Improving communications with claimants of Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is just one of the recommendations from an independent review of the benefit that has been accepted by DWP.
Paul Gray was appointed to carry out the first of two independent reviews of PIP required by the 2012 Welfare Reform Act. Findings from the review were published in December 2014 and included 14 recommendations covering:
• Improving the claimant experience, particularly through clearer communications;
• Clarifying and improving the collection of further evidence to support assessments;
• Improving the overall effectiveness of the PIP assessment in delivering the policy intent.
DWP will respond in two stages. The initial response focuses on the review’s short-term recommendations, action that DWP is taking to address them and the wider work that is being done to support PIP claimants through the process.
Significant improvements have already been made to claimants’ experience of the PIP process, the delivery of the benefit and the length of time it takes to process individual claims.
The department has worked closely with the independent assessment providers, ATOS and Capita, to quadruple both the number of health professionals and decisions that were made each month during 2014.
DWP continues to work alongside disabled people and their representative organisations, particularly the PIP Implementation Stakeholder Forum Improvement Working Group, to consider its response to Paul Gray’s recommendations.
DWP intends to provide a full response to address the medium and long-term recommendations in due course. These require further consideration due to their broad scope and wider implications. This includes the recommendation by the Smith Commission to devolve disability benefits in Scotland.
The Government’s response to the PIP independent review is available at Focus on Disability