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The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has acknowledged
'unacceptable' delays in processing Personal Independence
Payment (PIP) applications for terminally ill claimants.
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.
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 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.
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
"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
Rightsnet (link opens in a new window) and
The Guardian (link opens in a new window)
Date of publication: 13 December 2013
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