Later today, I will publish Command Paper Cm 9015, the Government’s response to the first independent review of the personal independence payment (PIP) assessment. The review was carried out by Paul Gray and published in December 2014. Paul is also chair of the Social Security Advisory Committee.
The Department for Work and Pensions has already made significant improvements to the PIP process, particularly in relation to waiting times. This response is therefore an important step in making further improvements to ensure the PIP process works as well as it can for all claimants. It will be the first of two, and focuses on the short-term recommendations made in the review. It sets out the action the Department will take, together with the assessment providers, to continue to deliver positive changes to support PIP claimants through the assessment process.
The Department accepts all the short-term recommendations in full except the recommendation to configure assessment rooms in a specific way. We believe we are able to deliver the principle of an open, engaging consultation without being prescriptive about seating arrangements, and will work with the assessment providers to deliver that.
The broad scope of some of the medium and longer-term recommendations, such as those which will require the commitment of other organisations and cross-government agreement, will require further consideration, particularly in light of the recent recommendation by the Smith commission to devolve disability benefits in Scotland. Having done further work to fully understand the wider implications of those recommendations, the Department intends to provide a subsequent response addressing them in due course.