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What if my child disagrees with a Personal Independence Payment decision?

Photo: Find out what to do if your child disagrees with a PIP decision

If your child disagrees with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP)’s decision they can ask for a mandatory reconsideration (also known as a revision). They must do this within one month of getting the decision.

They can send in extra evidence at this stage and the DWP may decide it needs further information too. The mandatory reconsideration should take no more than a few weeks. The decision can increase or decrease your child’s benefit, take it away altogether, or confirm the original decision.

So if your child has been awarded any level of PIP it is worth getting independent advice before they send in the mandatory reconsideration.

If your child isn’t happy with the outcome of the mandatory reconsideration they can appeal to a first-tier tribunal. They must do this within one month of getting the decision.

If your child disagrees with their decision they may be able to appeal to the upper tribunal, find out more by reading our resource Appealing Against a Decision by the First-Tier Tribunal.

Mandatory reconsideration

How does my child ask for a mandatory reconsideration?

Your child should contact the DWP by phone or letter saying they feel the decision is wrong and they would like it looked at again. Your child should do this within one month of the date on the decision letter.

The DWP calls this mandatory reconsideration because you must ask the DWP to look at the decision again before you can appeal to a Tribunal.

It’s better to ask for a mandatory reconsideration by letter; send it recorded delivery if possible and keep a copy for future reference.

What if my child missed the one month deadline, can they still ask for a mandatory reconsideration?

Yes, your child can ask the DWP for a mandatory consideration up to 13 months after the decision was taken as long as they have good reasons for missing the deadline – e.g. illness, bereavement etc. The longer the delay, the stronger their reasons have to be.

Can my child appeal if the DWP refuses a mandatory reconsideration?

If the DWP refuses to reconsider your child's case because of the missed deadline, they can still appeal. They'll need to send the letter, saying the DWP won’t consider their late application for a reconsideration, to the Courts and Tribunals Service with an SSCS1 Notice of Appeal form. You can get this form from the Court and tribunal form finder. Send the letter and form to the address on the last page of the form.

Your child should send the letter and form within one month of the date on the letter refusing to accept their request. If your child misses this deadline they may be able to send the appeal consideration up to 13 months after the letter refusing carry out a mandatory reconsideration was sent as long as they have good reasons for missing the deadline – e.g. illness, bereavement etc. The longer the delay, the stronger their reasons have to be.

What if my child was awarded some benefit but think they may be entitled to more?

If your child asks for such a decision to be reconsidered they could lose what they’ve already been awarded. So if they got PIP standard or enhanced rate daily living they're risking a lot of money and potential entitlement to other benefits by appealing. If they just got standard mobility they would be risking less.

Your child should seek advice from our Freephone Helpline, their local Citizens Advice or local council welfare rights team.

Can my child submit further evidence and, if so, what would help?

Yes, a letter from a Teacher of the Deaf, Speech and Language Therapist, Audiologist or Cochlear Implant Team may be useful. See What supporting evidence should my child include with their claim? for more information.

A supporting statement from your child explaining how their needs relate to the PIP descriptors can also be useful. A full list of the PIP descriptors can be found towards the end of our factsheet Supporting Your Child with Filling in the 'How your disability affects you' Questionnaire (PIP2).

We suggest your child provides further information in writing rather than giving it over the phone.

Will this result in a change to the decision?

The DWP changes very few decisions at mandatory reconsideration stage (around 15%) so don’t worry if this doesn’t go well. If your child included useful new evidence this will help their case later on if they have to appeal.

Where can my child go for more information?

Our factsheet, Appealing a Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or Personal Independence Payment (PIP) Decision (England, Scotland and Wales) has lots more information about the appeals process.

Citizens Advice has general information about PIP mandatory reconsiderations.

Disability Rights UK has information about challenging PIP decisions.

Should my child complain as well?

Appealing is usually quite a long process, and your child might want to complain about a bad decision while the appeals process is ongoing. Your child can also complain at the mandatory reconsideration stage. In many cases your child can make a complaint and ask for a revision of the decision at the same time.

Remember: if your child doesn’t request a complaint and revision at the same time they might lose their right to ask for a reconsideration or appeal if they exceed the one month time limit while waiting for the outcome of their complaint.

What if my child’s circumstances change?

If your child is getting Personal Independence Payment (PIP) and their circumstances change or new information becomes available that could change the DWP’s decision, they can ask for their PIP claim to be looked at again. This is called a supersession.

Your child should get advice (for example, they could contact our Freephone Helpline) before asking for a supersession as it could lead to their PIP being reduced or stopped completely.