Claimants are asking how long after PIP assessment do you get a decision. To the dismay of those on disability benefits PIP waiting times have seen a sharp rise in 2017.
PIP DECISION TIMESCALE: The delays mean most claimants are waiting longer in 2017. The process is taking around three months (at the time of writing this article).
What is that Personal Independence Payment decision timescale? It is how long the process takes from the first registration to finding out whether claimants will get PIP.
Figures released show the current waiting time for the disability benefit test results. They reveal the times have almost doubled when compared to those of the previous six months.
People referred for a test in April 2017 waited an average of nine weeks. That is a steep rise from an average of waiting only five weeks in October 2016.
Being left in limbo for many months is causing distress for claimants. Many of whom suffer from serious health conditions. The typical disorders include cancer, multiple sclerosis, anxiety, dementia, and severe depression.
The Department for Work and Pensions handles these benefit claims. They admitted that 'PIP clearance times' had risen over the first six months of 2017.
How do these so-called clearance times get measured? It goes from the moment of referral to the time when DWP decide to grant the benefits (or not). As a rule, private firms like Capita and Atos will act as the 'assessment provider'.
Despite these figures, there is a less dramatic rise in the entire start-to-finish wait. That process gets measured from the first PIP registration to a final decision by DWP.
The entire procedure sees a rise from 10 weeks to 13 weeks for new PIP claims since October 2016.
The waiting times fall short of 42 weeks for new claims as seen in 2014.
More worrying, are the figures showing thousands of claimants getting rejected for PIP. They include many trying to move over from the outdated DLA benefit. More bad news highlights the divergence between winning a DWP appeal compared to that of an independent tribunal.
Getting rejected for PIP means lodging an internal appeal with the Department for Work and Pensions. More than half a million people lodged such appeals since the launch of PIP in 2013.
Reports show that less than 20% of these appeals actually succeed. That is alarming when you compare it to a 62% success rate for those fighting it at a full tribunal.
One Labour MP claims the internal reviews made by DWP are a 'complete fraud'. He claims they are often designed to put people off making an appeal.
The Personal Independence Payment benefits are a lifeline for most disabled people. They depend on the welfare support to meet the extra costs of an impairment or health condition. Research suggests they need more than £500 a month for living with a disability.
A statement given by a DWP spokesman says they have total commitment in processing PIP claims and as fast as possible. But, they must ensure they have all the necessary evidence to make the right decisions. DWP process around 78,000 claims each month.
Personal Independence Payment Waiting Times and Decision Timescale after Medical Assessment Referrals