made directly addressed each potentially relevant descriptor in turn. These comments always made explicit reference to the proportion of time I believed I satisfied that descriptor, with justification for the answer given.

    There are many other valid approaches - I have no idea what the various guides suggest. This approach was the way I felt best able to make all relevant points.

    I believe claiming DLA and PIP is about painting a picture, especially for someone like me who has a condition that does not fit into a neat diagnosis. If you explain clearly the problems you have, the effects of your problems and how they relate to the legal tests, it is harder for the decision maker to find against you, especially if your messages remain consistent throughout and your answers are grounded in relevant medical evidence whenever possible.

    I believe it is important to concede points quickly when that is the right thing to do. For example, I explained I can always stand and walk at least one metre. Nothing in the evidence suggested any problem with this and I would likely have had no problem if asked to do this at the face to face assessment.

    Conversely, if there is some fact that appears to contradict your case, explain it. If you can manage something only twice a week, explain why this is the case and the problems you have with that task. That approach is better than leaving apparent inconsistency in your story.

    It is important not to stray into irrelevant matters. There is no point going on about how far I live from the nearest bus stop (unless I am using that distance as a benchmark of my walking ability) or how bad the bus service is, because the availability and quality of public transport are not relevant to the award of the PIP mobility component.

    The face to face assessment

    My assessor, a physiotherapist, had clearly spent a considerable amount of time going through my document and medical evidence, and had some specific questions for me at the beginning of the assessment once the formalities were out of the way.

    Following these specific questions, she asked me to discuss my problems without referring to my document or other notes. This was difficult, as I was tired and many of the problems I face with the various activities are the cumulative effect of several issues. I appreciated that she was attempting to test the credibility of my written answers: had I been unable to discuss the key messages without notes, it would have created doubt over those written answers. As I had been careful to state the extent of my problems without exaggeration, I had nothing to hide.

    She asked me if there was anything I wanted to add to the answers I had given, so I said that my full explanations were in my written submission. It was most helpful to be able to rely on the document at this point.

    My muscles had locked up whilst I had been sitting in my wheelchair, so the assessor said she would be happy to skip the physical examination entirely. Not wanting to turn down the opportunity for her to get "hands on" with my problems, I said I would rather she proceeded but would let her know if it got too much.

    She tested the range of movement in my hands, arms and shoulders, which was severely restricted in some cases with one axis of measurement being recorded at 10% of normal.

    She moved on to my legs and feet, which she tested with me sitting in my chair. She stated that, in her opinion and taking into account her findings that far, it would be unethical to ask me to attempt to stand or walk, which brought the physical examination and the face to face assessment to a close. It had lasted around 90 minutes.

    The result

    As those going through the PIP process will know, there are huge backlogs at present. It took over six weeks from the assessment to the decision:
    • medical on 4 November
    • report received by DWP from ATOS on 6 December
    • decision dated 13 December
    • decision received in the post on 19 December

    I was awarded 23 points for the Daily Living activities, giving me the Daily Living component at the enhanced rate with 11 points to spare.

    I was awarded 12 points for the Mobility activities, giving me the Mobility component at the enhanced rate.

    This is the equivalent of my old highest rate care and higher rate mobility DLA.

    The decision was "on an ongoing basis", with a check on entitlement on or after the tenth anniversary of the claim (July 2023). This is the equivalent of an indefinite DLA award, albeit with an up-front expectation set for an entitlement check.

    The DWP's intention is to make open-ended awards much rarer under PIP. What little I have found on the subject suggests that "ongoing basis" should only be used when there is no more than a slight prospect of a change in condition, and that a long term fixed-length award should be used if there is a greater possibility of change over time.

    I had supplied a report by a consultant neurologist who has been the lead clinician in my care for the past seven years, stating that in his opinion there had been no reversible causes found for my symptoms after exhaustive investigation. After some discussion about how my symptoms fluctuate around a baseline that is either constant or slowly deteriorating, he concluded that there is no realistic prospect of improvement in my condition. I suspect this may be the sort of standard DWP are looking for in order to make an "ongoing basis" PIP award, despite it typically being very hard to obtain such an emphatic prognosis.
    Last edited by Flymo; 13-02-14 at 12:48. Reason: Fixed the bulleted list (hopefully)

  2. #2
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    Mar 2013
    That is one very handy, useful post.

  3. #3
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    Dec 2013
    I just wanted to note that the bullet points listing my headings are slightly mangled in the initial post, and it isn't easy to fix.

    The top level headings are:

    • Issues I face
    • Aids and appliances
    • Particular aspects
    • The legal test

    Particular aspects is broken down in to:

    • Safety
    • As often as necessary
    • How well could I manage?
    • The time it would take me

    Particular aspects is a rather strange title, but I couldn't come up with anything better!

    I stress that the initial post is my personal response to the process, based on making my own successful PIP claim (and successful claims for other benefits in the past), also on the experience gained from being just over half way through a law degree at university. This is neither a wide evidence base, nor am I more than a legal newbie.

    I hope that people can use these comments to improve their own PIP claims. Unfortunately, the benefit is still so new that there is very little experience around to draw upon.

  4. #4
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    Dec 2013
    Quote Originally Posted by ivb View Post
    That is one very handy, useful post.
    I'm glad you found it useful. I would, of course, be interested in other people's comments, views and experiences. If you want, you can use the "Rate this thread" drop-down near the top of the page to vote.

  5. #5
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    Feb 2013
    Thankyou Flymo a very interesting post, and, although hopefully, wont face pip till 2015, will keep this as it is very helpful, thats if you dont mind.

    May I wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy Healthy New Year xx


  6. #6
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    Dec 2013

    The DLA to PIP conversion process

    This is the best information I can find on the DLA to PIP conversion process as it currently stands.

    DLA to PIP conversions

    DWP's Reassessing existing DLA claimants for PIP: fact sheet version 6.0, dated January 2014, provides a useful insight into DWP's current plans.

    Those who were 65 or over on 8 April 2013 will remain on DLA for as long as they are entitled to it. They will not migrate to PIP. New claimants over 65 continue to claim AA.

    New and renewal claimants under 16 continue to claim DLA.

    New claimants aged between 16 and 64 claim PIP.

    Everyone on DLA who is reassessed for PIP can be awarded either rate of the Mobility component. This is important to those who were under 65 on 8 April 2013 but are over State Pension age by the time they are reassessed for PIP, as it gives them a single chance to get a new or increased award of the Mobility component. Normally, those over State Pension age cannot get new or increased awards of the Mobility component - they can only get the same or lower rate of the Mobility component on any reassessment.

    DLA to PIP conversions - 'natural reassessment'

    The first waves of DLA claimants to convert to PIP, known as 'natural reassessment' because an event triggers the conversion, are those:
    • with expiring DLA fixed-term awards
    • reporting changes of circumstances
    • reaching their 16th birthday (unless terminally ill)
    • volunteering to convert from DLA to PIP

    The original intention was that all these groups would claim PIP from 6 October 2013, though, as is widely known, the current lengthy delays in handling PIP claims has led to a slower area by area approach, which involves:

    The DWP is fond of stating that PIP will not affect most claimants until October 2015. This is somewhat disingenuous, as renewal claims are already starting to be redirected to PIP in some areas.

    Those with expiring DLA fixed-term awards who must claim PIP are sent a letter 20 weeks before the DLA award expires inviting them to phone to start a PIP claim. The process works the same way as described below for 'managed reassessment', including extension of the DLA award until the PIP decision is made. The only difference is that no letter giving two months warning of the letter giving the time limit to start a PIP claim.

    DLA to PIP conversions - 'managed reassessment'

    The conversion of those with unexpired DLA awards to PIP, known as 'managed reassessment' because it triggers randomly at the DWP's behest, is due to start in October 2015. The last DLA claimants are due to make their 'managed reassessment' claims for PIP in September 2017. Whether these dates slip remains to be seen.

    The DLA claimant will receive a letter indicating that they should expect a second letter requesting them to claim PIP in two months' time. This should be the trigger to request any supporting evidence they wish to use for their PIP claim, as it can take a while to get hold of supporting evidence.

    The second letter will give the claimant 4 weeks to start their PIP claim.

    Should the claimant fail to claim PIP within 4 weeks of the second letter, the DLA award is suspended and they will get a third letter giving them a further 4 weeks to claim PIP. If they make a PIP claim within the 4 weeks allowed, their DLA restarts with any back money being paid. If they fail to make a PIP claim, their DLA award is cancelled without further payment.

    Once a 'managed reassessment' claimant makes a PIP claim, they will continue to be paid DLA until a PIP decision is made. The intention is to extend DLA awards if necessary to ensure there is no break of payment whilst a PIP decision is made.

    DWP have indicated that those who have a fixed-term award expiring after September 2017 or who have a lifetime award under the Special Rules for terminal illness will be reassessed towards the end of this process.

    This approach is consistent with DWP's belief that a far greater proportion of long standing DLA awards were lifetime or indefinite than was really justified, and that many of these awards have not been subject to any structured review process since being made (though review activity under the Right Payments Programme seems to have increased recently). The figures I recall being quoted are that 71% of all DLA awards have a lifetime or indefinite component, but only around 25% of DLA awards made in recent years has an indefinite component. Unfortunately, I can't find a source for these figures.

    Even if I have misremembered the figures, it is clear a sizeable move away from indefinite awards of DLA has taken place in recent years. As I mentioned in the earlier post, PIP might make more use of long fixed-term awards, further reducing the proportion of awards that are open-ended.

    DLA to PIP conversions - implementation of the decision

    When the PIP decision is made, a notification letter is issued. The claimant gets their next normal DLA payment after this notification, then 28 days of DLA (i.e. one more four weekly payment) after that. At the end of this 28 day period:
    • the DLA award is permanently cancelled
    • PIP entitlement commences if PIP was awarded
    • consequential entitlements, such as entitlement to Motability and to premiums on means tested benefits, change to reflect the PIP entitlement

    Lifetime and indefinite DLA awards have never been immune from review or cancellation

    No DLA claimant aged 64 or less on 8 April 2013 is exempt from the PIP reassessment processes, though it remains a common misconception is that a lifetime DLA award cannot be reviewed or amended.

    Open-ended DLA awards were initially described as "for life" by section 71 of the Social Security Contributions and Benefits Act 1992, but this description was changed by section 67 of the Welfare Reform and Pensions Act 1999 to "for an indefinite period". As the explanatory note accompanying this change makes clear, a DLA award made "for life" remains subject to an ongoing requirement to satisfy the criteria for that award, and the "for life" description does not shield that award from review or amendment. There is therefore no difference between lifetime and indefinite DLA awards.

    There will be some who believe that because they have an open-ended award of DLA that they are entitled to stay on DLA forever, especially if that DLA award was awarded "for life". However, it is a fundamental principle of British constitutional law that no Parliament can bind its successors. Even if Parliament had attempted to ensure that lifetime DLA awards really were for life when the benefit was created in 1992, this could not have stopped Parliament from starting the process of replacing DLA with PIP in 2012.
    Last edited by Flymo; 24-04-14 at 20:27. Reason: Added information about the Mobility component for those over State Pension age

  7. #7
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    Dec 2013
    I wanted to add some clarifications, additional information and suggestions to the material in the original post.

    PIP Assessment Guide

    The PIP Assessment Guide gives information to the assessment providers about the conduct of PIP assessments. It is a useful source of information for a wider audience on the PIP assessment process and PIP in general, though it is a document written for a specialist audience rather than for the general public and is not a definitive statement of the law.

    The activities, descriptors and points

    The official version of the activities, descriptors and points is found in Schedule 1 to The Social Security (Personal Independence Payment) Regulations 2013 (SI 2013/377). This version contains definitions of several key concepts, such as "simple meal".

    Problems are only count if they are a result of your medical condition(s)

    A problem only counts for PIP if it is caused solely by your medical condition(s) (a consequence of regulation 4(1) of The Social Security (Personal Independence Payment) Regulations 2013 (SI 2013/377)).

    This can often be assumed. For example, someone with severe arthritis in their knees and hips will be expected to have walking problems because of their condition.

    Sometimes, especially with mental health problems or with high levels of disability for the underlying medical condition, the assessment provider or DWP might argue the problem is not forced by the claimant's condition, but is at least partly a choice to do or not to do something. To help prevent this, you should explain why you have no choice in the matter. It will help if any supporting evidence explains the medical reasons for the problems claimed.

    It helps to paint a clear picture for the reader. For example, someone who cannot go out unaccompanied because of anxiety could explain how anxiety affects them when going out, the difference someone accompanying them makes and any incidents that illustrate how anxiety affects them away from home. Merely stating "My anxiety means I cannot go out unaccompanied" does not give the reader a clear understanding of how anxiety limits you.

    PIP awards "for an ongoing period"

    Open-ended awards of PIP are "for an ongoing period". This is similar to an indefinite DLA award, but "ongoing period" PIP awards may include a date for an entitlement check.

    Section 2.9.21 of the PIP Assessment Guide suggests that "ongoing period" awards may be limited to situations where the claimant's condition "is highly unlikely to improve or deteriorate". Anyone obtaining medical evidence on prognosis to submit with their PIP claim in the hope of the longest possible award should ask for this evidence to cover the likelihood of deterioration as well as the likelihood of improvement.

    In situations where both PIP components are being awarded at the enhanced rate, meaning there is no scope to award extra PIP if your needs increase, a failure of the available evidence to consider the possibility of deterioration in your condition might lead the Case Manager to shy away from an "ongoing period" award.

    Requesting medical evidence - some suggestions

    It is best practice when requesting medical evidence for benefits purposes to put the request in writing. Your request should avoid leading the clinician in any way over what they write, so as not to undermine the objectivity of their comments. You should include a copy of the letter of request along with the evidence received, so the DWP can see the clinician was given open-ended instructions.

    For example, I could have written to my neurologist along the lines of:

    My reference: <yyyymmdd>/<NI number>

    Dear Dr X,

    In connection with a claim for benefits, I write to request a report on my condition. In particular, I would like your report to include:

    • the length of time I have been under your care
    • your diagnosis or other description of my condition
    • the ways in which my condition fluctuates
    • your opinion on the potential extent and likelihood of a change in my condition in the future (it would be helpful if your comments addressed the potential for deterioration and for improvement)

    Please send your report to me at the above address, quoting the reference above (<yyyymmdd>/<NI number>). I will include a copy of this letter when I send your report to the Department of Work and Pensions.

    I am content to pay a reasonable sum not exceeding 50 for your report. If you feel it necessary to levy a higher fee, please discuss this with me beforehand.

    It would be helpful if you could send my your report before <date needed>.

    Yours faithfully,

    Obviously, you can adapt this model to cover other relevant factors. In my case, I would have also asked my neurologist for his opinion on whether there are any reasonable diagnostic or treatment avenues remaining to be explored. A statement suggesting that nothing further can be done to diagnose or treat your problems tends to support a stable prognosis.

    The bit about the reference serves two purposes. It gets your NI number onto the report, also it makes it clear that the report was written with sight of your letter. <yyyymmdd> is the date in numerals - today would be 20131224.

    By requesting opinion, you step away from the strictly factual reports usually sought by the DWP's assessment providers. The DWP tend to argue their health professional has specialist training in occupational and benefits medicine, which suggests DWP's health professional should be seen as having the most definitive voice. However, on issues where a clinician involved in your care possesses a level of expertise or insight that the DWP's health professional is unlikely to have, having their opinion available can assist both the claimant and the DWP.

    It would have been difficult for a physiotherapist engaged by the DWP to argue successfully against the diagnosis or prognosis applied by a consultant neurologist working in the relevant department of a specialist tertiary hospital.

    The NHS does not cover the cost of providing reports for benefits purposes. 50 is some way short of the full private rate for a consultant's report, but it is polite to offer something if you can afford to pay, also offering payment acknowledges the burden your request places on the author. You might be lucky if you offer what you can reasonably afford. I was really lucky, as both the consultants who wrote reports for me did so free of charge.


    PIP is subject to mandatory reconsideration, which means you must ask for a PIP decision to be looked at afresh before you can appeal to the First-tier Tribunal.

    Reconsideration gives a potentially powerful opportunity to strengthen and clarify your case whilst dealing with any misconceptions.

    A PIP decision letter contains written reasons for the decision, but it might be hard to understand those reasons without all the evidence used. A potentially helpful approach to reconsideration is to phone the DWP to:
    • state that you want the decision reconsidered
    • give broad reasons why you feel the decision is wrong, such as "the decision underestimates the difficulties I face with daily living activities and my mobility"
    • request all the evidence upon which the decision was based
    • state that you do not want the reconsideration to take place until you have had chance to make a more detailed submission in the light of the evidence used

    It is a good idea to reiterate these requests in writing, stressing that the more detailed submission is to follow.

    Once you have all the evidence, you can put together a carefully constructed reconsideration request which aims to guide the decision maker to the correct decision. If you are still unhappy after reconsideration, you have the right to appeal to the First-tier Tribunal.

    IMPORTANT: Your reconsideration request must arrive at DWP on a working day within one month of the date of the decision letter, otherwise you have to show 'good cause' for its lateness. It is not enough to post the reconsideration request within one month. You are advised to use a trackable delivery method and keep the receipt.

    If you are waiting for additional evidence, you should send the reconsideration request in time, noting that additional evidence will follow. "Waiting for evidence" may well not be accepted as 'good cause' for lateness.

    An example of how to explain your problems in a way that maximises the points scored

    A good example of how to maximise the points you score is seen in perditaf (Helen)'s experience. She started with 0 points for both components, so set about thinking why the decision maker might not have understood her problems. Having had her phone call from the decision maker, which is standard when PIP is refused, she made a reconsideration submission that painted a much clearer picture of her problems. She was awarded the enhanced rate of both components following reconsideration, with the award letter making it clear that many of her new explanations had helped.

    I recommend reading the three threads linked in the last paragraph, as they give an excellent picture of how Helen set about explaining her problems in order to maximise the points she scored. Her approach would work just as well at initial claim.
    Last edited by Flymo; 25-07-14 at 16:45. Reason: Add the "Problems are only counted for PIP if they are a result of your medical condition(s)" section

  8. #8
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    Dec 2013
    Quote Originally Posted by Mags4 View Post
    Thankyou Flymo a very interesting post, and, although hopefully, wont face pip till 2015, will keep this as it is very helpful, thats if you dont mind.
    I don't mind at all. My intention was for people to hang on to my contributions to this thread for whatever purposes they find helpful.

    Over time, there may be changes in the regulations. In particular, DWP intend to conduct a review of PIP before the October 2015 proposed start date for conversions of indefinite / lifetime DLA awards. Alongside this, our collective experience with PIP will grow. Whilst some details in what I have written may become invalid over time, I hope my contributions to this thread will remain broadly useful for some time to come.

  9. #9
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    Jul 2013
    'However, it is a fundamental principle of British constitutional law that no Parliament can bind its successors'
    That's for sure.
    I think it also applies to how they themselves feel the next day too.

    All this data is very informative. Is there similar data for ESA changeover?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackball View Post
    Is there similar data for ESA changeover?
    I'm sure there is - but it's not something I have been following that closely. The problem with ESA is almost the direct opposite of PIP: there's very little information about PIP at present, but almost too much information around about ESA. Moreover, PIP has taken some very significant chunks of my life and strength over the past six months since I became an unexpected and somewhat unwilling volunteer, whilst I have yet to have any dealings with ESA.

    Conversions to ESA - another process beset by delays

    What little I know about ESA is that those with SDA (whether alone or in conjunction with IS) are due to be the last group to convert to ESA. This suggests that nobody on SDA will convert to ESA until the conversions from Incapacity Benefit to ESA have finished in their area.

    The proposed end date for all the ESA conversions was April 2014. I have no idea whether they'll issue all the ESA50s by then, but there's really no point issuing an ESA50 unless there are sufficient resources to complete that claimant's assessment process in a reasonable time frame.

    I've tried to keep this thread fairly firmly on PIP, though some of the wider comments on claim presentation and conducting your claim apply equally to ESA.

    If anyone wants to do some research on the ongoing ESA conversion programme (starting by rummaging around, and continuing with wider searches including Freedom of Information Act 2000 requests if necessary) I'd be interested to read their findings - though I'd suggest any such post is best kept for a new thread to keep this one on PIP. My interest is likely to become personal over the next year or so, as I have SDA and don't know when to expect conversion.

    ESA seems unlikely to establish entitlement to PIP, and vice versa

    The lack of comparability between the ESA and PIP tests means one benefit can come agonisingly close to establishing entitlement to the other, whilst not quite getting there. However, it is fair to say that the emphasis of the two tests is different - ESA relates to the workplace whilst PIP relates to the whole of life, meaning there is often little read-across between the two.

    It would be rare for an ESA assessment to establish entitlement to PIP. Even when the descriptors broadly correspond in concept, such as the ESA mobilising test and the PIP moving around one, the PIP test refers to contexts other than the workplace, ignores self-propelling ability in a manual wheelchair, and awards points using a much more complex system than ESA.

    Moreover, the number of points scored in various categories is important to the PIP outcome (and to downstream outcomes such as Blue Badge entitlement). It seems impossible to make any sort of fair or accurate assessment for PIP based on an ESA assessment.

    PIP sometimes gets much closer to establishing entitlement to ESA, especially in relation to mobility.

    The PIP 'moving around' activity does not directly answer the ESA 'mobilising' activity because the PIP activity does not consider the ability to self-propel a manual wheelchair. In my case, that is something which disappeared around 12 years ago leaving me as a power chair user).

    However, the problems with my arms were considered in detail under various of the PIP Daily Living activities at my PIP assessment. If this information about my arms was joined to the conclusion that my 'best fit' walking ability is less than 20m, this clearly puts me into the ESA Support Group as being unable to mobilise more than 50m.

    There seems to be a potential 'quick win' here. All it needs is for the the PIP assessor to answer a yes or no question about whether the problems assessed under the Daily Living activities are incompatible with self-propelling a manual wheelchair more than 50m repeatedly and without stopping.

    A 'yes' answer to this question would mean that the PIP moving around assessment findings can be taken as a best case view of the ESA mobilising activity. Those with a best case walking ability of less than 50m who are assessed as unable to self propel can be put straight into the ESA Support Group with the prognosis taken from the PIP assessment.

    A 'no' answer to this question would not preclude someone establishing their entitlement to ESA in the normal way. Anyone who can walk or self-propel more than 50m cannot get 15 points for the ESA mobilising activity, so could not establish any entitlement to ESA via this 'quick win' route.

    I'm going to send DWP a subject access request to get hold of my PIP assessment report, and may try this argument when it comes to my ESA conversion. It does nob good to enter into a costly assessment process when the evidence already exists to show the relevant criteria are satisfied.

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