In a move that will add to the already huge waiting list for PIP assessments, the DWP has announced that from 17 November there will be four additional areas where disability living allowance (DLA) will begin to be replaced with personal independence payment (PIP). Initially the changes will only affect working age DLA claimants who have a change in their circumstances or where their current award runs out.
The updated timetable for PIP replacing DLA lists four new postcode areas:
In these areas, if a claimant’s fixed term DLA award is due to end on or after 6 April 2015 they will receive a PIP claim form rather than a DLA renewal claim form.
Any DLA claimant reporting a change in circumstances which might affect their award will be assessed for PIP rather than DLA from 17 November in these postcode districts, as will any existing DLA claimant who turns 16 years old.
Existing working age DLA claimants with lifetime awards are still not scheduled to be assessed for PIP until the full roll-out begins in October 2015, running through to late 2017.
Although the DWP claim they are now reducing the waiting times for PIP assessments, there remains a huge backlog of claimants waiting for Atos and Capita assessments. The addition of more PIP postcodes at this stage can only add to the numbers suffering hardship because they are waiting for a PIP decision.