Thomas Bridge 12 February 2014

Two thirds turned down for new disability benefit

Two thirds of applicants for new disability benefit the Personal Independence Payment (PIP) have been turned down, the first official government statistics reveal.

While over 99% of claims made for people with terminal illnesses were successful, figures reveal only 37% of standard PIP claims were granted a cash contribution towards the extra costs associated with a long-term health condition or disability.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has received on average 30,000 claims per month for PIP, which was introduced for new claims in April.

Now being rolled out for existing claims of Disability Living Allowance (DLA), PIP includes a face-to-face assessment and regular reviews.

Evaluations assess a claimant’s ability to carry out a range of everyday activities alongside reading and verbal communication.

According to the DWP, only 6% of new DLA claimants had a face-to-face assessment with a healthcare professional – meaning over half of all decisions under the previous system were made without additional corroborating evidence.

Minister of state for disabled people, Mike Penning, said: ‘Personal Independence Payment has been designed to better reflect today’s understanding of disability – particularly to update our thinking on mental health and fluctuating conditions.

‘We are world-leaders in support for disabled people with the UK’s spending on disability-related benefits a fifth higher than the EU average. Our reforms – as part of our long-term economic plan - will ensure this support is better targeted at those who need it most.’

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