Scope responds to Government statistics on its PIP assessments

The first official statistics about assessments for Personal Independence Payments have been released by the Government. They show that

  • Between 8th April 2013 and 28th March 2014, out of 349,000 new claims registered 83 900 decisions have been made (151,000 of which were made under special rules for terminally ill people). Only a quarter of all new registered claimants have had a decision made in that time period.
  • 59% of decisions made led to an award (when withdrawn claims are not included in the calculation). When you exclude terminally ill claimants, the figure is 50%.
  • These figures are for new claims, which means these statistics don’t include reassessment claims for people who currently get Disability Living Allowance.

 

In response Richard Hawkes, chief executive of the disability charity Scope said:

 “The Government have acknowledged the problem, but long and uncertain delays to PIP have brought in to sharp focus how tough it is to make ends meet if you are disabled.

“Life costs more if you are disabled. Buying a wheelchair, higher energy bills - Scope research shows all this adds up to an extra £550 per month. Some costs can't be avoided, but too often disabled people continue to pay over the odds for everyday items and services.  

“Personal Independence Payment  is the financial life-line that disabled people rely on to help meet these costs.

“We need to look more widely at how we can bring costs down and make sure disabled people are not left behind as the economy recovers."  

Notes to the editor:

  • Scope believes the Government should also be looking at ways to protect PIP from the cap on Annually Managed Expenditure.
  • Some extra costs like specialist equipment or heating are unavoidable, but we’ve also heard of shocking stories of disabled people paying over the odds - £31 for a knife, a fork and a spoon, £1,500 for a chair and double the taxi fare.
  • This month Scope is launching a Commission to find ways to drastically bring down the premium disabled people pay

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