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Written Question
Personal Independence Payment: Medical Examinations
Wednesday 23rd March 2022

Asked by: Damien Moore (Conservative - Southport)

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 PIP claimants with long term disabilities are not required to undergo the reassessment process in cases where their conditions and care needs have not changed since their last assessment.

Answered by Chloe Smith - Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)

Once someone has been awarded Personal Independence Payment (PIP), which can be paid at one of eight rates, that award will usually be reviewed. Regular reviews are a key feature of the benefit and ensure that payments accurately match the current needs of claimants. The length of an award is based on an individual’s circumstances and can vary from nine months to an on-going award, with a light touch review after ten years.

In 2018 we introduced updated guidance for case managers which ensures that those people who receive the highest level of support under PIP, and where their needs are unlikely to change or may get worse, will receive an ongoing award with a light touch review at the ten-year point. We also announced in the Shaping Future Support: Health and Disability Green Paper that we will test a new Severe Disability Group (SDG) so that those with severe and lifelong conditions can benefit from a simplified process to access PIP, Employment and Support Allowance and Universal Credit without needing to go through a face-to-face assessment or frequent reviews.


Written Question
Personal Independence Payment: Medical Examinations
Monday 21st March 2022

Asked by: Stephen Timms (Labour - East Ham)

Question to the Department for Work and Pensions:

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what proportion of Personal Independence Payment assessments have been carried out by (a) telephone, (b) paper based or (c) face-to-face assessments between (i) November 2021 and January 2022, (ii) August and October 2021, (iii) May and July 2021, (iv) February and April 2021 and (v) February 2020 and January 2021.

Answered by Chloe Smith - Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)

The information requested can be found in the table below.

We have not included February and March 2020 as the data is not available. Therefore, the information provided in the table covers April 2020 to January 2022.

Although not included in your question, it may be helpful to know that from autumn 2020, we have also been conducting video assessments, where appropriate, alongside telephone, paper based and face to face assessments. The proportion of video assessments have been included in the table for completeness.

v

iv

iii

ii

i

Apr 20 – Jan 21

Feb 21 – Apr 21

May 21 – Jul 21

Aug 21 – Oct 21

Nov 21 – Jan 22

Paper based review

17.4%

16.1%

17.2%

16.3%

16.3%

Face to face assessment

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

6.8%

4.6%

Telephone assessment

82.5%

83.8%

82.3%

76.3%

77.3%

Video assessment

0.0%

0.1%

0.4%

0.7%

1.8%

Please Note:

The above data is derived from unpublished management information which is produced by the assessment providers and has not been quality assured to Official Statistics Publication standards.

Some of the monthly totals have been calculated using weekly MI as there is no monthly MI available.

All percentages have been rounded to the nearest .1%, therefore percentages may not add to 100%.


Written Question
Personal Independence Payment: Medical Examinations
Thursday 10th February 2022

Asked by: Chris Stephens (Scottish National Party - Glasgow South West)

Question to the Department for Work and Pensions:

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, by what date all personal independence payment applicants will have the automatic choice of having their assessment audio-recorded.

Answered by Chloe Smith - Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)

The option for a claimant to request an audio recording of their Personal Independence Payment (PIP) telephone assessment is available with both assessment providers, Independent Assessment Services (IAS) and Capita. Claimants are required to make a request to the assessment provider to have their PIP assessment recorded, thereby opting-in to the recording of their assessment. The assessment provider will provide the equipment necessary to allow this service to proceed.

IAS currently delivers the facility to audio record face to face assessments. The department is working with Capita to complete the roll out of audio recording across all assessment centres which removes the requirement for the claimant to provide the equipment.

Work is also ongoing to introduce an audio recording facility for video assessments. This will bring the audio recording of face to face and video assessments in line with the recording of telephone assessments and the department aims to complete both as soon as it is practically possible.

Currently, PIP claimants invited to a face to face assessment by Capita can record their assessment themselves, subject to the conditions set by the department. These are listed in the PIP Assessment Guide (PIPAG) and are contained within correspondence sent to claimants by the assessment providers.


Written Question
Social Security Benefits: Medical Examinations
Monday 7th February 2022

Asked by: Vicky Foxcroft (Labour - Lewisham, Deptford)

Question to the Department for Work and Pensions:

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 21 January 2022 to Question 103607 on Social Security Benefits: Medical Examinations, whether she plans to compare the accuracy of Work Capability Assessments and Personal Independence Payment assessments undertaken by the team of ten directly-employed health assessors recruited by her Department against those carried out by employees of Atos, Capita and Maximus.

Answered by Chloe Smith - Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)

We have no such plans. DWP has introduced a Clinical Governance Quality Standards Framework which is a systematic approach to continuously improving the quality of all Healthcare Professionals’ (HCPs) work.

All HCPs have extensive and rigorous training in undertaking assessments and maintain knowledge through continuing Professional Development Activity.


Written Question
Personal Independence Payment: Medical Examinations
Thursday 20th January 2022

Asked by: Darren Jones (Labour - Bristol North West)

Question to the Department for Work and Pensions:

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment her Department has made of the mental and physical pressures that medical reassessments relating to a personal independence payment claim has on claimants with a chronic illnesses or a hidden disability.

Answered by Chloe Smith - Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)

The Department aims to continually improve the assessment process for Personal Independence Payment (PIP) through customer insight, stakeholder engagement and qualitative research. For people with the highest level of support and with severe and lifelong health conditions which will not improve or will deteriorate, new guidance was introduced in August 2018 for both new claims and award reviews to ensure they receive an ongoing award of PIP, with a light-touch review at the 10-year point. Since 2019 ongoing awards with a light-touch review at the 10-year point are also applied to most awards for people over State Pension age.

PIP is designed to support an individual’s functional needs arising from a range of disabilities, including chronic or hidden illnesses, and the PIP Assessment Guide (PIPAG) makes clear that Health Professionals must take into consideration the invisible nature of some symptoms such as fatigue and pain in their assessment of a claimant.

We published ‘Shaping Future Support: The Health and Disability Green Paper’ in July 2021 and asked for views on how we might improve health assessments considering a number of options. The consultation closed on 11 October 2021 and we will set out next steps in a White Paper later this year.


Written Question
Personal Independence Payment: Medical Examinations
Thursday 2nd December 2021

Asked by: Vicky Foxcroft (Labour - Lewisham, Deptford)

Question to the Department for Work and Pensions:

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many people are waiting to attend a Personal Independence Payment assessment.

Answered by Chloe Smith - Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)

The total number of cases held with Personal Independence Payment (PIP) assessment providers at the end of October 2021 is 296,320. However, not all these cases will require the claimant to attend an assessment.

Where possible, claims will be assessed on the basis of paper evidence. Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, we worked at pace with providers to deliver telephone assessments alongside introducing a small number of video assessments, to ensure assessments could continue whilst face to face contact was limited.

We are committed to assessing people as quickly as possible and are working with providers to ensure claimants receive the support to which they are entitled as quickly as possible.

Please Note:

The number of cases has been rounded to the nearest 10.

This figure is derived from contractual management information produced by the assessment providers.

This figure is unpublished management information which is collected for internal departmental use only and has not been quality assured to Official Statistics Publication standards.


Written Question
Personal Independence Payment: Medical Examinations
Thursday 2nd December 2021

Asked by: Vicky Foxcroft (Labour - Lewisham, Deptford)

Question to the Department for Work and Pensions:

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what is the current average length of time an individual must wait to attend a Personal Independence Payment assessment.

Answered by Chloe Smith - Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) claimant journey times, from referral to assessment provider to the return from the assessment provider, are published in Table 2A of the PIP

Statistics tables which can be found here:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1016795/tables-pip-statistics-to-july-2021.xlsx

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/personal-independence-payment-statistics-to-july-2021

DWP is committed to assessing people as quickly as possible in order that they receive the benefit(s) and support they are entitled to in a timely manner. DWP is always looking at ways to improve the assessment process and how this impacts on overall processing times. Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, DWP worked at pace with providers to deliver telephone assessments alongside introducing a small number of video assessments.


Written Question
Personal Independence Payment: Medical Examinations
Thursday 2nd December 2021

Asked by: Vicky Foxcroft (Labour - Lewisham, Deptford)

Question to the Department for Work and Pensions:

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what the average length of time is that a person must wait to receive the outcome of their Personal Independence Payment assessment.

Answered by Chloe Smith - Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)

Data on average processing times from the assessment to a decision being made for all Personal Independence Payment (PIP) normal rules New Claims to July 2021 (the latest available data) is published in Table 2A of the PIP Statistics tables which can be found here:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1016795/tables-pip-statistics-to-july-2021.xlsx

The end to end average clearance times for new special rules claims are 3 working days (4 days for reassessments).

Processing times can vary reflecting factors including customer demand, operational resource and timescales for different parts of the process. In particular, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused distortion and work is ongoing to manage the recovery. This includes allowing a longer deadline for return of the PIP2 questionnaire for claims made between late February and late May 2021; these claims have now started to reach clearance.

We are always looking at ways to improve the assessment process. In addition to face-to-face, we will continue to conduct paper-based, telephone and video assessments where appropriate.

PIP analytical data held by the Department does not contain the date the assessment takes place. As a proxy, we use the date an assessment was returned from the Assessment Providers to the Department. This is usually a few days following the assessment.


Written Question
Personal Independence Payment: Medical Examinations
Thursday 18th November 2021

Asked by: Emma Lewell-Buck (Labour - South Shields)

Question to the Department for Work and Pensions:

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, by what date all personal independence payment applicants will be offered the choice of an audio recording at their assessment.

Answered by Chloe Smith - Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)

At present, claimants may use their own equipment to record their Personal Independent Payment (PIP) face to face assessment, should they wish to and in line with the conditions laid out in the PIP Assessment Guide. The option to request an audio recording of their PIP telephone assessment is also available with both assessment providers.

The department is currently working with PIP assessment providers to deliver an audio recording service for face to face assessments, that removes the requirement for the claimant to provide the equipment. Work is also ongoing to introduce an audio recording facility for video assessments. This will bring the audio recording of face to face and video assessments in line with the recording of telephone assessments and we aim to complete both as soon as it is practically possible.


Written Question
Personal Independence Payment: Medical Examinations
Monday 15th November 2021

Asked by: Lisa Cameron (Scottish National Party - East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow)

Question to the Department for Work and Pensions:

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what recent assessment she has made of the effectiveness of personal independent payment assessment criteria for renal patients in the UK; and if she will make a statement.

Answered by Chloe Smith - Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is based on the daily living and mobility needs arising from a long-term health condition or disability, rather than being based on the condition or disability itself. People with renal conditions are able to access support with additional costs through PIP in the same way as other people with long-term health conditions or disabilities.