Response from the Disability Benefits Consortium to today’s Department of Work and Pensions report on Personal Independence Payment

Commenting on the DWPs latest statistics published today about Personal Independence Payments (PIP), Amanda Batten, CEO at Contact a Family one of the charities from Disability Benefits Consortium (DBC) says:

“It’s shocking that only 1 in 5 disabled people have received a decision on their claim for Personal Independence Payments (PIP) since the new benefit was introduced. This means that over a quarter of a million ill and disabled people have effectively been left in the dark while they wait for a decision on their claim – some of whom have been waiting since last August*.

“Today’s report on PIP from the Department of Work and Pensions confirms what organisations in the DBC have already found. We been inundated with calls from people who are waiting months for their claim to go through and have no idea when or even if they are going to get the money they desperately need to help cope with the extra costs of having a disability. This is causing unnecessary worry and pressure on disabled people and their family carers.

“The government must put plans in place to provide support for those in severe financial hardship as a result of the delays. The government must halt further plans to extend the benefit to more people until system is fit for purpose. At the same time, efforts to reduce the delays must not reduce the quality of assessments. We are concerned that the low numbers of people qualifying for PIP are because of tightened criteria that risk leaving many of those in need without the support they rely on.”

The Disability Benefits Consortium (DBC) is a national coalition of over 50 charities and other organisations, including Contact a Family, Stroke Association, Child Poverty Action Group and Parkinson’s UK, committed to working towards a fair benefits system.

  1. Contact a Family is a UK charity providing support to families with disabled children whatever their condition or disability. Last year we helped 340,000 families to access life-changing help. Visit www.cafamily.org.uk
  2. For further information contact: Elaine Bennett, t: 020 7608 8741 or 07599 930 090 e: elaine.bennett@cafamily.org.uk  or Michele Cefai, t: 020 7608 8776 e: michele.cefai@cafamily.org.uk
  3. DBC member the Stroke Association has a number of case studies who are happy to share their experience of waiting for their PIP claim to be processed. Contact: Charmian Walker-Smith, t:020 7566 1528

 *This is based on figures taken from DWP release published today 5 June 2014 https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/personal-independence-payment-official-statistics-june-2014 Figures exclude those claiming under terminally ill rules.

As of March 2014 only a quarter of people 24% (83900 out of 349000) had had a decision (not including withdrawn claims). If you remove those who are not terminally ill  (100% of which get awarded the benefit) only a fifth  20% (68,800 out of 335,100) had had a decision. Of decisions made, 59% received PIP, but if the terminally ill are removed, only half of people are actually getting the benefit.

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