Average waiting for PIP assessment halved – ‘People still left worrying’

The DWP have just released new figures which show that the average waiting time for Personal Independence Payment (PIP) has more than halved since last summer.

Department of Work and PensionsThis improvement is due to a range of factors including:

• PIP assessment providers have almost quadrupled the number of health professionals they employ since the start of 2014;
• Providers have more than quadrupled the number of assessments they are completing as they continue to consistently clear more assessments than referrals;
• Providers have more than doubled the number of assessments they cleared in the second half of 2014;
• DWP Operations has doubled the number of people working on PIP;
• DWP’s decision makers have increased their productivity and have doubled the number of cases they now clear each day compared to April.

Claimants now have an average wait of 14 weeks for an assessment from the time they return their ‘How your disability affects you form’ to DWP. DWP will now rollout PIP to working age Disability Living Allowance (DLA) claimants in an extra 18 postcode areas where the assessment provider has the capacity to handle the increased volume of claims.
From 23 February PIP will be rolled out to working age DLA claimants in the following postcode areas:

Aberdeen (AB)
Blackburn (BB)
Bradford (BD)
Dundee (DD)
Doncaster (D)
Exeter (EX)
Portsmouth (PO)
Preston (PR)
Sheffield (S)
Southampton (SO)
Cleveland (TS)
Wakefield (WF)
Halifax (HX)
Kilmarnock (KA)
Kirkcaldy (KY)
Leeds (LS)
Perth (PH)
Plymouth (PL)

The latest rollout applies to DLA claimants where:

• Their fixed term award is coming to an end;
• Someone is approaching 16;
• DWP receives information about a change in someone’s care or mobility needs;
• Someone chooses to claim PIP instead of DLA.

The majority of existing DLA claimants who have a lifetime or indefinite award will not be affected until October 2015 at the earliest, unless DWP receives information about a change in their condition that would affect their rate of payment or if they reach the age of 16.

“It’s taking an eternity to rollout these benefit changes – with people worrying how they will be affected – with it costing a fortune to implement”

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