The length of time claimants have to wait for a personal independence payment mandatory reconsideration has increased by 86% in the space of a year, according to figures released by the government.
Justin Tomlinson, Parliamentary Under-Secretary, revealed the slow down in answer to a written question from Labour MP Stephanie Peacock.
In February 2018, the average waiting time for a PIP mandatory reconsideration was 29 days.
However, by January 2019, the latest date figures are available for, this had increased to 54 days.
What is equally concerning is that the length of the waiting time seems to be increasing ever more rapidly, month by month, as Tomlinson’s figures demonstrate:.
- August 18 32
- September 18 34
- October 18 36
- November 18 40
- December 18 45
- January 19 54
According to Tomlinson:
“There has been an increase in outstanding PIP MR clearance times in recent months (it rose to 54 days in January 2019). Measures to reduce the number of outstanding MRs include:
“Age profiles of outstanding work are managed at a national level to ensure that cases which have been outstanding for longest are actioned first.
“Resource levels dedicated to the clearance of MRs have been regularly reviewed with significant recruitment, training and redeployment undertaken to support reduced clearance times.
“MR is a key element of the decision making process for both the Department and claimants, and whilst ensuring they make quality decisions, decision makers work hard to clear applications without delay. Gathering the right evidence is critical at the MR stage if decisions are not to go to appeal; and we are reviewing our processes to not only obtain this, but to do so whilst continuing to make decisions timeously.”
The reality, of course is that the quality of decision making at mandatory reconsideration stage is abysmally low.
The success rate for PIP mandatory reconsiderations is just 19%.
The success rate for those claimants who go on to appeal, on the other hand, is 73%.
So much for ‘quality decisions’.
You can read Tomlinson’s full answer here.