Challenging a PIP decision - mandatory reconsideration
If you disagree with the decision that’s been made about your PIP claim, you can challenge it.
You can challenge the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) decision about PIP if:
- you didn’t get it
- you got a lower rate than you expected
- you think your award isn’t long enough
If you want to challenge the decision because your condition has got worse you’ll need to follow a different procedure, so you should get advice from your local Citizens Advice in England and Wales or Scotland.
The latest government statistics show that more than half of PIP decisions are changed after mandatory reconsideration or an appeal to a tribunal, so do challenge the decision if you think it’s wrong. It won’t cost you anything to appeal.
Apply for mandatory reconsideration
The best way to apply for a reconsideration is to use the CRMR1 mandatory reconsideration request form on GOV.UK, or write a letter to the DWP explaining why you disagree with the decision.
You can call the DWP to ask for a reconsideration, but it’s better to have everything in writing. If you decide to call, make sure you follow up with a letter. The contact details will be on the decision letter from DWP.
Check the date on your decision letter. You need to ask for a mandatory reconsideration within 1 month of that date. If you use the form or send a letter, the DWP will need to receive it within 1 month.
If you've missed the 1 month deadline
It's still worth asking for a mandatory reconsideration, as long as it's within 13 months of the decision.
You'll need to explain your reasons for being late - for example if being ill or dealing with difficult personal circumstances meant you couldn't apply in time. Use your form or letter to explain why your application is late, as well as why you disagree with their decision.
The DWP can refuse your application if it's late, but as long as you applied within 13 months of the date on your decision letter you can still appeal their decision at a tribunal.
What you need to say
You need to give specific reasons why you disagree with the decision. Use your decision letter, statement of reasons and medical assessment report to make a note of each of the statements you disagree with and why. Give facts, examples and medical evidence (if available) to support what you’re saying.
Example based on problems preparing food
The report from my medical assessment states I don’t need any aids or help to prepare my meals. This is untrue. I can’t cook any food from scratch - I can only heat up food in a microwave and I need to use a stool in my kitchen.
Example based on mobility problems
I don’t think you have adequately assessed the extent of my mobility problems. You say I can walk 50 metres unaided. In reality, doing this causes me significant pain and would mean I can’t walk for the rest of the day. I have enclosed a letter from my physiotherapist which explains this in more detail.
You can look at the points system the DWP uses to assess PIP claims to see where you think you should have got more points.
It's important to make sure you've got the right evidence. You can use our guide to how the DWP makes a decision to help you.
The DWP can look at your whole award again if you seek a mandatory reconsideration. You should consider whether you risk losing your current award - for example, if you've got evidence to support a daily living component but might lose your mobility award because you can now move about better.
If you need some help with your appeal, contact your local Citizens Advice in England and Wales or in Scotland. Try to get in touch straight away - you might have to wait for an appointment and you only have a month to send your letter in.
Getting your mandatory reconsideration result
The DWP doesn’t have to make the decision within a specific timescale and sometimes it can take several months to get your decision letter - this letter is called a ‘mandatory reconsideration notice’. You’ll be sent 2 copies - you’ll need to send 1 off if you need to go to the next stage of appeal.
If the DWP changes their decision, you’ll start getting your PIP payment straight away. Your payment for PIP will start from the date of the original decision. If you’re challenging the rate you’ve been put on and the DWP changes the decision, they'll pay you the difference for the time it takes them to make the decision.
Don’t be put off if they don’t change the decision, not many decisions are overturned at this stage. More decisions are changed after the second stage of the challenge - if your mandatory reconsideration is turned down you can appeal to a tribunal.
It’s a good idea to check you’re getting all the other benefits you’re entitled to. If you're 18 or over, you can use the Turn2us benefits calculator to work out how much you can get. You can also get help with budgeting.