Personal Independence Payments Statistics

The Department of Work and Pensions has published statistics on the take up of the new benefit.

Most of the figures relate to new claims rather than reassessments so the claims are mainly for people under the age of 25.

The national figures go into a lot of detail about particular conditions.  So we now know that throughout the UK, there have been successful claims from 2,858 people with Down’s Syndrome and 354 people with Fragile X syndrome

For people with autism, there were 17,257 people with autism and a further 9.764 with Asperger’s Syndrome.

The figures for Scotland did not go into so much detail and only gave the global category for people.  There were 2,444 awards for people with learning disabilities and 2,234 for people with autism.

The percentage of people in both categories are 10% lower than the national figures.  So we will be keeping an eye on this over the next couple of years to make sure that assessors in Scotland are applying the same standards as the rest of the UK.

PIP Statistics Update

The latest official statistics on Personal Independence Payments from the Department of Work and Pensions up to April 2017 is now available here.

 

What’s going wrong with Personal Independence Payment?

Created on 27 May 2014

Tens of thousands of people have been waiting over ten months to get the new benefit for the first time—without any payments in the meantime.

By December 2013 there had been 229,000 claims but only 43,800 decisions.

A fall in success rates

Under DLA 45% of claims were successful before appeal but under PIP only 37% of claims have been successful before appeal.

The problems

The Length Of Time Taken To Do Assessments.  The new PIP assessment is more complicated than people realised and is taking twice as long to complete as thought.

Making A Claim –  New  people have to make a telephone call to make a  claim. People are struggling to get through and, once they are on the phone,  the call can take half an hour or more. The questions are quite hard but making the claim on the phone establishes the date of Claim so is crucial.

Completing a Claim. – After the phone call you are sent an individually addressed and barcoded form  which can take 2 hours to complete.  This is very hard  for people to do.

Missing Forms. – If a form is not sent back then the claim is still passed over to ATOS but an assessment will have to be carried out.  This problem means there are more assessments than expected.

Lack of Supporting Evidence –  Very little supporting evidence from GPs, support workers and other care workers  is being sent in so only 2% of claims are being settled without a medical assessment instead of a planned 25% leading to delays.

STOP PRESS – Turning Nasty?

An internal whistle blower has now said that the DWP is tightening up on how they allocate points so that assessors can make clear, quick decisions.  Medical evidence will be essential to prove need.  Only needs actually met and not likely to be met will count.  The likely result of this is that  many more people will be turned down at first assessment.

 

Personal Independence Payment News

Created on 15 January 2014

In the first 6 months since Personal Independence Payment has seen almost 200,000 new claims being made but the system is so slow that only 30,000 claims have been dealt with.

So far about half of those have been approved for a PIP award – 15,000.  The DWP say they have had very few appeals or reconsiderations and put this down to the way that they have explained the process and made sure people understand how decisions are made.

There have been significant holdups in the process.   The original estimate was that it would be a 12 to 15-week timeline in terms of getting through the process, right through from application and initial phone call to the decision.  The process is taking longer than that in most cases, and there are probably three main reasons for that.  The first reason is that in terms of the initial phone call, we have got more people not getting through the security questions than we expected. More people are falling out of the security questions.

That builds in a few days’ delay while the claimants are contacted to try to establish that the DWP are confident about their identity, and they can get through the security process.

The second reason is that claimants are taking longer to return the claim forms.  Once they have made the initial registration over the phone, which is capturing basic information, then they are sent a claim form that is “How your disability affects you”, and a lot of that focuses on making sure they have a mix of tick-box areas and free-text areas.  There is strong encouragement for the claimant at that point to provide any medical evidence they have available to them, and claimants are taking longer.  There is four weeks to return that form; most are taking longer than four weeks to return that form, on average, so that is building in time delay. So far the DWP is allowing such claims to be valid

The last reason is that it is taking longer for the assessment providers to undertake the assessment, book the appointment, go through the assessment process, have that through their audit process, and then back to the DWP decision-makers to make the final decision.

 

Created on 27 November 2013

Will benefits change for disabled people?

We intend that people living in Scotland and in receipt of Disability Living Allowance will not be migrated to Personal Independence Payment.

We have also committed to abolishing the “bedroom tax”, saving 82,500 households in Scotland – including 63,500 households with disabilities and 15,500 households with children – an average of £50 per month.

In addition, this Government proposes to launch an urgent review of the conditionality and sanctions regime, and review the system of assessments for disability benefits. Then, as the new independent benefits system is developed, we will work with disabled people and others with an interest in how to improve things further.

 

Created on 27 November 2013

On Tuesday 26th November the Scottish Government published its White Paper on Scottish Independence called Scotland’s Future – A Guide.

It looks at lots of issues across Scotland and many of these issues will benefit people with disabilities and their families even though they are not menitioned directly.  For example many families with disabled children will benefit from the extra childcare on offer as both parents will be able to go out to work and the families will be better off.

The main policy statements that affect people with disabilities directly are

An end to the welfare reform changes.  The paper suggests that by 2016, the government’s move of people to Universal Credit and Personal Independence Payment will not have got very far and so it will be stopped.  People will stay on existing benefits such as DLA until a new reformed welfare system is introduced.  Presumably people who have been transferred to PIP will stay on that as well although the white paper is not clear on this.

The system of medical review of people with disabilities will be urgently reviewed.

The integration of health and social care will continue.

There will be a continuing role for voluntary organisations in the development of civic Scotland.

Spending on people with disabilities will be prioritised

 

Created on 29 October 2013

The DWP has announced that the introduction of PIP for existing claimants has been delayed.  They  had been planning to introduce the new personal independence payment (PIP) this month, transferring claimants from the disability living allowance (DLA) when their circumstances change.    However, it will now be introduced at the discretion of the department “in a more gradual, controlled and manageable way” starting in Wales, East Anglia and the Midlands.

Mike Penning, one of the department’s new ministers, revealed the changes in a written statement to parliament after officials found “that the end-to-end claiming process is taking longer than expected”.

The department said: “The issue giving rise to the need for amending regulations only came to light at the beginning of October as a result of our ongoing analysis of the introduction of PIP for new claims and the processes supporting it.

“As a consequence, the department wants to deliver a more controlled and measured start to natural reassessment, due to commence from 28 October. The department has worked as quickly as possible to identify and develop a range of options to deliver this, together with the necessary clerical and technical processes to support the aim.

“These regulations bring forward the preferred option which allows the department to introduce natural reassessment in a more gradual, controlled and manageable way.”

LDAS has already heard that the PIP assessments for young people claiming for the first time in Edinburgh has been taking far longer than expected.  Each interview has been taking between one and a half and two hours.   This has really slowed down the number of claimants that can be assessed.

 

Created on 14 October 2013

The Aberdeen Stronger Together group has produced a new easy read pamphlet on How to Claim Personal Independence Payment.  This pamphlet uses photographs of members of the group taken by other members of the group to illustrate key parts of the PIP application process, highlighting important steps and issues to think about in advance.

Personal Independence Payment is one of the most important changes that will be happening for people with disabilities as part of the Government’s Welfare Reform programme.  On the government’s own estimate 40% of current claimants of Disability Living Allowance will get less or no award under PIP.  While many others may get an increased award, this is no consolation to those that lose out.

We are worried that people with learning disabilities may be one of the groups that is most at risk of losing out due to many people wanting to fit in and play down their disability.  This pamphlet is full of helpful guidance and tips for people to consider from replying to the application letter, completing the application form and going to the assessment.  While this doesn’t have all the answer and is not a substitute for proper help, it can point you in the right direction.

You can download a copy of this pamphlet here.   Member organisations will receive copies in the post shortly and hard copies may be provided to non members on request, subject to availability.