An independent review of how the Personal Independence Payment (PIP) assessment is working is being commissioned by The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). Paul Gray has been appointed to undertake the review. We contributed to a joint response with Inclusion London and information on the original call for evidence is available hereWe said “Our experience of the PIP assessment process is based on supporting disabled people in Merton to make PIP new applications. In summary, our experience to date shows that the overall process is taking much longer than the 26 weeks estimated by the DWP, that medical assessments are not well managed, and that overall PIP applicants are being subjected to unnecessary stress and they are unable to access other linked entitlements such as freedom passes or blue badges.Individual Examples*:
- Jane is a mental health service user who applied for PIP in September 2013. There were considerable delays on her case and she was finally allocated a medical assessment in March 2014 following the intervention of her MP. Although Jane lives in Merton, her medical assessment was in central London, which was difficult and expensive to get to. Jane’s application was turned down. She has appealed and is still waiting for an appeal date.
- Mary applied for PIP on 6th January 2014. She has been waiting for a medical assessment date. She has been told that the delay is because she has been allocated a home assessment. She has not been given the option of going to an assessment centre.
- John has applied for PIP on 20th February 2014. His application is still in scrutiny and he is still waiting to find out whether or not he will have to attend a medical assessment. *All names have been changed”
The review was published in December 2014. You can find out more here
The recommendations focus on 3 main areas:
- improving the claimant experience
- clarifying and improving the collection of further evidence
- the overall effectiveness of the assessment