Paul*, 67, contacted Citizens Advice Liverpool for help about Personal Independence Payment/ Disability Living Allowance. He had been receiving an indefinite award, but the new PIP criteria meant that he was reassessed. Paul failed the test, and his DLA/PIP was stopped, so he wanted to appeal the decision.
After speaking to Paul, our benefits specialist considered that the assessment report gave an inaccurate picture of his daily living and mobility needs. She gathered further medical evidence, prepared a written tribunal submission and represented Paul at an Appeal Tribunal which was still rejected.
After appealing to the District Tribunal Judge in Liverpool, a rehearing was agreed, and Paul was successful in his appeal. Paul was paid his new PIP award, an increase in income of £141.10 per week and was also paid lump sum arrears of PIP of £11,238.44.
Because of this win, Paul and his wife were also entitled to extra Guaranteed Pension Credit - a weekly increase of £124.90 and a lump sum back payment of £5011.12!
*At Citizens Advice Liverpool, we provide confidential advice. So while their stories are true, client names and images have been changed.
What is PALS?
The PALS project (Project Advice Liverpool and Sefton), funded by a local benefactor and is now in its Fifth year. It is delivered between Citizens Advice Liverpool and Citizens Advice Sefton to assist clients with the effects of Welfare Reform.
It has the following objectives:
Assisting people in Liverpool and Sefton to have access to and understand the digital channels for claiming benefit entitlements and communicating with the statutory agencies.
Representing people in Liverpool and Sefton with benefit appeals.
Empowering volunteers from Citizens Advice Liverpool and Sefton to deal with complex benefit problems by providing second-tier advice and consultancy.
Training volunteers to ensure consistent quality of advice and information and increasing capacity for helping people manage problems they have with the benefits system and welfare reforms.
The service is one which we see as vital following the withdrawal of Legal Aid for social welfare law that began in 2012. This, combined with the implementation of the Welfare Reform Bill means clients need our help and assistance more than ever.
In 2017/18 the 3 PALS welfare benefits caseworkers In Liverpool and Sefton helped 734 clients and achieved benefit gains for our clients of over 2 million pounds.
The project is expected to run until 2020
If you need specialist welfare benefits advice and representation, you can be referred to the PALS team after attending your local drop-in service.