The latest statistics from the DWP reveal that there has been a dramatic fall in the number of people applying for PIP since the COVID-19 pandemic began.
In April 2020, there were 25,000 registrations for new claims. This is less than three fifths – 58% – of the level a year earlier and the lowest number since December 2013.
In the same month, there were 3,700 changes of circumstances. This is just over three fifths – 61% – of the level a year earlier and the lowest number since December 2017.
Also in April, there were 19,000 mandatory reconsideration registrations, the lowest number since January 2016.
The success rate for new claims rose from just 31% in February 2020, to 56% in April.
However, the DWP say that:
“During the first few weeks of the COVID-19 emergency measures, efforts have been made to clear residual claims in the system from before emergency measures began, giving rise to an initial spike in clearance volumes. This may have affected March 20 and April 20 Award Rates.”
So, although the award rate had increased, there is no way of telling from these figures whether telephone assessments have led to a higher level of awards or not. Things may become clearer in three months’ time, when the next set of statistics is released, if the ban on face-to-face assessments continues.
You can read the full PIP statistics here.