Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is the benefit for adults who need support with certain day to day activities. We have more information about how to claim it.
We’ve been hearing from a lot of people who are having to challenge incorrect decisions about their PIP awards. Most people are successful in getting the decisions overturned, but it can be a complex process. Challenging the decision is a two stage process, first you have a ‘mandatory reconsideration’ and then an appeal. This is a guide to the mandatory reconsideration stage.
Important note if you have been awarded some PIP but believe you should qualify for a higher rate. Whenever you challenge a PIP decision they can review the whole award, so it is possible that you could end up losing the award that you currently have. Be cautious and consider how strong your case is for being awarded enough points to get a higher award.
1) The decision letter
When a decision is made about your award the office must post you a decision letter. You need this letter before you can proceed.
2) Requesting a mandatory reconsideration
To challenge the decision you must ask for a 'mandatory reconsideration'. This is an internal review of the decision. You can request this by phone, but it is best to do so by letter if you can. You must make this request within one month of the date on the decision letter. Don't worry about having to say everything you want to say at this point, the deadline is just for asking for the reconsideration. You can send more information in later.
In your letter include:
- your full name, address and national insurance number
- say that you want a mandatory reconsideration of the PIP decision, and state the date on the decision letter
- ask them to send you copies of all the evidence used to make the decision
- say that you disagree with the decision because you don’t think that they have properly understood your difficulties and support needs.
3) Further information and evidence
Have a look at our points criteria document. Identify what points should have been scored and write a letter to PIP listing these points with explanation for each one. You don't have to repeat everything you've already told them, just a summary. If you have time include this information with your initial letter asking for the reconsideration, if not send a second letter in later.
The PIP office might try to ring you to talk about the mandatory reconsideration, you don’t have to speak to them if you don’t want to. If you want to tell them anything it is better to do so in writing.
Send in any information that you can that backs up the points you have identified. Any sort of information can be relevant as long as it relates to the points. You may have already sent in all the available evidence, in which case it is still possible to get the decision changed by challenging how they have interpreted the existing information.
Evidence can be anything that will help your difficulties and support needs be understood. It doesn’t have to be written specifically for PIP. Here are some examples:
- diagnostic reports / assessments
- information about current or past education support such as an Education Health and Care Plan or Statement of Special Educational Needs
- care plan from social services
- needs assessment from social services
- assessments, plans or letters relating to support needed at university
- assessments, plans or letters relating to support needed in employment
- a diary written by you or by your carer detailing the help you need
- a copy of your medical records.
Our welfare rights adviser provides advice and information about benefits.
Last reviewed 3 March 2017