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Personal Independence Payment Assessments

Volume 613: debated on Monday 11 July 2016

18. What steps his Department is taking to ensure that personal independence payment assessments are undertaken fairly and appropriately. (905767)

Provider performance is measured across a range of service level agreements setting out the Department’s expectations for a quality service. This includes an assessment report quality audit. Contractual remedies are in place if the provider fails to deliver against the service standards.

Given that the Infrastructure and Projects Authority’s rating of the Department’s PIP programme is once again amber/red, meaning that successful delivery of the project is in doubt, with major risks or issues apparent in a number of areas, what urgent action is the Minister taking to ensure that problems with assessment are addressed and that disabled people do not continue to bear the brunt of the Government’s policies?

We have seen that of those who go through the PIP process, 22.5% of claimants secure the highest rate of benefit, compared with just 16% under disability living allowance. We have a constant evaluation, including working with charities and stakeholders, and currently a claimant can expect to have their assessment process over a median of 13 weeks end to end, which is well within expectations.

Will the Secretary of State intervene personally in the case of one of my constituents, who suffered a stroke, has severe eyesight problems and is almost completely wheelchair-bound? He was refused PIP and as a result his wife has been refused carer’s allowance. He has not had a reassessment since November last year and that is not acceptable.