This article will explain what ‘mandatory reconsideration’ means and in what situations can this be carried out. It will also highlight what it applies to and what it does not apply to. Lastly, the article will also introduce what PIP is to the audience and how one can apply for it.
What Does Mandatory Reconsideration Mean?
Mandatory reconsideration refers to when you disagree with the decision over your Personal Independence Pay made by the Department for Work and Pension.
This usually occurs because of the following reasons:
- You strongly believe that the decision makers missed out important information or made a significant error that affected the decision with regards to your PIP benefits.
- You disagree with the decision because of the reasoning behind it.
- You want to have the decision looked at again.
In the above cases, you are legally allowed to file for mandatory reconsideration. However, it must be noted that the mandatory reconsideration can be done only within a month of the decision reaching you or being made.
Mandatory Reconsideration – Where Does It Apply?
Mandatory reconsideration applies to the following areas:
- Attendance Allowance
- Bereavement Allowance
- Carer’s Allowance
- Carer’s Credit
- child maintenance (sometimes known as ‘child support’)
- Compensation Recovery Scheme (including NHS recovery claims)
- Diffuse Mesothelioma Payment Scheme
- Disability Living Allowance
- Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
- Funeral Expenses Payment
- Income Support
- Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit
- Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
- Maternity Allowance
- Pension Credit
- Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
- Sure Start Maternity Grant
- Universal Credit (including advance payments)
- Winter Fuel Payment
However, there are some conditions or areas where it does not apply that include Child Benefit, Tax-Free Childcare and 30 hours free childcare, Guardian’s Allowance, tax credits, Housing Benefit and Vaccine Damage Payment – these involve a different process.
How to ask for mandatory reconsideration
Contact the benefits office that gave you the decision. You can contact them:
- by phone
- by letter
- by filling in and returning a form
- The contact details are on your decision letter.
You need to ask for mandatory reconsideration within one month of the date on your decision letter. If you’re writing, the letter or form must arrive by then.
If you do not have your decision letter, contact the office where you applied for the benefit.
How To Ensure You Get PIP?
There are some steps you can follow to ensure your true condition is properly conveyed to your concerned health professional. Also, you must have knowledge of various symptoms you may experience so that you can include them in your forms or the information you send over to the DWP.
Talk About Your Symptoms
Regardless of how you feel or what you think, your symptoms are what really make the difference! If the condition is affecting you in a physical manner or affects your behaviour then your doctor as well as your employer are more likely to become convinced that your case is serious!
It is important that you talk about your symptoms in detail. Whether it is a headache or a minor cut that appeared on your body – talk about it. Sometimes we take things for granted but they have a relation to what we feel, think or experience.
Stress is the body’s reaction to harmful situations — whether they’re real or perceived. When you feel threatened, a chemical reaction occurs in your body that allows you to act in a way to prevent injury. This reaction is known as “fight-or-flight,” or the stress response. Sometimes stress can result in such severe conditions or exacerbate an existing condition that it affects your daily life.
According to WebMD, the following symptoms reflect stress:
Emotional symptoms of stress include:
- Becoming easily agitated, frustrated, and moody
- Feeling overwhelmed, like you are losing control or need to take control
- Having difficulty relaxing and quieting your mind
- Feeling bad about yourself (low self-esteem), lonely, worthless, and depressed
- Avoiding others
Physical symptoms of stress include:
- Low energy
- Upset stomach, including diarrhea, constipation, and nausea
- Aches, pains, and tense muscles
- Chest pain and rapid heartbeat
- Frequent colds and infections
- Loss of sexual desire and/or ability
- Nervousness and shaking, ringing in the ear, cold or sweaty hands and feet
- Dry mouth and difficulty swallowing
- Clenched jaw and grinding teeth
Cognitive symptoms of stress include:
- Constant worrying
- Racing thoughts
- Forgetfulness and disorganization
- Inability to focus
- Poor judgment
- Being pessimistic or seeing only the negative side
Behavioral symptoms of stress include:
- Changes in appetite — either not eating or eating too much
- Procrastinating and avoiding responsibilities
- Increased use of alcohol, drugs, or cigarettes
- Exhibiting more nervous behaviors, such as nail biting, fidgeting, and pacing
Be Open About Your Feelings
Feelings also matter a lot! One of the most important feelings is that of happiness – it is a universal way to measure your quality of life. However, sometimes we are not happy but unhappy, sad, anxious and stressed out! This can take a toll on our body because how we feel eventually affects our physiological state!
Feelings can also point to serious mental conditions such as depression! If this is the case, your doctor will immediately give you a stress leave. This can also serve to prove that your daily life is being affected.
It is important you clearly tell your doctor what stresses you out. This will enable them to determine whether or not these triggers exist in your office – they are most likely too! Hence, once they have enough information about how you feel and what experiences you have, they are in a better position to get you a stress leave.
Clearly State Why You Need PIP
It is important that you convey what you want your doctor to do – in this case it is getting PIP.
Your doctor must be told why you want PIP benefits and how it will improve your basic quality of life.
Listen To What The Doctor Has To Say
Last but not least, listening to the doctor’s advice is quite important. They are in a better position to tell you what to do. In some cases they will immediately help you get PIP. In other situations they will tell you to wait a bit longer because they may need more evidence.
Book Follow Up Appointments
Show your doctor you are serious and are really in need of help by visiting them regularly! They will see the desperation and help you!
What Is PIP?
PIP stands for Personal Independence Pay that is a non-taxable benefit which can be availed by people who suffer from a long term condition or injury that affects their daily life activities and mobility.
This means they cannot walk properly or carry out simple or basic tasks such as eating properly or doing simple well being tasks like taking a bath. This benefit is given to people not based on the condition itself but the way it affects the person and their life activities.
It takes quite some time because of the information the concerned department has to process with regards to your case. In this case, the concerned department is the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) which will make a decision after you have completed your medical assessment and have sent in other relevant documents such as your claims and the notes made by the health professional during or with regards to your medical assessment.
Thus, the following 3 sources of information are taking into consideration:
- Your Claim
- Your Medical Assessment
- Health Professionals Comments
To process all this information and make a decision, the DWP takes about 12 weeks to get back to you!
To avail PIP you need to be checked by a health professional and undergo some sort of medical assessment as well as fill a form. This assessment has two components to it that affect what you get. These two components are:
- Daily Living Part: The weekly rate for the daily living part of PIP is either £60.00 or £89.60.
- Mobility Part: The weekly rate for the mobility part of PIP is either £23.70 or £62.55.
- Terminal Illness: You’ll get the higher daily living part if you’re not expected to live more than 6 months. The rate of the mobility part depends on your needs.
What you get depends not on the illness but the extent to how much it affects you. It is observed whether or not you are affected by this illness and if so how much; are you able to perform daily tasks or not and can you move from one place easily or not.
This article took a look at what mandatory reconsideration means and when it is applicable. Furthermore, the article also explained how to avail this service. The PIP was discussed in this article and how one can increase their chances of getting it.