Over the past weeks we have been covering the issue of the repeated delays to PIP reviews and renewals and how these have affected Blue Badge holders.  We’ve now heard from readers telling us that the delays are also affecting other benefits, bus passes, Motability cars and increases in PIP for changes of circumstances.  

But above all else it’s the enormous anxiety that delays and the DWP’s failure to keep people informed that is causing people real harm.

Problems caused by PIP review delays

A recent article focused on the problems claimants have been having renewing their blue badge because their PIP award was being extended by only short periods.

However, many claimants have now been in touch with us to tell us about other problems caused by the delays.  These include:

  • Not being able to lease a Motability car
  • Not being able to renew a Bus/Freedom pass
  • Other benefits being stopped or reduced
  • PIP not being increased even though needs have greatly increased

Some of our readers comments are below (minor typos have been corrected for ease of reading)

Other benefits and premiums affected

Some readers have found that the delay in reviewing their PIP award is causing issues with other benefits.  One reader says that this has affected their pension credit, council tax and housing benefit.

“I have had a dreadful year regarding my PIP review.  It arrived in April 2021, a full year before my extended end date. This impacted my Blue Badge renewal which I could only get for one year. In August 2021 I retired and received my pension and pension credit. The pension credit stopped on March 3rd, 2022 because it is linked to the PIP end date, also It has caused problems with my renewing my Blue Badge a second time . . .My council tax and housing benefit is also affected by this. Today I received an email to inform me that they have been stopped. The situation is a nightmare to deal with especially when you are ill.”

Another reader is struggling both to get their change of circumstances assessed and having difficulties with their daughter’s carer’s allowance

“I sent off my renewal last July for consideration - have constantly advised them my condition has considerably worsened.   All I heard from them was a text at the end of July to say paperwork had been received.   Phoned PIP on 16 September, 2 December, 15 February and then lastly 25 April to constantly be told it’s in a pile to be looked at!!!!    When I say how debilitating it is and a daily worry all I get told is if your benefits are increased it will be back dated.   That’s NOT the issue it’s the constant daily worry.   My daughter has now been told her carers allowance will stop in May and my housing benefits will alter too . . . Help help help.” 

Other readers have also been threatened with the loss of carer’s allowance.

“Myself and my wife have had our PIP extended. My wife's was due to run out last week in April. We had heard nothing except for a letter from my carers allowance saying that was about to end. We contacted PIP to be told my wife's PIP was extended to July a couple of days later we received a text message saying they acknowledge receipt of our "review form" (from june 2021) that we didn't need to phone for an update again, they would contact us with a decision.”

“My husband has had his review in since July 21 and it has been extended. We have had no communication from DWP PIP but Carers contacted myself telling me my CA is stopping, several calls later I got to the bottom of the situation. I am closely watching payments, letters news etc”

One commenter told us that their brother’s ESA was being affected by the PIP review delay:

“My brother is still waiting for a decision on renewal of his PIP claim having sent the forms in last June and we have not been told if his money is going to stop. However, his ESA is going to be considerably reduced because they are removing his disability premium because they have had no decision on his PIP. PIP have given no indication of when his decision will be made and ESA are not interested, just that he will lose his money. Feel completely helpless.”

Mobility cars not being leased

Some readers have told us that they have been unable to lease a Motability car because they are waiting for their PIP review to happen.

“My award was up in January 2022 it has been extended for the second time until July 22 but I cannot get a mobility car without the review. It was sent in last may and even though there is a mountain of evidence they keep saying I need an assessment. I wrote to Chloe Smith and my local MP Ian Burns. Ian helped me with my blue badge problem as they said the process for a blue badge application can take 12 weeks. The same amount of time as my extension so it was a vicious circle. I’m still waiting to hear from the DWP after having 2 people email me with regards to my issue. It’s ridiculous I’m a prisoner in my own home as I cannot drive my manual car with my mobility issues. I just want my assessment done.”

“Its ok saying our awards will continue until they get to our reviews ,but i need to show Motability a new award so I can receive a Motability car. As pip claimants are aware you need a minimum of a year left of your award to get a Motability car.  I have roughly 10 weeks left of my award and its shocking how they can treat claimants this way”

Bus/Freedom pass not renewed

An award of PIP can be one route to a bus pass or Freedom pass, meaning that yet again claimants are affected when PIP reviews do not happen.

“My PIP award is to be due to end 6 June, after 2 extensions. I submitted the reassessment information by the date I was given in October but  I have heard nothing. Meanwhile, my disability bus pass has expired and the council will not renew without a new dated PIP assessment document.”

Another reader initially had problems with their Freedom Pass, but opted for a local authority assessment in order to get round the lack of a PIP award letter.

“I have had my PIP automatically renewed for another year or so about three times now. I have renewed my blue badge using the extension letter and had no problems in Lewisham, London. The only place I could not use my extension letter was to apply for a freedom Pass. I was told this letter was not valid, only the PIP award letter was, but obviously that has the old expired date. I had two options either contact DWP or go through their own medical. I opted for the latter and after two weeks I got my Freedom Pass which is valid for five years, without having to do any medical at all, again with Lewisham in London.”

Change of circumstances not acted on

The DWP have repeatedly implied that delays to PIP reviews are not a problem, because people who report a change of circumstances because their condition has deteriorated will not have to wait to get assessed.  But we are hearing a very different story from some of our readers.

 “I sent my review form, with additional papers regarding change of circumstances ie. my health has changed more for the worst. This was in February and I still haven’t had a letter responding to the additional information.  I have not received a letter informing me of any extension either.”

“I sent my additional papers regarding a change of circumstances in the end of January/February and I haven't had any response either relating to this.”

“I have now been waiting for a review for over a year now my circumstances have massively changed for the worse. I keep ringing them and I just get told they are extending it, I’ve never known anything like this before.”

“My husband has mental and physical health problems. His needs have substantially increased so I asked that his care needs be reviewed and also his mobility be reviewed in line with the Leap guidelines. This was 18 months ago and no review has taken place just a continuance of his care award.”

Delays and anxiety

More than anything else, it’s the uncertainty, the fear that a PIP award might just end at any moment and not knowing when or whether you might be called for an assessment that is causing people enormous worry and even making their health conditions worse.

“I sent my review in last September and my award ended this month. I have just got through after a 45 minute wait to be told that it’s with the assessors however it’s been extended until August. I wasn’t sent a letter regarding this. The lady said there is a huge backlog & if it hasn’t been sorted out by August then it will be extended for a further 3 months.” 

 “My renewal claim ended July 2021, its now May 2022 I’ve just had a text from DWP to say they will review my claim and I might need to see a medical professional.  I’ve had no correspondence at all, so I take it it was done digitally.  How long will this take, its making me ill.”

 “They don't understand the anxiety that they cause, my head is spinning with this.”

 “My review went in last august and I’ve heard nothing since, my award ends in June and I’m worried but too scared to ring them!”

 “My PIP award has been extended twice and my blue badge was only allowed for one year.  My review went in june 2021 and I have become so stressed over it, it’s been nearly a year without an assessment.  I have given enough medical evidence with my form so why am I still waiting? When my carer phoned they said I’m down for an assessment but no idea when that might be.”

No end in sight for PIP review delays

At the moment there is no end in sight for PIP review delays. 

So long as the DWP continues to prioritise new claims and assessment companies are unable to meet demand, existing claimants will be left in a state of uncertainty.

Plans to change the assessment system so that the same company carries out both PIP and ESA assessments in a given area could well lead to even further delays, as companies learn to carry out assessments for which they have no previous experience.

We hope that many more claimants follow the example of some of our readers and complain to their MP about the delays and lack of communication they are experiencing.  It may take time, but it is only pressure from parliament that is likely to improve the situation.

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  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Shazzie · 14 days ago
    My PIP review was due a year ago. I recently had a text to say I may need an assessment. Last week my ESA payment didn't arrive and I rung ESA and they made a payment to me. I was told the non payment was due to my PIP review being delayed. I was told my ESA will be paid up to 22 August 2022. I hope this means my PIP review will be completed by then. The DWP have absolutely no idea the impact all of this has on my mental health, which in turn makes my conditions worse.
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Sally · 17 days ago
    I sent of my renewal form last August my health is detoriating I now need hearing aids my anxiety has got worse sent in more evidence regarding my copd also my osteoarthritis had a text to weeks ago telling me they still have my pip form wich I am aware of I feel so fed up hardly go out due  to my anxiety feel so down it's the not nowing and lack of communication I will be getting in touch with my M P it's absolutely disgusting what we have to go through I had to give up work in the end I just wish they would not put us through this rant over 
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Carole · 21 days ago
    My renewal form for a client went in Sept 2019. It was dealt with Feb 2022 and she received a reduced award. It was based on evidence from 2019. 
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Jane · 24 days ago
    I applied back in January to see about mobility as my health has deteriorated. 
    I got a text from pip today to say they will be phoning me on the 17th
    Of June.
    Is this the norm now.
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Marie Clark · 24 days ago
    Hi I had my pip assessment 2 weeks ago and it was dreadful the woman was horrible her attitude was disgusting she asked me how fast I walk I answered I don’t walk fast so repeated the same question 4 times and then told me I was repeating my answer she made me feel like I was worthless so I doubt I will be getting my pip🥵
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    M1dpq · 24 days ago
    I managed to get my Blue Badge replaced by circumventing the pip system by applying on my own with Sunderland City councils own scheme, so try your own councils scheme to see if it works for you.
    As to my review, well it was to be in March 2022, forms were sent the June 2021 (as they did have a backlog of 6 months), however i got a letter informing me that i had to have a face 2 face appointment with a medical professional due to multiple changes within my health, this they said would be done by June 2022.
    Its now June 2022, and so far nothing but a text to say that they were still waiting to get the face 2 face appointment - funny but i can get a face 2 face appointment with a medical professional at either my doctors or Sunderland Royal Hospital without any problems, so why can't they?
    Or is it because its a farce, they want people to pull out????
    I'm not trapped in my own home like some folks, i do still drive but for how much longer, i don't know, as i have lost all the upper body muscle and thats new, but they haven't bothered to contact the neurology dept at SRH for details!!!

  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Cathie · 25 days ago
    my blue badge expired last week and I am waiting to hear results of my review form sent in May- I rang council to be told they won't accept a letter of support from my GP even though that is how I was awarded my first blue badge! 
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Molly logie · 25 days ago
    I have waited from June last year I got a text saying they have a back log to go through its getting really terrible my anxiety is 10 times worse I feel so ill

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    Anne · 25 days ago
    Surely this is disability discrimination. A lot of government action/inaction causes increased health disfunction - there seems to be no acknowledgement or understanding of this by central and local government. Ill and disabled people suffer compounded distress and sometimes die because of this. How can the government be held responsible for its inhumane and inhuman actions/inactions? 
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Phil · 25 days ago
    I sent my P I P  renewal back in June 2021, I waited the 12-16 weeks as normal and heard nothing! I have since rung them every 6 weeks as "they" suggested to be told a whole host of tails none of which seemed true. My Blue Badges were due for renewal but no info from P I P, stress levels going through the roof so I rang Local Council Blue Badge department who said still apply. They too got no help from P I P but contacted me to ring in and they asked some questions on the phonr and then issued me my Badges for full 3yr period.
    Still no contact from DWP it's making some of my problems worse!
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    EB · 25 days ago
    It took them so long to respond to my review form submitted September 2021 that by the time they called me to an assessment I’d had an unforeseen major operation and my circumstances had changed. I notified them of this and asked if I could complete the form afresh. They agreed but while I was arranging help  to complete it with the C.A.B I then received pressure from the Assessment service saying I must attend their appointment regardless of the change in circumstances. So I’m now caught in a sort of pincer movement, where the fresh form is being completed to a deadline, and I’m going to be assessed soon as well, seemingly implying that the information on the fresh form won’t be taken into account and that assessment is a forgone conclusion and just a ruse to get you off PIP.  All this despite the DWP having two tribunal decisions from 2017 and 2018 about my health and which confirm my disabilities at the enhanced rate for ESA and PIP.  The underhanded was is very damaging health wise. 
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    Magda · 25 days ago
    I applied together with my solicitors for a higher award as i had more strong medical evidence snd more cinditions diagnosed.
    in April 2021 DWP carried ouT my asessment and stoppec my award completely. The solicitors were sbsolutely baffled. They said they had never had such a case before. 
    i had been in Tribunal over the last 6 years twixe and always won. 
    Now,my case had to be lodged again (nov 2021). The first hearibg was scheduled for 31.03.22 but when the jydges introduced thenselves they decided immediately to adjourn.Prrobably because they saw 500 pages of medical evidrnce and I guess they had not been prepared. 
    they sent then a silly letter with false excuse to my solicitors. 
    The next hearing was scheduled for 26 of May. Guess what? They cancelled it again and they did it s day before. Again,sending a ridiculous ecplanation!!!! (The judge supposedly did not have a computer😆😆😆😆)
    I have my assessments every 2 years and I’m in appeal for one year. This emotional rolkercoaster plus financial hardship have severely affected my health.  
    i just wanted to give uou guys an update on what’s been currently going on in tribunals. 
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Gerard Campbell · 25 days ago
    I was asked to do a review about 15 months ago and yes my circumstances have changed sadly for the worst,I really do need my mobility to go up so I can get transport. I can’t really get anywhere at the moment, I have now been waiting for about 14 months and all I’ve had from them is a text saying they have still got my information. It’s destroying my life!
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Amelia Thornton · 25 days ago
    I filled in my renewal papers for Pip in July 2021 I have had no communication with DWP at all my health problems have deteriorated  due to all the stress my anxiety is through the roof then 3 weeks ago I got a text saying that my payments will continue and my papers will be reviewed and I might need to see a medical professional when I'm interviewed but how long have I got to wait be before I and thousands of others get seen my pain levels have been so bad due to the stress I Have Emailed Hilary Benn explaining the situation in hope of some help please everyone do the same 
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Laura · 25 days ago
    I put in for e review voluntarily as I think my health has deteriorated. I've been told due to backlogs it takes 6 months and I'm only at the early stages after posting 3 months ago.
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Jen Knox · 25 days ago
    I have been told that blue badge renewals are that far behind by the elderly gentleman who got a parking ticket for parking in disabled bay because he has not recieved his badge renewal and his old badge has expired 12 weeks ago and he claimed in plenty of time so watch out if your badge is coming up to renewal get in early.
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    micksville · 28 days ago
    I recently contacted my local authority re free bus passes. Mine ends mid sept this year but my PIP which was initialy due to expire that date was extended till June 2023. Apparently the jobsworths at the local authority won't take the original award letter with the points on it as it is from 2016. The letter confirming extension has to be dated within the last 12 months apparently and mine was dated january 2021. However, on contacting PIP they were very helpful and are sending an updated letter with the extended date of Jue 2023 on it as well as confirmation of the points I am still entitled to under that extension. All dated as of last week. I am told my review latter should come out around end of October as instead of the usual 6 months before the review date they are sending them out somewhat earlier now to allow time to process them. As usual 28 days to complete they say roughly 28 days to process if no changes but longer if you report changes and an assesor needs to look at it.
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    SL · 1 months ago
    My claim was extended by a year, dated until October 2023.
    Then just after Christmas I got a letter informing me of an assessment, which I had at the end of March.
    On 11th April I received a letter stating that they had all the required evidence to make a decision and would notify me when they had done so.
    Since that date, I have received no further correspondence, but my PIP payments have stopped and my ESA Premiums have been removed, and I'm left in this horrific limbo of being down by over £500 per month with absolutely no idea what's going on. 
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      SL · 18 days ago
      @Susan Thanks both for your replies. I did manage to call them this morning, and was absolutely flabbergasted to find that they did in fact make a decision (on the 12th, so one day after getting all the information), and never told me about it. They claim they sent the letter of course, but there's no good reason it wouldn't have arrived if they did. 

      They're sending a "new" decision letter and have reassured me that I can still request a reconsideration, but I guess we'll see. In any case it looks like I'm going back to appeal yet again, though now I'm wondering if I should also look into a maladministration claim. 
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      A Mick · 25 days ago
      @SL definitely call the PIP line they can tell you what's going on, if it was extended to 2023 then there's no way it should of been stopped unless they have refused your award  after your assessment which they should of told you in writing about anyway! probably a big fat error on their part! My PIP award was extended to 2023 about a year or so ago (due to covid etc i assume) and i got my reassesment forms in january which i posted back a few weeks later and was told when i rang there is a huge backlog and it will be months before they review my case and I actually have an assessment (if i need one that is)
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Susan · 25 days ago
      @SL Why if your claim was extended to oct 2023 have all payments stopped without any notification!
      I know it’s very hard and long to call them but you should or get someone else to do the calling until they answer the phone and they can at least give you an update
      hiw terribly worrying this is for you 
      hope you get through to them 

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