In a response to questions from the Work and Pensions Select Committee, the DWP have today admitted that 87,000 more people would get personal independence payment (PIP) enhanced mobility by October 2015 if the threshold for awards was 50 metres rather than 20 metres. The figure would be more than double that by the time all disability living allowance (DLA) claimants have been assessed for PIP.{jcomments on}

In a document published today the DWP did their best to avoid answering a range of questions put to them by the committee.

They refused to say what the financial implications of the delayed roll-out of PIP would be.

They claimed that it wasn’t possible to compare refusal rates for DLA with refusal rates for PIP because so many PIP decisions have been about terminal illness (special rules) cases – where awards are much more likely.  In reality there would have been nothing to prevent the DWP just looking at non special rules cases for each benefit.

They refused to say how long it is taking to process PIP claims and denied that there was a 12-15 week target. They denied that they could make any estimate of how much money was being saved by changing the threshold for enhanced PIP mobility from 50 metres to 20 metres.  However, confusingly they went on to claim that the impact would have been small – only a few thousand – between the second draft and final drafts of the mobility criteria.

Finally they admitted that if all references to 20 metres in the current criteria were changed to 50 metres then 81,000 fewer awards of standard rate mobility would be made, but 87,000 more awards of enhanced rate mobility would be payable.  This would be an increase of 34% on the expected level of awards, up from 254,000 to 341,000.

It should be noted that these figures only go to May 2015. By the time the complete transfer of claimants from DLA to PIP has taken place, the number missing out is likely to be more than doubled. You can download the DWP response to the Work and Pensions Committee here.  


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