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PIP Application Process: Disabled People

Volume 690: debated on Monday 8 March 2021

What recent assessment she has made of disabled people’s experience of the personal independence payment application process. (912985)

We have made a series of improvements to the personal independence payment claimant experience following research and two independent reviews. Building on that, the forthcoming Green Paper on health and disability support is being influenced by the views of disabled people and representatives from disability organisations.

I wrote to the Minister last week telling him about the work of the Morecambe Bay Poverty Truth Commission, which has empowered people who have experienced the social security system to speak truth to power and try to improve the system. Will he meet the PIP claimants in my constituency who want to tell him about their experiences?

I thank the hon. Member for that question, and I would be delighted to do that. I know that she has been very proactive on a number of issues in my area over the years, and I would be delighted to have a meeting with her and her organisation to listen to their experiences.

Following the coroner’s damning prevention of future deaths report in the case of Philippa Day, who took an overdose and, sadly, passed away because of DWP and Capita failings, have the Government implemented the recommendations, and if not, when will they? As well as responding to the coroner, will the Minister keep this House updated, and do the Government not accept that, when so many people have to go through an inhumane assessment process, the system is flawed and it is time for a radical change?

While I cannot comment on individual cases, when we tackle any of these serious issues, we put a great amount of thought and care into doing so. That is why the Department set up the serious case panel, personally led by the Secretary of State, to look at the themes and to make sure, if there are any lessons that need to be learned, they are shared with the key decision makers quickly, and that we improve our support and our services for some of the most vulnerable people in society. It is a real priority for our Department.