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Northern Ireland Ombudsman commences investigation into handling of Personal Independence Payment

25 June 2019

The Northern Ireland Ombudsman in has informed the Department for Communities that she is launching an investigation into the way the Department administers PIP.

The decision follows a proposal sent to the Department earlier this year in which Ombudsman Marie Anderson stated that after an initial assessment of the Department’s procedures she was considering an investigation.

The Public Service Ombudsman Act (Northern Ireland) 2016 allows the Ombudsman to initiate an investigation if she has a reasonable suspicion of systemic maladministration, or if systemic injustice has been sustained because of the exercise of professional judgement.

The investigation will look at the availability and application of further evidence (such as GP records, Occupational Therapist assessments, carers’ reports etc.) in the decision making, mandatory re-consideration and complaints processes.

In doing so, the Ombudsman will examine the actions of the Department and service provider Capita in administrating PIP with a focus on availability and application of further evidence in the PIP benefit decision making and internal complaints processes.

For more information see Ombudsman commences investigation into handling of Personal Independence Payments available @ https://nipso.org.uk