PIP ‘failing too many disabled people’ as welfare system needs ‘overhaul’ – what’s needed?

Coffey questioned on Universal Credit uplift and legacy benefits

When you subscribe we will use the information you provide to send you these newsletters. Sometimes they’ll include recommendations for other related newsletters or services we offer. Our Privacy Notice explains more about how we use your data, and your rights. You can unsubscribe at any time.

PIP claims have reached the highest level on record according to newly released data from the DWP. These statistics concern PIP claims up until 2021 and while the DWP detailed some ongoing disruption was caused by coronavirus to the application process, but progress has been seen in the first quarter of 2021.

In the months leading up to April, a number of records were reached, which included the following:

  • 170,000 registrations for new claims were made, the highest quarterly level of new claim registrations since PIP began
  • 26,000 reported changes of circumstance were made, also the highest quarterly level of change of circumstance activity since PIP began
  • 22,000 registrations for DLA reassessments were processed
  • 110,000 planned award review registrations were processed
  • 65,000 mandatory reconsideration registrations were processed

However, in examining the figures, Scope, the disability equality charity, warned worrying trends are emerging.

Scope warned the tribunal data for the latest quarter shows 72 percent of new claim registrations were overturned.

Louise Rubin, the Head of Policy and Campaigns at Scope, commented on this.

She said: “With more PIP applications than ever, it’s crucial the Government makes sure assessments are right first time.

“These figures show the system is still failing too many disabled people, who have to go through stressful and lengthy tribunals to get the support they need.

PIP UK: Claimants may be eligible for vehicle tax reductions [INSIGHT]
PIP warning: One state benefit may make you ineligible for payments [WARNING]
Martin Lewis quizzes Citizens Advice boss on PIP rules

“We need a welfare system and assessment process that gets it right first time.

“The Government must use the upcoming green paper to overhaul the system, and iron out routine inaccuracies and mistrust.”

Specifically, Scope urged the following changes to be introduced and/or prioritised:

  • Assessments accurately capture disabled people’s needs
  • Claimant choice over assessment format (video, telephone, etc)
  • Fully accessible system from start to finish
  • Ensuring assessors have appropriate knowledge of the claimant’s condition or impairment
  • Greater information-sharing between different benefit processes, with the claimant’s permission
  • Greater transparency and accountability of assessment providers

As it stands, PIP can be received by those aged between 16 and state pension age.

Additionally, they must also have a physical or mental health condition or disability where they have had difficulties with daily living or getting around (or both) for three months.

Additionally, these difficulties must be expected to continue for at least nine months.

Claimants will also need to have lived in England, Scotland or Wales for at least two of the last three years, and be living in one of these countries when they apply.

Claims for PIP can be made by telephone, textphone or through the post and following an initial claim, most people will go through an assessment process.

During this process, an independent health professional will assess the claimants condition(s) and determine how much should be awarded.

Should a claimant be unhappy with a decision on their claim, they can have it challenged under mandatory reconsideration rules.

PIP claims may also be routinely reviewed going forward to ensure the correct amount of money is paid out.

Source: Read Full Article