Ask CPAG Online - What are the risks in disputing a decision?
You need to be aware that when the DWP decides your application for supersession or mandatory reconsideration, or a tribunal decides your appeal, they can award you PIP or more PIP, but can also reduce or terminate your existing PIP award. This is because they are considering your whole entitlement to PIP afresh.
The risk of ending up with less than you started with could arise where you already have an award of PIP and are seeking to secure entitlement to another component or the enhanced rate of a component, or want to dispute the length of your award. You need to be as sure as you can be that you continue to satisfy the disability conditions for the award you already have before pursuing a dispute. This should not put you off from disputing a disability decision where you think you satisfy the relevant conditions.
The law (sections 9(2), 10(2) and 12(2) Social Security Act 1998) states that the DWP or a tribunal (in the case of an appeal) ‘need not consider an issue not raised’ by an application for supersession or revision, or by an appeal. This means that if you make it clear that you are only disputing your entitlement to a particular component or rate, they can decide to limit their consideration to that issue. In the case of tribunals, there is case law suggesting that an existing award should not be reduced or removed unless there is compelling evidence that this is appropriate, and you have been warned and given the opportunity to address the issue (see, for example, CSPIP/33/2015). You can withdraw an appeal by writing to the tribunal at any time prior to a hearing (including where a hearing has been adjourned) if you think you will end up with a less favourable award.