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Personal Independence Payments: Processing Times

Volume 724: debated on Monday 5 December 2022

16. What recent assessment he has made of the adequacy of processing times for personal independence payments. (902588)

We are committed to ensuring that people can access financial support through PIP in a timely manner. By prioritising new claims, increasing resources and using different assessment channels, we reduced the average new claim process from 26 weeks in August 2021 to 18 weeks in October 2022.

Capacity is key to assessment. What progress is being made to extend the severe conditions criteria in the PIP system, learning the lessons of the changes we have made to the special rules for the terminally ill, which would potentially allow us to remove 300,000 unnecessary assessments from the system, benefiting claimants and the taxpayer?

I am hugely grateful to my hon. Friend, who is of course a distinguished former Minister for disabled people and whose views on these matters I listen to incredibly carefully. We announced in “Shaping future support: the health and disability green paper” that we will test a new severe disability group, so that those with severe and lifelong conditions can benefit from a simplified process to access PIP, employment and support allowance and universal credit without needing to go through a face-to-face assessment or frequent reassessments. We will consider the test results, once they are complete, to influence thinking on the next stages of this work.