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PIP waiting time figures released – charities respond

Response to Mark Harper’s evidence to the Work and Pensions Select Committee on delays to the Personal Independence Payment (PIP).

Rosanna Singler, Co-Chair of the Disability Benefits Consortium, a national coalition of over 50different charities, said:

“News that waiting times have dropped by a few weeks is welcome but it’s a reduction in just one part of a multi-step process. It will be cold comfort to the many disabled people facing delays of six months or more to receive this essential support.

“Many of those left waiting for such long periods are left in financial turmoil, isolated and unable to access the support they need, like a specialised wheelchair or transport to hospital appointments. Disabled people deserve support to meet
these costs while they wait.

“Receiving this payment gives access to other benefits so disabled people are also losing out on additional support such as housing costs and bus passes. Although PIP is backdated, some of these other benefits are not, so people lose out even
further while they wait.”

Notes

  • Disabled people need extra financial support for the extra costs associated with their impairment or condition. Disabled people spend £550 a month on costs directly associated with their condition or impairment on average and one in 10 spend over £1,000. (E. Brawn, Priced Out: Ending the financial penalty of disability by 2020.)
  • Waiting time figures have been released – they can be accessed here.

Summary of DWP Results:

PIP New Claims (Normal Rules) – Registration, Assessment Provider Referrals and Returns and Total Clearances:

Between 8th April 2013 and 31st December 2014 over 523,000 new claims (normal rules) have been referred to the assessment providers, with nearly 388,000 having been returned (74%). As at 31st December 2014, a total of 625,000 new claims (normal rules) had been registered. The gap of around 100,000 claims between the number of
registrations and referrals to the assessment providers exists because;

  • some claims have either been received recently and are still with the claimant for completion and return of Part 2 information and evidence; or
  • the claimant may have chosen to withdraw their claim; or
  • the department has disallowed the claim before it was referred to the assessment providers (due to failure of basic eligibility criteria or non return of the Part 2 information within the time limit).

Although the number of referrals to the assessment providers has remained broadly constant at around 30,000 per month, the number of returns from the assessment providers has increased each month, with over 52,000 being returned per month since October 2014.

By the end of December 2014, DWP had cleared a total of 441,900 new claims (normal rules). The number of clearances are higher than the number of claims returned from the assessment providers, as clearance figures also include claims that have been withdrawn and claims disallowed prior to the claim being referred to the assessment providers. Clearances have been
increasing each month and between January 2014 and December 2014 the number new claims (normal rules) processed has increased by four times from around 14,000 to 60,000 per month.

Of the total new claims (normal rules) clearances between April 2013 and December 2014;

  • nearly 216,000 (49%) were awarded PIP;
  • around 64,000 (14%) were disallowed pre-referral to the assessment providers (due to failure of basic eligibility criteria or non-return of the Part 2 information within the time limit);
  • 143,000 (32%) were disallowed post-referral to the assessment providers (due to the claimant not scoring enough points at the assessment to be awarded the benefit, or the claimant failing to attend the assessment without good reason) and;
  • just over 19,000 (4%) of claims were withdrawn by the claimant.

The average (median) PIP new claims (normal rules) clearance time between referral to and return of claims from the asessment providers peaked in June/July 2014 at 30 weeks, but has been reducing since, to 14 weeks for cases returned between 1st January and 25th January 2015.

PIP New Claims (Normal Rules) – Outstanding Claims:

As at 25th January 2015, just over 110,000 new claims (normal rules), that had been referred to the assessment providers, were outstanding with either the assessment providers or DWP. The number of new claims (normal rules) outstanding with the assessment providers was around 98,000 as at 25th January 2015. The number of new claims (normal rules) outstanding with DWP for a decision was just over 12,000 as at 25th January 2015. Table 3 also provides information on the percentage of claims referred to the assessment providers that are still outstanding. As at 25th January 2015, 20% of referrals to the assessment providers were still outstanding (with 9% outstanding over 16 weeks).

PIP New Claims (Special Rules) – Registrations and Clearances:

Between 8th April 2013 and 31st December 2014, just over 27,000 new claims (special rules) had been registered and 32,000 new claims (special rules) had been cleared. There are more special rules clearances than registrations as some claims transition from normal rules to special rules during the claimant journey and hence may not be special rules at the point of
registration but are by the point of clearance. Claims can also transition from special rules to normal rules during the claimant journey but this is less prevalent. The number of registrations and clearances for special rules new claims per month is stable at between 1,500 and 2,000 claims. This can be seen in figure 4. Of the total clearance between April 2013 and December 2014, the majority (96%) were awarded PIP, with only a small number of claims either being withdrawn by the claimant or disallowed pre- or post-referral to the assessment providers.

The average (median) PIP new claims (special rules) end to end clearance time fell from 11 working days in January 2014 to 6 working days in October 2014, and is now at an average of 7 working days for cases cleared between 1st January and 25th January 2015.

Contact Points for Further Information:

Press enquiries should be directed to the Department for Work and Pensions press office:

Media Enquiries: 0203 267 5129

Out of hours: 0203 267 5144

Website: www.gov.uk

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