Non Profit CIC offering expert Welfare Benefit advice on PIP, ESA, DLA & UC. Click Join Now to access all the tools you need to process your claim to the highest possible standard.Join Now
Non Profit CIC offering expert Welfare Benefit advice on PIP, ESA, DLA & UC. Click Join Now to access all the tools you need to process your claim to the highest possible standard.Join Now
Founded in 2013, Fightback4Justice is an award winning, non-profit organisation, providing specialised, expert advice and help on various welfare benefit claims; from advocacy and representation at court to guidance with forms for PIP, ESA, DLA & UC. Although based in Bury we offer comprehensive nationwide support, both face to face and through our email and phone advice line.
In the last few years our success has been so astronomical (we have a 90.9% success rate across all cases) our small but dedicated team are consistently inundated with hundreds of emails and calls to wade through; and as we rely entirely on donations, we have been stretched extremely thin. With this in mind, we launched our Fightback4Justice VIP Platform with the aim of helping as many people as we can.
Our aim with the VIP Platform is to provide you with all the tools you need to process a claim to the highest possible standard. Our resources and services will be available to you every step of the way from the Application Stage to the Upper Tier tribunal. Once you are VIP Member, you’ll have access to our extensive range of Information Factsheets, Completed Example Forms, Template Letters, Document Review Service and Assessment Preparation Service.
On top of this vast library of information and services, our VIP members have access to the VIP Email and Phone service where we guarantee a priority response, allowing you to talk direct to people in the know and get the help you need. To become a VIP Member, please click Join Now.
As a trusted and established name, Fightback has always been a go to source of information for many media outlets on topics such as Welfare Benefits. On many occasions, we have provided assistance to local and national news outlets such a ITV and the BBC.
Towards the end of last year, we were delighted to take part in a report for ITV which aimed to highlight the flaws in our current benefit system. The ITV film crew spent the morning in our offices where they interviewed a number of our past clients and team members. Here is the official video from our recent coverage on ITV Granada Reports. Once again we would like to say a massive thanks to Matt and the Granada Reports team for once again contacting us for assistance when creating their reports on the errors in the welfare benefits system.
UPDATE JULY 2020 – Jenny, The lady featured at the start of this feature came to sign up for our services on that day. This month we successfully advocated in her appeal and we are pleased to report her daughter has won enhanced mobility and standard daily living with our support. We are still to hear about the other gentleman featured in the video.
In the most recent budget, Rishi Sunak announced a reduction from 63p in the pound to 55p in the universal credit taper rate – the amount in benefits a claimant loses for each pound they earn above a set work allowance. The move was intended to compensate for the withdrawal of the £20-a-week uplift which was introduced during the pandemic. Shortly after the announcement, we were contacted by Katie Feehan from the Mail Online for our comments on the changes.
When speaking to Kaite, Michelle commented that ‘This is a budget for the those who are non-disabled or not caring for someone. It is again ignoring people on disability benefits who are unable to work full time. The government don’t care about disabled people and we see this daily in our work at Fightback4justice. One lady told us she felt like a non-person, someone who is glazed over and forgotten about. It’s dehumanising and shameful.’
If you would like to read over the full report in the Mail Online, please click HERE.
We were thrilled to once again be asked to assist ITV News with a report which highlighted the issues faced by claimants when making welfare benefits claims and in particular PIP claims. We would like to thank Andy Bonner and the ITV team for inviting us to be part of their coverage and for continuing to shed light on the difficulties that people with disabilities can often face when processing a claim.
If you would like to check out the full report, please click HERE.
Towards the end of last year, we were delighted to take part in a report for ITV which aimed to highlight the floors in our current benefit system. The ITV film crew spent the morning in our offices where they interviewed a number of our past clients and team members. Scroll down to view the official video from our recent coverage on ITV Granada Reports.
Once again we would like to say a massive thanks to Matt and the Granada Reports team for once again contacting us for assistance when creating their reports on the errors in the welfare benefits system.
This week we have been contacted by Joe Harrigan for a comment in his report on benefits and terminally ill claimants. Michelle commented that ‘It just shows the system is not working, there’s no checks and balances at all, they assessors do not know who has appealed so someone could be writing damningly wrong assessments over and over again and they wouldn’t know’ You can read the full report HERE.
Fightback filled my review form in takes some stress off me there always so friendly and very helpful have been using for a good few years and I will carry on using them they are a godsend
29th July 2021
This is my 2nd time using fight back this time was my esa. Chloe filled my form in for me. I have received letter today saying esa been awarded without medical appointment.. I can breath for another 2/3years.. Thankyou very much to fightback for all ur help ill keep my vip going as ur all worth every penny.. Thankyou all again
28th July 2021
Fightback4justice helped with my husbands PIP forms for the third time, after 3 weeks we received a letter to say ongoing period until July 2031. You have helped so much, we really appreciate all that you do. Cannot recommended enough 10/10.
12th July 2021
Fightback assisted with my son’s work capability assessment for Universal Credit. I used the form filling service and Amy completed the form. This helped to take a lot of the stress out of the process as Fightback have a lot of experience about what to include and what to leave out. I got the result I wanted for my son and I highly recommend this service.
12th July 2021
I used many of the example forms when helping my son move from DLA to PIP and after a long wait we got the news he was awarded pip for three years. The VIP service was excellent, I did have a few worries and questions along the way and their swift replies were always helpful.
I shall continue to support Fightback to enable them to help other people fighting the system.
12th July 2021
Fightback have been so helpful and supportive. I would recommend them to anyone needing help with forms and assessments. Thank-you Fightback team you have been wonderful.
10th July 2021
great help, each person I spoke to made sure I understood what was being said and why. ensured my mother was kept up to date as I requested.
5th July 2021
My son is autistic, and his p.i.p review came March 2021.
Of course i was dreading it. We had only been to court 2 years ago, so the thought of the process all over again had me on edge. My son moved from dla to p.i.p in 2017, in 2018 we won tribunal with the help of fightback and minimal evidence as my son has refused most medical help as his condition gives him anxiety when ANY attention is put on him. So…Chloe completed our renewal form, a huge relief off ny head, so all that was left to do was just sit back and wait to be called in next year for p.i.p process all over again.
This morning…. i recieved a phone call…stating his reward will remain the same….FOR 10 YEARS!!! I almost dropped the phone, i asked the lady if this was a prank, she laughed and said no. After making her repeat “10years” to me 3 times she finally explained why and that my decision letter will be in the post. i still wont believe it until i get that HORRIBLE brown envelope, but Chloe, you are a star. I cannot thank you enough, thats 10years of peace. Thank you
26th May 2021
Hi, just to let you know that my daughter Beth has had her DLA maintained (standard living and low mobility) until 2026. Lucy filled in her forms.
Thank you so much for providing such an incredible service
25th May 2021
I used Fightback’s form filling service to apply for PIP for my partner and also the mandatory reconsideration. I have again used the form filling service for his PIP renewal. This really does take away the stress and the Fightback ladies are so lovely, helpful, caring and thorough. Thank you for all your help.
21st May 2021
Fightback are superhero’s! I have a very rare disease and had been on high rate DLA for 15 years, following my PIP assessment I was awarded 0 points and the same for my MR ! Fightback did exactly what it says on the packet! They fought for me,
Michelle, wrote my submission,which was wonderful and the lovely Sonia was my representative at the hearing
TodayI have been awarded enhanced mobility and standard care and I couldn’t be happier (Evan though I’m crying my eyes out !,)
My whole family want to thank each and everyone one of you from the bottom of our hearts.xx
Ann, Martin, Lizzie and Sally xxxx
13th May 2021
I applied for.pip for my son and was turned down so I did an MR with the help of fight back and I received a call today to say my son has been awarded it
11th May 2021
Hi, thanks to your support and guidance I have been awarded contribution based ESA support group.
No face to face appointment or phone calls, they have done a paper based assessment.
Award has been back dated to the end of march. I applied for ESA at the end of June.
Had to back pay HMRC NI for 2 years but was worth it as I have gotten that amount back & more via ESA.
Without the guides & VIP email advice/check then I don’t think I woukd have had such a smooth experience getting ESA.
Thanks so much to all of you.
I’m so grateful by the way Michelle for you and the teams help. I used the VIP service got my forms checked by yourselves used the help on VIP and I have both awards finally too ongoing. Can’t thank you enough.
I just wanted to say thank you SO much for your PIP review form service and the factsheets/examples that you provide. Syd gave feedback on my completed PIP review before I sent it off, and I am thrilled to say that my award has not only been renewed without any further assessment, but it has also been more than doubled in length compared to last time.
It is such a relief – the transfer from my lifetime award of DLA to PIP for my Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis in 2017 was horrendous, with the DWP deciding to remove all support. That is, until Fightback appealed for me and I was ultimately successful in making a claim. Thank you so much for working your magic again – benefits like PIP really do make a massive difference to someone like me, who wants to get on and live as independent a life as possible in spite of their disability and the associated extra costs. The government are making this increasingly difficult to do and so your service really is a lifeline.
“ Thank you Syd!!
Got my white envelope today. Enhanced Both for 6 years.
(It was a PIP ‘Renewal’, but counted as a ‘new claim’ as I won at Tribunal last time.)
Used the ‘VIP Form Review Service’ and incorporated all the feedback Syd gave me to improve my application. It took 3 weeks from the DWP receiving my form to me receiving my award letter. Last time my application took 2.5 years!!
Shocked & stunned…..
This is the second time I have received help from Fightback.
A few years ago Michelle Advocated for me, with an Appeal to the Upper Tribunal, and attended with me, and supported me, with my (second) First Tier Tribunal where I received Enhanced Both for 5 years. Having Fightback on my side helped enormously.
Need a good cry now!
Thank-you Fightback xx”
Sorry I did try and do a Google review, but don’t have an account. So can I leave anon feedback please – thank you so much for all the support Fightback have given me and my family, after a long fight, we have finally been given middle rate care for my daughter, who had it removed by DWP 3.5 years ago, we managed to get a low award on appeal, but now on renewal we have got middle care rate until she is 16 (2.5 years award) . I had thought about giving up at times, but thankfully with Fightback’s help – we didn’t! They are brilliant and I would recommend!
I have meant to email sooner. Just wanted to say a huge thank you. You looked over the MR I did and sent me some pointers and I went through all the information available in the VIP files. After sending everything off we received a phone call from the assessor to say she was looking at everything we had written and would have a decision later that day. She then called us back and he had gone from getting 2 points to enhanced care and standard mobility up to 2024.
I cant thank you enough for all the information that was made available, I wish I had contacted you earlier.
We had paid the monthly VIP charge and it was well worth it – we have kept this in payment. Keep up the good work.
I am so grateful to you, and all at Fightback4Justice, for assisting me with my PIP appeal. If it hadn’t been for your advice and encouragement to go through with the appeal I would certainly have pulled out. I was appealing against the award of Standard Mobility which had been granted by the DWP and have now been awarded Enhanced Mobility until 2030. To say I am thrilled is an understatement and I put this all down to Michelle’s assistance.
Thank you once again.
Dear Amy and all at fightback4justice,
Just to update you on my son’s mandatory reconsideration:
From being assessed as scoring only 2 points initially For making budgeting decisions, we are pleased to feedback that David was awarded14 points in daily living and 12 points under planning and following a journey (this is the first time this difficulty has been recognised in support of him). This means he has been awarded enhanced PIP in both Daily Living and Enhanced until September 2023
I would have loved to have been a fly in the wall as we got a copy of the GP form she sent to PIP were it stated David was unable to go out alone and all his other issues, which was referred to incorrectly in their feedback for their assessment and we highlighted the discrepancies of this.
Additionally to this your feedback on how to set out David’s MR and other advice was invaluable, we cannot thank you enough for all your support. If you would like a copy of our David’s MR for you vaults we are more than happy to share it.
I will continue paying the VIP direct debit to enable your organisations work
Wishing you all a very happy and safe 2021
Hi Karen & Amy,
I am amazed, but have received notification today that I have been awarded the enhanced rate for daily living and the enhanced rate for mobility for 10 years, to 2031.
Many thanks to you all for the help and assistance with the application. I really am surprised that I got anything at all after hearing of so many people being rejected.
‘More good news after using our VIP factsheets and example review forms…with no assessment 🙂
Just want to say thank you I used your vip to do my pip review forms, they have kept my award at enhanced on both for 3 years minus a face to face, or telephone consultation or anything else, thank you so much, you are well and truly amazing xx
There are no upcoming events at this time
We are delighted to share the news that our drop in sessions are now officially back open! We would like to thank our local mayor, Tim Pickstone who officially announced the return of our drop ins at the Mill Gate Shopping Centre in Bury in September.
Our free drop in sessions are a great chance for you to come and meet our team of Lawyers, Advocates and Form Fillers to get advice on any welfare benefit related query including PIP, ESA, DLA or Universal Credit.
We are able to host these free events as part of our not for profit work. Every penny that is generated from our services such as the VIP Platform is put back into helping as many people as we can, as often as we can.
No appointment necessary, just turn up. Disabled Parking and some disabled access available. Please note our general office toilet is up 3 small steps and non wheelchair friendly owing to building layout. Our sessions are hosted at Fightback HQ in Tottington on the first Wednesday of every month.
If you would like to come down to get assistance, please get in touch to let us know that you are coming.
Every new year we work out of official legal figures which are available for scrutiny, see photos.
Sharing our official figures for 2017-2020 for our advocacy appeals to the Lower Tier Tribunal.
2019 – 90.9% success rate overall in all appeals last year 31.6% were overturned AHEAD of a hearing. this is from 386 appeal hearings mostly via telephone.
2019 pre Covid, we attended or representing via distance in 436 Appeals and won 89.9% of these.
2018 it is 298 appeals with 89.5% overall success rate.
2017 was 200 appeal hearing at 80.5% overall success rate.
2013-15 we attended around 200 a year and did not keep official figures but most were overturned.
So when you see we have 90.9% this is from literally over 1000 appeal hearings we have advocated in as a legal team over the years, not just a couple.
We have long standing legally qualified advocates in welfare benefit law, and interact with the tribunals on a daily basis.
Upper Tier work, today we had word that we had again made legal history by having yet another lower tier decision overturned in the Upper Tier tribunal, our 30th to date.
If you are part of a working household that receives tax credits, you may be eligible for a new one-off payment of £500. The payment is being introduced to provide extra support after the temporary increase in working tax credit – that was introduced for the pandemic – ended as planned on 5 April. HMRC have released further details regarding the payment. A reminder – this payment replaces the ongoing uplift which was introduced due to COVID-19. HMRC have confirmed that:
– Claimants do not need to make a separate claim
– Eligibility will be confirmed either by text message or letter
– Payment should be received into the same bank account that tax credits are paid into by 23 April 2021
– The payment is not subject to Income Tax or National Insurance and does not need to be reported in a self-assessment declaration.
– The payment does not count as income for Housing Benefit.
For more information, please contact a member of the Fightback team.
Face-to-face assessments for Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit (IIDB) claimants in England will resume from 12 April 2021. Face-to-face assessments for Work Capability Assessments (WCAs) (for claims for the additional health amount of Universal Credit and Employment and Support Allowance) and Personal Independence Payment (PIP), will resume from May. Initially, this will only be for those who we are unable to fully assess by other channels.
People will be invited for their appointments by letter, which will clearly set out what to expect at their appointment.
Face-to-face assessments will take place alongside existing paper-based assessments, and telephone assessments (for WCAs and PIP), which will continue to take place where suitable.
From 12 April, jobcentres in England, Scotland and Wales will return to their pre-lockdown opening hours.
While jobcentres have remained open and fully operational throughout the pandemic for those who really need it, and Work Coaches have continued to support all their customers virtually – opening hours were temporarily shortened to 10am to 2pm at the start of this national lockdown in line with the toughened restrictions.
This is usually an indication that other services such as work focused interviews may be restarted face to face. We will post more as we hear it.
At the end of each year, Amanda collates our official figures for the claimants we have represented in court as full legal advocates. These figures are made up of cases which we have taken on for PIP, ESA and DLA and UC.
2020 was an extremely challenging year for Fightback. The disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic meant that from April, all appeal hearings took place via phone hearing. This meant that with short notice, we had to create a dedicated space for telephone appeals. We also had to contend with the constant changes in local restrictions and laws and last minute notice of these appeals of as little as 3 days. This would often leave us short staffed at numerous times due to quarantine periods and child care needs, but our legal advocates managed to attend all of the ones we were requested presence on.
With this in mind, we are delighted that we have managed to increase our win percentage rate to over 90% on average. We are extremely proud of this record and will strive to increase it once again in 2021.
Total of all Appeals – 386
Overturned early – 122 – 31.6%
Overall Success Rate – 90.9%
Total of all Appeals – 436
Overturned early – 74 – 17 %
Overall Success Rate – 89.9%
2018 – 298 Appeals at 87% success rate
2017 – 200 Appeals 89.5% success rate
It’s with the help and support of all of our followers and members that we are able to achieve such fantastic numbers on behalf of our clients. We would not be here, and would not be able to do what we do without you. While we know 2021 will be a challenging year, we are looking forward to helping as many people as we can and striving for fairness and justice in the benefits system.
We would like to take a moment to thank each and every Fightback follower for their continued support during the past year. It has undoubtedly been an extraordinary 2020 in every sense of the word. Like many charities and organisations across the UK, we were severely impacted by the Covid – 19 pandemic but we are please to say that, whilst we’re not out of the woods yet by any means, we were able to adapt, improvise and overcome obstacles to ensure we could deliver help and assistance to people who rely on us.
Despite the challenges we have faced, we’re delighted that we have been able to assist hundreds claimants over the past year. We are currently calculating our success rate for 2020 but early indications suggest that we achieved over 90%. We’re extremely proud of this figure which is even greater considering we were short staffed at several points over the year due to COVID-19 government guidelines and laws.
Our services have included free advice, assessment preparation, form filling, video court hearings and our VIP Platform services to mention a few.
Towards the second half of the year, we were able to create the Fightback4Justice Hometeam thanks to a local grant. This allowed us to visit and aid people in the community who were not able to leave their homes due to shielding. The role of the Hometeam has been crucial to so many people who had been suffering from a wide range of conditions such as depression, anxiety and a feeling of isolation brought on by the pandemic.
We’re very much looking forward to a brighter 2021 and we can not wait until we can bring back our face to face services such as office appointments, FB4J Roadshows and our monthly drop ins.
Thanks once again for your support.
We’re delighted to welcome a brand new member to our team this week so please give a warm welcome to Sonya. Sonya joined Fightback in 2020 and brings with her a wealth of experience in health care and science. She studied Medicine and Surgery at The University of Liverpool, with further specialised study in women’s health at The University of Manchester. Sonya has held clinical roles within the NHS and private sector throughout the North West of England. Her experience incorporates many medical specialities, along with dentistry and laboratory scientific analysis.
Whilst recuperating from a debilitating accident, Sonya completed further study at The Open University. This included English law and legal research. She graduated with First Class Honours.
Sonya works part time in the legal department at Fightback. She is ideally suited to the intricate analysis and evaluation of medical evidence that is involved in a great deal of our work. Her role as a legal advocate involves drafting legal documentation for the court, liasing with clients and representing them in court.
For the other half of the week, Sonya continues her postgraduate legal education. She is currently studying an LLM at Liverpool John Moores University before she begins her vocational barrister training. Sonya is delighted to have found a role that incorporates all aspects of her academic study and experience. Ske looks forward to a long and fulfilling career here at Fightback.
DWP have suddenly announced that they have changed the safeguarding procedure for vulnerable claimants.
This is not including past claimants but in future, a case conference will take place first rather than DWP just stopping benefits if a claimant fails to attend a work capability assessment (WCA).
This follows Upper Tier ruling where the court deemed it to be unfair. Since then we have successfully argued everyone of the cases we have submitted as Mandatory Reconsideration for failure to attend.
The change may also have happened because the DWP are in court for a two day hearing soon brought by the family of Errol Graham.
Errol who sadly starved to death in June 18, after his benefits were stopped because he failed to attend a WCA.
This was done without DWP checking on his mental or physical health wellbeing, even though he was known to have serious mental health issues.
The family are challenging DWP’s safeguarding procedures and the family’s lawyers are set to scrutinise the guidance issued to DWP decision makers.
Pip and UC important caselaw for terminal illness 2020] NIQB (N Ireland) as a Judicial Review case it is most likely to impact rules on if terminal illness awards ie proof you will be dead in 6 months. This has now been said to contravene art 8 human rights act – right to family live and peaceful enjoyment of your home/belongings (includes money) meaning in your dying days.
It won’t change rules yet as still ongoing but likely to in coming year.
High Court holds that special rules for terminal illness, in case where claimant cannot demonstrate their death can be reasonably expected within six months, are ‘discriminatory and ‘manifestly without reasonable foundation’
Upon careful scrutiny of all the evidence, I can find no evidence, justification or rationale to explain why the applicant was not deemed to be entitled to the enhanced rate of PIP for activities of daily living and the standard rate of mobility from the date when her terminal diagnosis was confirmed. This difference in treatment is manifestly without reasonable justification and is, therefore, in breach of Article 14 ECHR in conjunction with Article 8 and Article 1 of Protocol 1.’ (paragraph 104)
‘Again, upon careful scrutiny of all the evidence, I can find no evidence, justification or rationale to explain why the applicant was not deemed to be entitled to the LCWRA component of universal credit from the date on which she made her claim for universal credit. This difference in treatment is manifestly without reasonable justification and is, therefore, in breach of Article 14 ECHR in conjunction with Article 8 and Article 1 of Protocol 1.’ (paragraph 106)
At the end of each year, we take a moment to tot up our results of the course of the year so that we can provide an accurate figure on cases which we have taken on and have achieved a successful results on.
This year has been the busiest yet for fightback and we are over the moon with what we have managed to achieve. Our figures on overturned appeals for the past three years can bee seen below as a percentage. Don’t forget that we did over 880 appeals last year. Keep this in mind when you read over our percentage win rate.
2017 – 89.50% Success Rate
2018 – 87% Success Rate
2019 – 89.90% Success Rate
It’s with the help and support of all of our followers and members that we are able to achieve such fantastic numbers on behalf of our clients. We’re excited to keep this successful streak going in 2020 and for many more years ahead!
Through Disability Confident, DWP are working with employers to ensure that disabled people and those with long term health conditions have the opportunities to fulfil their potential and realise their aspirations. We have been assessed and meet the criteria for a disability confident employers/voluntary organisation.