Programme Details

Our half-day workshop on PIP examines the structure of Personal Independence Payments (PIP), eligibility criteria, assessments and the appeals process. It enables participants to identify potential entitlement and support your clients to make the most effective applications. Delegates will also explore how to tackle delays in the assessment process, challenge decisions and initiate successful appeals.

Participants will also receive an accessible, in-depth practical guide from claim to appeal, to support clients with all parts of the claimant journey.

About your workshop leader:

Tom Messere has been an adviser since 1987 – before DLA or even Income Support. He has worked in Citizens Advice, Housing Associations, local authority 2nd tier Welfare Rights teams, Social Inclusion Units and cancer charities. He currently keeps his advice hand in as Benefits Adviser with Maggie’s Cancer Care, while being a freelance trainer and writer at www.bigbookofbenefits.com in the rest of the week.

Tom trains in his own right – as Big Book of Benefits - but also delivers courses on behalf of CPAG and Community Housing Cymru. His approach is informed by the accessible, demystifying and very practical approach taken in the Big Book of Benefits and Mental Health, now in its 18th edition, which he co-authors.

Tom is also South Wales rep on the committee of NAWRA – the National Association of Welfare Rights Advisers – www.nawra.org.uk . NAWRA represents 200 member organisations of advisers from across the local authority, housing and voluntary sector and strives to challenge, influence and improve welfare rights policy and legislation, as well as identifying and sharing good practice amongst its members.

About the handout:

The pack contains copies of the slides and a detailed, practical handout in the form of the PIP chapter from the Big Book of Benefits and Mental Health. The general information around PIP applies regardless of someone’s health conditions. While more detailed examples have a mental health focus, seeing PIP in action in one “tricky” area for PIP claims can often inform ideas in others.


08:30 - 09:00
Registration, Tea and Coffee


09:00 - 09:10
Workshop Leader's Opening Remarks


09:10 - 10:00
An Update on PIP

  • Contexts of disability benefits, cuts and key differences from DLA
  • The PIP timetable, who has been affected and what of AA and DLA?
  • The structure of PIP - components, rates and changes from DLA
  • How PIP (and AA/DLA) affects other benefits and cuts under UC
  • Court rulings on disability discrimination
  • Independent Reviews and Work & Pensions Committee concerns
  • Latest PIP reforms
  • A new approach to PIP in Scotland

10:00 - 11:00
Supporting Successful Applications

  • The claim, assessment and renewals process
  • Understanding and applying the descriptors; of points and reliability
  • Form filling tips and what makes for effective supporting evidence
  • PIP and mental health
  • Supporting claimants through the process

11:00 - 11:30
Networking Tea and Coffee Break


11:30 - 12:30
Challenging Adverse PIP Decisions

  • Stages in a challenge: Mandatory Reconsiderations, Appeal and Beyond...
  • Top tips for preparing a case and presenting it at appeal
  • Case law - what is it and how not to be intimidated by it
  • Online resources and access to specialist advice

12:30 - 12:40
Workshop Leader's Closing Remarks


12:40 - 12:40
Close of Workshop




Tom Messere Adviser, Freelance Trainer and Writer

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Venue details

Central London

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