Tens of thousands of people have been waiting over ten months to get the new benefit for the first time—without any payments in the meantime.
By December 2013 there had been 229,000 claims but only 43,800 decisions.
A fall in success rates
Under DLA 45% of claims were successful before appeal but under PIP only 37% of claims have been successful before appeal.
The Length Of Time Taken To Do Assessments. The new PIP assessment is more complicated than people realised and is taking twice as long to complete as thought.
Making A Claim – New people have to make a telephone call to make a claim. People are struggling to get through and, once they are on the phone, the call can take half an hour or more. The questions are quite hard but making the claim on the phone establishes the date of Claim so is crucial.
Completing a Claim. – After the phone call you are sent an individually addressed and barcoded form which can take 2 hours to complete. This is very hard for people to do.
Missing Forms. – If a form is not sent back then the claim is still passed over to ATOS but an assessment will have to be carried out. This problem means there are more assessments than expected.
Lack of Supporting Evidence – Very little supporting evidence from GPs, support workers and other care workers is being sent in so only 2% of claims are being settled without a medical assessment instead of a planned 25% leading to delays.
STOP PRESS – Turning Nasty?
An internal whistle blower has now said that the DWP is tightening up on how they allocate points so that assessors can make clear, quick decisions. Medical evidence will be essential to prove need. Only needs actually met and not likely to be met will count. The likely result of this is that many more people will be turned down at first assessment.