How long will we have to wait for PIP to work?

20 June 2014

Tony Richardsby Tony Richards

Ghandi said ‘A society can be judged by how it treats its most vulnerable members.’ Well today a report from a committee of MPs made it clear that the way in which the new benefit Personal Independence Payment (PIP) was introduced is failing thousands of disabled people.  

PIP is the benefit aimed at helping with the extra costs that come as part of being a disabled person.

But today the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee, made up of more than a dozen MPs from across the political parties, says the rollout of this new benefit (which replaces Disability Living Allowance) has led to disabled people facing unacceptable wait times for assessments and, as a result, facing unnerving uncertainty for long periods of time.

There has been much discussion about the financial impact of the move to PIP, but these waiting times have a very real human cost.

Some disabled people have to wait almost half a year for their assessments to be conducted, struggling to get by without the vital support that they need. Those unable to travel to the assessment have often faced their home visits being cancelled at the last minute, further adding to their distress.

Disabled people have also been made to travel significant distances to their assessments — something that can prove extremely difficult if your local bus or train service is inaccessible. While PIP aimed to ensure claimants have to travel no further than 30 minutes to their assessments, almost half (40%) have to travel for an hour.

The MPs found that the mismanagement of this new policy was causing ‘unacceptable pressures and stress on this vulnerable group‘ – far from the ‘personal independence’ the benefit is meant to promote. At Leonard Cheshire we have heard from people awaiting assessment who have, owing to their lack of income, lost their homes, and ended up reliant on food banks and their families to survive.

Leonard Cheshire Disability, other campaigners and disabled people themselves have been warning about these issue for a long time. This scandal has a terrible impact on some of the most vulnerable people in the country. 

It’s crucial for all those who need this vital support that the government improves the quality of its assessment process. Without improvement we will hear more terrible stories in the years ahead.

Tony Richards is an intern on Leonard Cheshire Disability's Change100 scheme.


I am Spina bifida and had to go to tribunal to get my DLA then was given it for life.its not fare to have to do this again.i will never walk .

I totally agree with this article, why can't the DWP Offices go by a Doctor's letter confirming Medical evidence they hold at the Surgery. DLA is not means tested and people who claim genuinely require fiscal support in some way for their injury.

Hi I am 31 years old and for the past 5 years I have been getting clots through out my whole body ! In my left leg in both my lungs and even in my ivc doctors have been unable to find out why I am clotting and even tho I'm on warfrin I have still had clots doctors said they can't find out why my body keeps producing clots ???? And I also have fits and central bone pain and I have been seen by many doctors who have all said my illness is a medical mystery ????? I rely so much on my family to help me do everyday tasks and help me look after my 3 children ! And when I put in for pip I was turned down scoring 0 points and my doctor had wrote a letter explaining that they can't find a diagnosis and that I'm very poorly and rely on my family to look after me and my kids but they still turned me down . This has made me so angry as I feel that they don't understand how poorly I am and that this illness could kill me . If anyone has any advice I would like to hear it please thanks

Surely if a person has been awarded dla indefinitely it would make sense to just swap them over to pip, it would be a lot cheaper and make more sense . the majority of these people will appeal anyway at a great expense to the government.

we have been invaded by super human beings who know every disease illness and diability they know everyones move 24 7 and they all work at the dwp the word x files comes to mind

all you here is how about how to get sick people what about getting young people into work they are the life blood of our country its a disgrace

i have put in for a claim for pip in nov of last year as my dla got stopped in march of 2015 had only esa to live off getting hard to cope now as waiting for a dession on if i get it or not told today avter 5 weeks of waiting to get a answer i would get a phone call sometime today or wait 5 days all this for a yes or no ansewr is so silly and getting my very stressed out as dont like waiting as this makes me unwell and making me feel sick they need to ring me today as if not by thus this week ill be taking them to court as i have had enough now.

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