Question to the Department for Work and Pensions:
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps her Department is taking to ensure that personal independence payment claims and reviews are processed in a timely manner.
We are committed to ensuring people can access financial support through Personal Independence Payment (PIP) in a timely manner.
We have seen increasing levels of demand for PIP and are constantly making improvements to our service to ensure claimants get a timely decision.
We introduced a blend of phone, video and face-to-face assessments to deliver a more efficient and user-centred service. We are also increasing case manager and Assessment Provider health professional resource to deal with the increased demand.
We are sending new claims to Assessment Providers ahead of award reviews for existing claims, to ensure newly entitled claimants get the support they need.
Where possible, decisions on award reviews are made by DWP decision makers without a new referral to an Assessment Provider. Those who do require an assessment are put into a queue until our Assessment Providers have capacity to assess them, and their existing awards are extended where necessary until the review is completed. This ensures that they get the right decision, and that there is no risk of their award ending before they are assessed.