Figures produced by the DWP show that, at present rates, it will take almost ten years to work through the backlog of outstanding personal independence payment (PIP) planned award reviews.  This means that over 74,000 claimants are likely to be getting a lower award than they are entitled to.

A Freedom of Information request by a Benefits and Work member asked the DWP to provide the outstanding number of PIP reviews, the cause of the backlog and how long it would take to clear.

The DWP responded that “As of 31st May 2024, there were 392,000 Award Reviews outstanding in England and Wales.”

The department said there was no timeline for clearing the backlog and that:

“The main reason for the length of time to complete PIP award reviews is very high demand for PIP. We are seeing unprecedented numbers of new claims being made. To manage this demand, and ensure cases are put into payment as soon as possible, we are prioritising these claims.” 

 The DWP claimed that it is recruiting additional case managers and that assessment providers are “taking steps to increase the number of Healthcare Professionals they employ”.  However, they also stressed that “it takes time to train and consolidate new entrants”.

However, the latest quarterly PIP statistics published earlier this month, show that in the last quarter the DWP only managed to reduce the backlog of outstanding award reviews by 10,000.  The figures show that 120,000 new award reviews were registered and 130,000 were cleared.

So at the current rate it would take just short of 10 years to work through the entire backlog.

And, in fact, the most recent quarter was the only one in the last year that the backlog was actually reduced. In preceding quarters it either went up or remained the same.

Given that the number of PIP new claims is continuing to rise month on month, with the last quarter seeing a record breaking quarter of a million new claims, it is doubtful whether new recruits will be able to do much to cut the review backlog.

Also according to DWP statistics the outcome of planned award reviews over the last five years has been:

  • Increased  19%
  • Maintained  54%
  • Decreased  7%
  • Disallowed  20%

On this basis, the backlog includes:

  • 74,480 claimants getting a lower award of PIP than they are entitled to
  • 27,440 claimants getting a higher award than they are entitled to
  • 78,400 claimants who are no longer entitled to PIP, in the view of the DWP.

It is hard to see how this situation can be resolved in the near future.  In the meantime, tens of thousands of claimants will continue to receive yet another annual communication from the DWP telling them that their review has not yet taken place and that their current award will remain in payment.   

We'd be interested to hear from readers how long you have been waiting for your planned PIP award review.

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  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    A jones · 2 days ago
    Had my review paper come in sent it back got a letter saying that haven't completed my review but they may consider extending it after the 4th of July2024  haven't heard anything since it's stressful as it is  had a letter before that saying it was meant to increase by a small amount but it's more stressful going forwards not knowing if I am still entitled to claim it I'm thirty years old and my mental health team are a complete let down  my GP is the same no surport and once in a blue moon review for my medication to be upped or taken down a dosage been on antidepressants since i was 13 recently been adjusted due to other mental health conditions  still a night mare when this is going on  
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    Vrodes · 3 days ago
    I've been waiting for my PIP review since 10th October 2023. I have been getting automated letters saying they will be reviewing claim as soon as they can
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    Susan · 5 days ago
    Labour will be no better than the Conservatives they are all as bad as each other. They all have a barbaric attitude to disabled people who have not chosen the be disabled 
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      Annie · 3 days ago
      @Susan I feel the same way as you   I sent my review in on 4 February   haven't heard nothing   my previous claim ended in May   they are still paying me   i am 65 have spinal problems   copd  prolapse bladder   and suffering from phycotic depression    i live alone   and I am petrified of these people that will be calling to ask me questions     my form i sent back was a lot shorter than usual  asking has anything changed     i have started to self harm im so scared of pip review   its my mental health thats doing it   and yes you are so right dissebility is not a choice  
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    Susan · 5 days ago
    Why are the politicians claiming for everything they get a wage the should be paying for expenses out of their wages everyone else has to pay their own expenses. All these things they claim for they are robbing the public  then they have the downright cheek to demonise  disabled people.  No one wants to be disabled we did not choose disability it is not a choice 
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    CCG3 · 11 days ago
    I filled in my planned review form last August/September and submitted it by Registered Post. Heard that it had been received a few days later, then in January heard that it was still waiting to be reviewed. It ran out at the start of April and I received a letter saying that because they hadn’t got to it yet they were extending it for a further year! This gave me problems with getting my Blue Badge renewed and they would only give me another year on that too! I am very dependent on the Blue Badge as I can’t reliably walk very far at all. All of this increases the anxiety for claimants for what is already a very stressful process plus as my condition has deteriorated further (I have a progressive disease) I am hoping to get a Higher Rate for the Daily Living Component- currently I get the Basic Rate for that and Higher Rate for Mobility. Not sure if they will back pay to the date that I submitted the forms should I get the higher rate? 

    Regarding the big increase in folk applying for PIP my feeling is that this is related to the number of people incapacitated by Long Covid realising that 6 months to one year on, they are just not going to get better anytime soon and needing extra support and the financial means to get that. I have certainly seen a lot of replies in Advice Columns and radio phone ins on the topic where folk are being advised to fill out the forms to claim PIP to help with this. 

    The government has just wanted to sell the message that Covid ‘is over’ but people are still dying every week on Covid Wards in local hospitals (a friend is a medic on just such a ward) and increasing numbers of people are being afflicted with Long Covid. It would be interesting to know the numbers of people having to claim benefits because of Long Covid. Many medical staff have been affected. My consultant-a women in her mid-40’s with a young family was critically ill with Covid after working in the ICU during 2020 - ended up in there herself and has only just returned to work -4 years later -  but currently only able to work 2 part days. They have been swept under the carpet along with the rest of us who are disabled!
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    Paul · 11 days ago
    I retired in may and was waiting for my review which was over a year from my first text telling me that in the meantime I would keep receiving payments, (3 texts in total all saying the same thing)
    Anyway, I have finally had a letter telling me that they have looked at my pip and decided that I can keep receiving both parts of pip for an ongoing period.
    I have heard about light touch but not ongoing period…does anyone know what it means?
    I would really appreciate any information 
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Michael · 9 days ago
      @Paul You need to read the 1st page of your award form. It will ALWAYS tell you when your next review date will be.
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    Andy · 12 days ago
    My review took an astonishing 20 months! Worth the wait in that my award was increased to enhanced for the living component, meaning that I now get enhanced for both living and mobility. Better still subject to a ten year 'light touch' review. Must say though, the 20 month wait was err...stressful, to say the least!
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Mark S · 11 days ago
      @Andy Can I ask your age please as I am 61 and waiting for my review result. 
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    and1 · 12 days ago
    my PIP review was sent in end June 2023, yesterday I got a letter from Capita for a phone assessment next Wednesday. 1 weeks notice. Fingers crossed for a successful outcome. we will try asking for a recording to hopefully deter the usual lies from the assessor
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      and1 · 8 days ago
      @Stephanie We know they lie, had it in the last two assessments, face to face at home.
      We'll definitely record it ourselves as well, I'm hoping that knowing they are on record might deter the lies,  fingers crossed.

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      Stephanie · 9 days ago
      @and1 They will lie.

      You don't ask them to record it, you tell them you are exercising your right to record it for yourself. 

      Do this on your phone and if possible, transcribe it afterwards.

      Good luck!
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Dino · 11 days ago
      @and1 I never put any phone numbers or email addresses on any forms I fill in if they want to assess me then it's face to face 
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      Jaffacat · 11 days ago
      @and1 Good luck ☺️
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    Haze · 12 days ago
    I sent my review paperwork last month. 3 years award ends January 25. I have a motability car that has a date to return of may 2025, how does that work? Will I keep the car if they don't do my review on time? 
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      CCG3 · 11 days ago
      @Jaffacat Thanks Jaffacat - I was wondering about that as DWP have given themselves another year to get to my review but my Motability Lease will be up before then! Reassuring to know:-) 
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Haze · 11 days ago
      @Jaffacat Phew that's a relief! Thank you Jaffacat. Did you have to change your car or keep the one you had? 
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Jaffacat · 11 days ago
      @Haze Hi Haze, Motability will give you a 2 year lease extension. I'm in exactly the same situation, my lease ran out Aug last year. Nothing at all changes, you'll still get everything paid for. I've recently had 2 new tyres fitted at Kwikfit 👍don't worry ☺️
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    Gill · 12 days ago
    Jeez, reading that makes me feel awful. I put in my review form in April, so goodness knows when I will hear. My mental health is suffering even more so than usual and I’m not able to put it to the back of my mind. These people have no idea of what they put genuine claimants through.
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Jaffacat · 11 days ago
      @Gill Jeez, thankfully I don't suffer with mental health issues, sorry that you do. I also put in my review at the beginning of April, I received a text on 22nd of April to say it will be 8 weeks...So 9 weeks on, I rang DWP yesterday 2nd July, 52 weeks they told me!!! I said so I can stop hanging around my door for post then 🙄 but as you have read on this forum, it's going to take them a long time..Basically told me to get on with my life, I'm still being paid & if needed I will get another extension as my first extension runs out Jan 25 😫
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    Liz h · 12 days ago
    10 months so far , as long as payments continue not too bothered as the stress of the assesment for review is awful but do seem to spend my time waiting for so called urgent appts with medics as it is and mulitple consultants appts. This is just another one of the list of waitng lists I am on.
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    Stephanie · 12 days ago
    I I have recently discovered that if the claimant contacts the DWP to report a worsening of symptoms and the result is successful then the PIP is backdated to when the form was first sent it.  However, if the DWP initially contacts the claiment to ask for a review and the claimant reports a worsening of symptoms, then no matter how long it takes the DWP to process the application no back payment is awarded.  On that basis I don't believe it will be too difficult to work out which claims will be put to the bottom of the pile!
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Dave Thomas · 12 days ago
    My wife has had her reviews as regular as clockwork, last time she had a telephone assessment. This time, with moderate hearing loss, not sure what they'll do.
    I'm in a fortunate position that I was a benefit advisor. I am also now waiting to hear if I've been successful with my Tribunal Member job application. 
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Vicki · 9 days ago
      @Dave Thomas Good luck. I've worked in benefits for over 20 years. It's addictive and I just like to help people navigate it. 
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Paul Guthrie · 12 days ago
    I informed PIP that my health had got worse in Oct 2023 yesterday (03 july 2024) I was told I am awared the higher rate of mobility but my daily living allowance will remain the same they have also awarded me back pay from Oct 2023.So it took 8 months to sort my claim which I am happy with better than the 12 months I was expecting.


  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    clur1965 · 12 days ago
    Meant to say my length of award is 18 months. 
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    clur1965 · 12 days ago
    They don’t do themselves any favours tho do they! 

    I’ve been a B&W member since 2016 and don’t often comment but I feel propelled to. I’m 60 next year and been on PIP for respiratory and mobility problems, amongst others. My review date was Nov 2022 and just had my telephone phone consultation in March this year. The wait was agonising. My health conditions are not going to get any better. My length of award is

    Why on earth don’t they increase the length of awards for claimants with degenerative long term conditions instead of doling out 18 month awards! I despair I really do.

    Award claimants at least 3 years then the reviews will slow a bit and give themselves a bit of breathing space. 
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    M.M · 12 days ago
    Was sent the forms for a review they sent me a message to say they had not received them I called and after 40 minutes waiting got through to be told oh we received them today that was on the 3/05/24. I have heard nothing since and I can’t seem to get through on the phone to find out how it is going. This makes me worry. 
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Elli · 12 days ago
    I sent my review last September (2023). Get occasional texts saying 'We still have your PIP form and will be reviewing as soon as possible'. However, in March this year, they did extend my award until next May so thats something but still awaiting my Blue Badge review since February! It's all a nightmare, isn't it? 
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Clare · 9 days ago
      @Dan Stone It depends on your points for the mobility part of PIP and what they were given for My mum got hers back in just over a week While I waited 16 weeks due to how my points award had been allocated This from the same council In effect my mums was waived through While mine needed to be looked at by an assessment board Hence the wait Due to how and what our PIP mobility points were awarded for 
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Dan Stone · 12 days ago
      @Elli Maybe it’s a local thing but it’s worth chasing up your BB application.
      Mine was done in less than a week
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Rob Denholm · 12 days ago
    Earlier this year my Tribunal Appeal was lapsed. by the DWP after being in the queue for over 3 months. Now, to rub salt into the wound, it has been another 3 months I’ve been waiting for a year’s worth of entitlement to be repaid. The only information I get is that, “This is being dealt with by the Debt Recovery Team.”
    Backlog? Logjam? Or just sheer failure to understand the hardship they’re causing?
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Vicki · 9 days ago
      @Rob Denholm Send a complaint now outside of your appeal. A different team will have to deal with this and look into why there is delays and may push it forward for you. 
      Good luck 
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Fionn · 12 days ago
    Just had my award (which ran out in 2022) extended for the third time. They've had my review paperwork for almost 12 months, but still haven't looked at it. At least this time they did it in time to leave a bit more than a year on the award, so I can apply for Motability to replace my ancient WAV. It's a bit of a nightmare rushing through the process with only a fortnight to play with, though, just as getting my blue badge renewed was a nightmare last year.
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      clur1965 · 12 days ago
      @Fionn I was in exactly the same boat. Had 10 days to renew my motability lease. Before my award dropped below 12 months! And had to renew my blue badge 3 times (£30!)

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