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Personal Independence Payment delays unacceptable

Turn2us Personal Independence Payment information section

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has acknowledged 'unacceptable' delays in processing Personal Independence Payment (PIP) applications for terminally ill claimants.

Service not up to standard expected

At a Work and Pensions Committee PIP implementation evidence session this week, DWP Benefits Director, Jason Feeny, said: 'As the operational director for delivering PIP, I would absolutely say that the service that we gave for some terminally ill claimants at the beginning of PIP wasn't up to the standard, where we would be expecting it to be. I'm not going to try to pretend otherwise. There were some awful experiences that people went through... The service wasn't where we wanted it to be.'

A number of changes to the process had been made to ensure that long delays were avoided, he added.

Terminally ill claimants should be able to claim and receive payment within seven days

In addition, Minister for Disabled People Mike Penning told the Committee that he wanted terminally ill claimants to be able to make a claim and receive payment within seven days.

Hundreds of people with cancer face long waits for benefits

Hundreds of terminally ill cancer patients faced long waits of weeks and months to receive Income Support because of changes made to the way the system is administered after the Government introduced PIP, which is replacing Disability Living Allowance for people of working age.

Previously a claim for the benefit took eight to 10 days, but cancer charities warned last month that payments were taking as long as eight to 10 weeks to process.

Macmillan Cancer Support comment

Duleep Allirajah, Head of Policy at Macmillan Cancer Support, said: "Terminally ill cancer patients are facing severe delays in receiving their benefits under the new personal independence payment special rules claim. We know that a quarter of our benefits advisers surveyed have come across someone who has died before receiving their benefit – this is simply deplorable.

"We have raised these concerns with the government and are hopeful that working together we can develop a solution. We want them to set targets to process all claims in eight to 10 days as a matter of urgency."

Read the Turn2us Personal Independence Payment information section

Sources: Rightsnet (link opens in a new window) and The Guardian (link opens in a new window)

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Date of publication: 13 December 2013

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