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Personal Independence Payment

Volume 671: debated on Tuesday 11 February 2020

I would like to update the House on the Department’s progress in making backdated payments to personal independence payment claimants who are benefiting from the MH and RJ decisions of the upper tribunal.

The MH decision changed how overwhelming psycho- logical distress is considered when assessing someone's ability to plan and follow a journey. The RJ decision concerned how we decide whether someone can carry out everyday activities safely or not, and whether they need supervision.

We are committed to ensuring everyone with a health condition or disability gets the support they are entitled to. This is why we have dedicated substantial resource to checking claims, so that we can pay eligible people as quickly as possible. We remain on track to finish this exercise in 2020.

Thanks to our continuous monitoring of the exercise, we know which claimants are most likely to benefit. This now allows us to focus on those cases and to make backdated payments to eligible claimants more quickly. We will write to all other claimants in scope of the exercise, explaining the upper tribunal decisions and how they can get in touch with us if they think they may benefit and want to ask us to review their case.

We have said that we will keep the House updated and I can announce that the Department has today published the third ad hoc release of management information on this exercise:

Since the exercise began on 25 June 2018 (HCWS793) up to 5 January 2020, we have cleared 720,000 cases against the MH decision and 820,000 cases against the RJ decision, with most cases being cleared against both upper tribunal decisions. In total, we have paid £28 million in arrears to 5,900 claimants.

We are continuing to monitor the numbers of revised awards closely and have a comprehensive quality assurance framework in place to ensure we make the right decisions. In addition, my officials and I are always happy to hear of any specific feedback on the exercise.

We have set out new and updated information on the administrative exercise in the updated frequently asked questions. I will deposit a copy of this document in the Library.

I will continue to update the House.