-A A +A
Select color visibility that suits you Basic theme Dark theme Darker theme Text only

Disability charities urge the Government to get a grip on PIP in new report

19 September 2017

New research shows the stressful assessment process for Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is making people's conditions worse.

The Disability Benefits Consortium (DBC), has launched the Supporting Those Who Need It Most? report, which examines the findings of a survey of over 1,700 disabled people and people with long-term conditions who have made a PIP claim.

The DBC is also running an online campaign which sends an email to your MP about the importance of making urgent improvements to PIP. Please support this.

Disability Rights UK is a member of the DBC and contributed to the report.

The DBC recommends the following changes to PIP:

Assessment process

1. The DWP should immediately introduce simplified claim forms that are readily available in Jobcentres, downloadable online and in accessible formats (such as audio described and easy read), without the need to return them within four weeks.

Evidence gathering

2. The DWP should commission an independent review of the evidence gathering processes, to explore ways to:

  • educate health and social care professionals on how to provide relevant supporting evidence
  • ensure duties and responsibility of the assessor, the DWP and claimant are clear and observed
  • make sure the DWP has a strategy to articulate to claimants what evidence will be most useful for their claim
  • ensure evidence supplied by friends and family members is given due consideration

3. In order to restore confidence in the process, assessors should be obligated to review all supporting evidence provided by a claimant, with penalties if they do not.

Assessments

4. A thorough review of the PIP assessment criteria should be urgently conducted, with meaningful involvement from disabled people and those with long-term conditions to ensure criteria are fair and truly reflect the extra costs that people face. In particular, this should focus on examining rules setting out how fluctuation is considered.

5. Restore the ‘20-metre rule’ for enhanced mobility support to 50 metres.

6. The DWP must re-establish direct responsibility for assessment quality and publish an urgent quality improvement plan to ensure assessment companies are conducting assessments consistently and to a high standard.

7. Reverse the changes made earlier this year to the mobility criteria, which restrict the ability of an individual who experiences overwhelming psychological distress when planning and executing a journey to qualify for PIP.

Appeals and awards

8. Pay PIP claimants an ‘assessment rate’ during the lengthy appeals processes, as is the case with Employment and Support Allowance, to enable them to maintain their independence.

9. Regularly publish data on the average length of time Mandatory Reconsiderations are taking and detailed information on how people are qualifying for PIP.

10. Introduce indefinite PIP awards for people with severe, complex conditions that have no prospect of improvement or are progressive. If reassessments absolutely must be undertaken because additional support may be available, these should happen without the need for a face-to-face assessment.

Supporting Those Who Need It Most?