January 2015 Personal Independence Updates

05/01/2015

From 26 January 2015 Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is to be rolled out next month to existing disability living allowance (DLA) claimants in seven additional areas, the DWP has confirmed today.

Existing DLA claimants in areas with postcodes beginning DH, G, IV, NE, SR, WA and WN will be 'invited' to claim PIP if -

The Department receives information about a change in their care or mobility needs

Their fixed term award is due to expire on or after 15 June 2015 or

The claimant turns 16

This extension will place added pressure onto the delivery timetable for PIP as highlighted in the first independent review of personal independence payment (PIP) published by the DWP.

Leader of the review, Mr Gray says that he has decided not to consider whether or not the assessment criteria for PIP are the right ones but to look instead at whether they are being applied correctly, focusing on underlying issues and making recommendations over different timescales in three main areas -

Improving the claimant experience – recommendations include ensuring that decision letters provide a clear explanation of the rationale for review timings in individual cases and reviewing the claims process adopting a design that allows claimants to track the status of their claim and moves away from a 'one size fits all' model supporting a more tailored approach based on the needs of claimants

 

Clarifying and improving the collection of further evidence – recommendations include reviewing external communications so that messages about further evidence give greater clarity about the type of evidence required and who is responsible for gathering the information and

 

Assuring the fairness and consistency of PIP award outcomes – recommendations include reviewing how aids and appliances are taken into  account in PIP assessments against original policy intent, and make any necessary adjustments to guidance and training and ensuring the consistent application of existing guidance for health professionals on reliability and fluctuating conditions

 

These recommendations will do little to tackle the 240,000 claims for personal independence payment (PIP) currently awaiting a decision (according to new DWP statistics).

These statistics also show that 592,000 new claims had been registered for PIP, of which 24,500 were claims made under the special rules for terminally ill people, 76,300 disability living allowance (DLA) reassessments had been registered for PIP and 54 per cent of new claim decisions (excluding withdrawn claims) led to an award.

In addition, the DWP says that, on 31 October 2014, 208,000 people had PIP in payment. Of those -

23,000 (11 per cent) were DLA reassessments

32 per cent of those not assessed under the special rules were diagnosed as having a mental illness

26 per cent received daily living award only, 9 per cent received mobility award only, and 62 per cent received both daily living and mobility award; and

65 per cent received an award at the enhanced rate, and 35 per cent at the standard rate

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