It’s getting harder for people with ME/CFS to claim the key benefits, Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and Personal Independence Payment (PIP), at the first time of trying.
But, if you’re willing and able to invest time and effort into mounting an appeal to tribunal, your chances of succeeding improve considerably.
First there’s the hurdle of ‘Mandatory Reconsideration’ to overcome. This has been a compulsory part of the process since 2013.
Our new Guide to ESA and PIP Reconsiderations and Appeals takes you through every step of the process, and aims to demystify it. Good luck!
This new guide is now available as a download from our online shop or it can be ordered from head office and sent out to you by post – see the online shop for details.
If you have not been awarded either Employment Support Allowance (ESA) or Personal Independence Payment (PIP), you have the right to challenge the decision. You also have a right to challenge an award of benefit at a lower rate than you think you should get.
But make sure you are absolutely clear in your mind that you meet the criteria for the higher payment as the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) or the Tribunal with whom you lodge an appeal can reduce or stop the benefit. This happens occasionally.
The first step when you appeal against decisions is to ask the DWP for a Mandatory Reconsideration, and you must do this within one month of the date of your decision letter. You cannot launch an appeal to the tribunal without taking this first step.
The full range of ME Association benefits and social care leaflets:
- An introduction to benefits and tax credits
- Guide to completing the PIP application form
- Guide to completing the ESA application form
- Guide to ESA and PIP reconsiderations and appeals
- Guide to Carer's Allowance
- Guide to the Disabled Facilities Grant
- Getting help from Social Services
- The Blue Badge scheme
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