Disability

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Willow is a young woman living with severe mental illness. She has spent time in hospital being treated for acute mental health problems. In spite of this her disability allowance was taken away when she was moved to PIP. A huge drop in her weekly income left her in an emotionally distressing and desperate situation. With the help of her local Law Centre, Willow fought and won an appeal to reinstate her disability allowance and a payment of £2,500 in arrears. The extra money makes all the difference to Willow’s life and gives her the security she needs to be able to focus on her wellbeing.

Mr C went to his local advice agency after he was transferred from Disability Living Allowance onto the replacement benefit PIP. His award had been downgraded so that he lost his mobility vehicle even though he was almost completely immobile as he had had a leg amputated at the hip and suffered continuous incredibly painful infections at the stump so that he was unable to use a prosthetic leg. He also suffers from arthritis, joint and back pain. He did not know how to appeal nor did he have the confidence to do so on his own. The agency caseworker filed an appeal for him and represented him at the hearing where his mobility entitlement was reinstated and he got his mobility vehicle back, which transformed his life and gave him back some independence.

Kamal’s disability meant that he needed day-to-day help and also found it difficult to get around. Although he was receiving Personal Independence Payment to help with the costs of daily living, it didn’t include anything to help with his mobility difficulties. When Kamal asked the Department for Work and Pensions to increase his benefits on account of his mobility problems, they reconsidered the amount he should get.

To his horror, they decided that he was no longer entitled to any Personal Independence Payment at all, and stopped his money entirely. This life-changing decision was taken even though the DWP hadn’t arranged for Kamal to have a new medical examination – something which would have clearly demonstrated the effect of his disability.

The Law Centre helped Kamal to appeal the decision and to gather medical evidence. They argued that the DWP had no legal basis for stopping the existing PIP award. To Kamal’s relief, the appeal tribunal agreed. Better still, they decided that the evidence also showed he was entitled to money to help with his mobility problems. The DWP delayed three months in paying Kamal the arrears of PIP that they owed him, so the Law Centre advisor used their complaints procedure to make sure he received the money he needed so badly.

Willow

“Living with severe mental health problems is challenging. I didn’t know what I would do without my disability allowance. The local Law Centre has given me back my safety and security.”

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