What should a Mandatory Reconsideration letter contain? How to write an effective letter to start the first part of the DWP appeal process if you are unhappy with a benefits decision.
What should a Mandatory Reconsideration letter for a disability benefit contain?
We often get asked by our members how to write a Mandatory Reconsideration (MR) letter and whether we have any templates that they can use?
We will normally try to find a member of the adviser team to help somebody put together the content of their MR letter and if time allows, we will sometimes also write the letter. However, sometimes time is limited and we don't have an adviser available at short notice. So, what we thought we would do is give you a brief insight into what an MR letter could look like (there are many formats and ways of writing an MR letter and none are more correct than the others)
This is how I tend to set out my MR letters.
The following example of an MR letter provides example content and may be of particular interest to people who have been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. Larger images of the letter can be found towards the end of the article on our web site HERE
Always make sure you are sending it to the correct address! There are many different addresses for the various parts of the DWP and the different regional centres have specific addresses to send post to. Make sure you include your name, national insurance number and the name of the benefit you are applying for in the beginning of the letter.
Provide an overview of why you are writing and asking for an MR to take place.
Provide a list of your medical conditions and maybe consider also including a list of your medication if you think it will help the new Decision Maker to understand how your conditions are being treated.
if there is important information about your daily life that has been missed out of the assessors report, this is the place to write it down and make the Decision Maker aware of them.
I always include a general summary of how the various medical conditions affect the claimant in respect of the symptoms that the medical conditions present themselves as. Remember, disability benefits are awarded on the basis of how the medical conditions affect you and the symptoms of a medical condition provide a valuable insight into how daily life is hampered and made difficult.
Ok, so here is your chance to tell them how rubbish the assessor was! If you have found errors, omissions or misrepresentation of the facts in your assessment report that will potentially affect the award decision write them down in a clear, concise and polite way. Focus on the facts and why you believe correcting mistakes and errors will help the Decision Maker come to the correct decision. If you didn't request a copy of the assessors report from the DWP, you can either ignore this part of the letter or you could comment on any obvious mistakes, inaccuracies or missing information that are obvious from the DWP Decision Makers letter informing you of their decision.
This part of your letter is the bit where you are going to list the descriptors that you think should be awarded to give you the correct benefit award.
List each activity, the descriptor you think should have been awarded and then explain why you should be awarded the descriptor. Provide examples of how you struggle to complete the task in a reliable manner
(see our previous article on this subject here)
Focus on each descriptor in turn and ensure that what you are saying is relevant to the task within the descriptor.
If you going to be sending in some new evidence with your letter, ensure that you list it within the letter. Doing this will bring it to the Decision Makers attention and increase the chances of it being seen and read.
Don't forget to say thank you to the recipient of the letter for taking the time to read it and reconsider the original decision
Our full web page article on Mandatory Reconsideration requests can be found HERE
Our full web page article on the importance of good supporting evidence can be found HERE
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