Disabled claimants are missing out on £24 million a month because of delays to personal independence payment (PIP) reviews, a Citizen’s Advice report this month has claimed.

In Playing Catch-Up: The impact of delayed health assessments for Personal Independence Payment Citizens Advice highlight the fact that more people than ever before are applying for PIP due to rising levels of ill health and the effects of the cost of living crisis.

A shortage of staff, particularly health assessors, initially led to DWP delays of six months in assessing new claims. However, the backlog of new claims has now been reduced, but only by failing to process reviews of claims in a reasonable time instead.

This means that claimants are having to wait many months for a higher payment because their request for a review due to a change of circumstances is yet to be looked at.

Claimants who are waiting for a planned review whose needs have increased are facing a lottery in decision making, Citizens Advice claim. Sometimes the DWP backdate any higher award to the date on which the review form was returned, which may be well over a year ago, but in other cases it is only backdated to the date of the decision.

The number of people waiting for a PIP review has hugely increased, with over 430,00 PIP claimants now in the queue.  Citizens Advice estimate that 100,000 of these are likely to be missing out on higher payments.  The delays also cause difficulties with issues such as Motability vehicles and Blue Badges.

Citizens Advice say that the latest quarterly data by the DWP show that they have now begun processing reviews again and this has led to a small decrease in the number waiting.  But the result has been a large increase in the number of new claims waiting to be processed.

There are three areas the DWP could focus on to bring down delays, according to Citizens Advice:

“Continue to increase capacity in the system to carry out health assessments by recruiting more healthcare professionals

 “Take steps to reduce the number of health assessments needed by making more decisions on the basis of paper applications and medical evidence (bypassing the need for a health assessment), and making better use of auto-renewals and longer-term awards.

 “Introduce temporary measures to mitigate the problems experienced by people waiting for a review. That includes backdating any awards increased after a review and taking steps to prevent disruptions to passported benefits.”

Citizens Advice say that requests for help in connection with PIP reviews have risen by 19% compared to last year, much higher than the increase in requests for help with PIP in general.  And here at Benefits and Work we hear daily from members who are struggling with the stress and practical difficulties caused by the delay in their PIP review.

Have you had difficulties because of a delay in your PIP review?  Let us know in the comments below.

Comments

Write comments...
or post as a guest
People in conversation:
Loading comment... The comment will be refreshed after 00:00.
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Vicki L · 4 months ago
    My review date was 09-02-2023. Form was returned in good time. Medically I have deteriorated significantly since the first time I claimed and this was ALL listed on the review. I have just received the decision 07-02-2024, and have been awarded higher rate. But they aren’t back dating it! Why? It seems bloody unfair. 
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Carly · 4 months ago
    I have been waiting since November 2022 for pip tribunal as I feel they have made numerous mistakes and contradicted themselves over and over and even though I have provided documents and letters asked for they then change the reasons and I feel like I'm being judged and discriminated against because it's for mental health and they seem to minimise the seriousness of my conditions and how they impact my life. They have decided that all my evidence is meaningless because they know best without ever meeting me

  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Jacs · 6 months ago
    I've been waiting a year for my PIP review and have just received a letter yesterday from CAPITA for a health assessment next Friday 22nd December via telephone. I'm already super stressed and I live alone, currently recovering from cervical denervation (right) and nerve blocks right shoulder AC joint and scapular from decade of tendinopathy and bursitis, and 6wks post op pains returned, am going back into hospital on 4/1/24 for round 2 cervical denervation on the left side. I'm on ESA, EDP, SDP, PIP DL Std for last 4 years with lumbar & cervical spondylosis, all levels bulging herniated discs, degenerative disc disease, muscle spasms, severe carpal tunnel bilateral and had surgery 2019 both hands which have resulted in further issues in the wrist, and continue cervical radiculopathy, I haven't slept properly for over 13 years since my first fall in 2010 and had to medically retire from my corporate job in London in financial services in 2007.  I've been on antidepressants since 2006 and struggle with my mental health and chronic pain, but because my family all moved abroad I'm seen as I have no one so have to manage then I can and have gone to tribunal 3 times for each section of support over the last decade I am so stressed just thinking of another health assessment despite over 150 pages of medical evidence.  The fact that I have a week to prepare and just before Christmas, is there any advice from anyone please in what I can expect, how to prepare. I have all my paperwork and the review papers I sent back in 4/1/23.  They did the same last year upsetting my christmas with review papers now the assessment 3 days before christmas.  I am having physio next week on my back/neck and under NHS pain management programme and the added stress whislt trying to recover and at this time of year, I haven't seen my parents in 6 years and will again be having a virtual christmas dinner with them as we're both alone, but the DWP see family should be the ones looking after you and don't get that I have no one (divorced, no children, and my friends don't live nearby as we all worked in London) but have 1 BFF nearby who is my rock but she has her own family.  How have others found the PIP Review Telephone Health Assessment? I hated my last one I had years ago at home as the report was a total pack of lies full of cut and paste standardised answers, ignoring everything i said and did and said I was totally fine and not in any pain, one even said my mental health was fine because I was not rocking back and forth.  The anticipation knowing whats coming when having gone through to tribunal 3 times and won on top of chronic pain with a week to prepare.  Happy Christmas DWP!!!
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Jadz · 8 months ago
    I’ve been waiting a year for my review decision now. I don’t know how long I’ll be able to keep my carers.
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Jacs · 6 months ago
      @Jadz I've been a year and just received a letter for health assessment by telephone next Friday 22nd December.
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    steve · 8 months ago
    ive been waiting since march for a decision on my review the form was sent to me late wich meant i only had a week to fill it in and return to them had a text on the 20th march to say they had received my review form had 2 text messages since saying they still had my review form and would be progressing it as soon as possible ..it is worrying and causes stress and anxiety waiting for them to make a decision ..i suffer with fibromyalgia and osteoarthritis and have had really bad flare ups due to the waiting time and not knowing i also have other health issues wich the stress doesnt help..
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Fionn · 8 months ago
    My award was due to expire October 2023, but I only got the review form in September. Completed it, sent it in, and it was confirmed received by DWP on 22 September. They told me to expect an outcome within 41 weeks! 

    My payments will continue in the meantime, of course, but almost a year to look at the form seems absurd. And what if the assessor decided that I've had a miraculous recovery and awards me zero points? I'd owe them over £7k. (I'd appeal, obviously, but it's an invidious to put people in all the same.)
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Russell · 9 months ago
     November 2022 I sent my review form in. I get a text every quarter or so saying we are still looking into your claim and if approved it will be backdated. 
    My worry is that the money involved is now quite substantial and will be rejected because of this. My disability has actually got worse over the last 11 months. Should I let them know this do you think ?  

    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      DJ · 7 months ago
      @Russell Hi Russell, I had 3 years left on my award and I was getting enhanced care, standard mobility, I informed DWP my condition got worse in Aug 2023 they sent review form out to be completed by 28th Sept, I received decision of increase to enhanced for both elements on 20th October with no asessment or phone call as I sent them all info from consultants etc. I think they deal with a claim quicker following a change of circumstances than they do a review. I also made sure that for every question on the review form I started with "in addition to my pre-exisisting conditions and asessment" I now suffer from........... hope this helps!
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Laura · 9 months ago
    I had to renew my PIP back in September 2022 I sent the form back then and had to wait an agonising 11 months before I got a date for the telephone assessment. This is the first time i had a phone appt. Alot of medical info was sent my the GP and myself. I finally got the decision last week I used to be on standard living and enhanced mobilty im glad to say they awarded me enhanced living and stayed on enhance mobilty for 6 years.  In the pip letter the person who interviewed me for the assessment turned me down for both but the assessor changed it because of all the medical evidence that was given. The award was back dated to the date of the assessment 29th August 2023 and not the date when I sent the form in September 2022. I've missed out on 11 months of enhanced daily living which would of really helped out with paying for the carers as I had to contribute over £200 a month and had to end having the carers, back in March 2023 due to not been able to afford them.  I do believe if I had that extra money I would still have the carers today.
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Kirsty · 9 months ago
    I keep reading concerns about blue badge linked to pip but people can still apply for a blue badge without pip on medical grounds. I hope that is helpful information. Dwp is delaying decisions on pip to delay payment of pip and it is not back date pip from date of claim. This is creating risks that the dwp ought to be accountable for. 
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Claire · 9 months ago
    I received a PIP review out the Blue as was not expecting a review until july 2024!!! i was sure i received a letter stating this , (although i know they can review at anytime) i had to ask for a extension as myself like many are having issues having face to face apt with Doctors, etc., I asked the lady when i called PIP line if i had been sent letter stating i was awarded until July 2024 , she confirmed that was correct you never imagined it, but we are asking people earlier as we have a backlog of claims . when i came off phone i thought what the heck was i just told. i still can not believe they are asking me to make a early submission because they have backlog. has anyone else been told such a thing?
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      steve · 8 months ago
      @Claire hi i had same problem my review wasnt due till january 2024 but was sent the teview form in march this year and im still waiting for a decision 
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Claire53 · 9 months ago
      @Claire I have had this and my award is to same date as yours July 2024?. The form i have got through says Personal Independence Payment  its time to review you award . I had to ask for extension which they gave me till 28th September , but i have managed finally to secure a face to case GP appointment for first time since Covid started. I can not find anything to help with such a review, and i can not get what i am going to discus with my GP on the same day my form should be back, i cant cope with all this , esp when they are saying reason is due to backlog so why are they asking NOW!!The form does not have a number like PIP 2  or Light touch review. So i can not find a guide to help form is PIP.1043 24 pages any ideas as to what form this is o where guidance can be found ?
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Douglas Cruse · 9 months ago
    I put a change of circumstances form in for my pip that I was all clear of bowl cancer and now have severe COPD alpha 1 and border line diabetic I got a refusal so I put in a reconsideration request and got knocked back again so I put an appeal in for that then I was told I would have a decision b4 Christmas 21 then I get told I would have my appeal b4 may 22 then I get a letter saying they can only backdate my claim is from when I put the appeal in for the judges and they don't know how long it will take for my appeal hearing to be heard cause my health has got worse and COPD is a terminal illness the dhss have said to put another change of circumstances form in if i do that I will be waiting even longer for a decision I can't go through all that again my mental health is bad enough as it is and anxiety to go all through that again I don't know what to do carry on or just give up any idea what I should do 
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    TwistedWitch · 9 months ago
    Due to covid, my PIP review that should have expired by November 20, was ignored until I received the review paperwork in Oct of 21. I sent that back and then heard nothing until March this year. First they offered me a video assessment which made me actually vomit. But I phoned and they swapped it to a telephone assessment. I finally had my assessment the Monday of the Easter Good Friday week. I was too scared to phone for the assessor's report, but by the Friday following the Easter Monday I got my result. It was dated for Easter Monday, and my award stayed the same. Enhanced Mobility, Standard Care. I think I should also have enchanced care but minful of the fact that if you are not in receipt of the mobility component of PIP at the point you retire (Dec '23 for me) I elected not to argue in case they decided to take away my mobility component. I didn't have the strength to fight them.
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Mae20 · 8 months ago
      @Claire53 Hi Claire,
      Yes, you should continue to get your usual amount while your PIP review is being processed.
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Claire53 · 9 months ago
      @TwistedWitch I have a PIP review which is out of blue as not due for review until 2024, can you tell me are you still getting payments whilst they are reviewing your claim? thank you 
       
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Kirsty · 9 months ago
    Dwp delaying decisions on pip is so it does not have to pay pip defeating the purpose of pip. This is proven by the 
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Shannon · 9 months ago
    I had my PIP stopped in September 2022 due to a change of my mental health which took month's to make a decision, then I was asked to purchase a doctor's note that cost me £30, then history of my medical records dating back from 2018 because there was not much evidence to convince them their was anything wrong.... Never mind the fact I have suffered health issues beyond 2004. I received basic pip, none of my other issues had been taken into account.
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Sue · 9 months ago
    My friend was due a review for PIP last year and sent back her form last May(2022). She eventually had her telephone assessment this July (2023). She was awarded Enhanced Care  and Standard Mobility.
    Over the last year her mobility has drastically worsened she is no longer able to move around without using crutches and wheelchair. We told the lady assessor that this was the case but she didn’t acknowledge that in the report. 
    My main reason for writing this is because it was over a year before her assessment was done !
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Mikeh · 9 months ago
    My PIP, extended by COVID, runs out in December, l received my review from in December 2022 and returned them in January 2023, which l have received confirmation of receipt. I have just called the again as to why my review has still not been done after 8 months, this is the fourth time l have contacted them. I need to change to a mobility car but not having 12 months on my PIP, I am unable to get one. My wife and myself are having a very difficult time but DWP don’t seem to care, totally unacceptable as to the delays.
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Susan Irvib · 9 months ago
    My pip runs out in November as does my blue badge. I have been waiting since January 2023 for my pip review
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Kay · 9 months ago
      @Susan Irvib I’m the same been waiting since April 23 . Mine runs out in nov 23 . Had a txt in July saying they will do it when they can . Do you know if they still pay you . I do know if it’s refused you pay it back. How can you pay your every day bills knowing that you might have to give it back. I have constant panic attacks when the post comes . My anxiety goes through the roof . And have to get my carer to open it . Also other disabilities. This is so confusing . 
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Miss Basset · 9 months ago
    Sent review form back March this year. No letter to say they’ve received it either.  Luckily I sent recorded delivery.

    It’s like constantly living on the edge and waiting for the letter of doom to drop through the door. (That’s how I look at it now).  

    My health like many others is not going to get better, I just don’t see why they put people through this when they have that information in front of them? 
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Amy · 9 months ago
    My review took 11 months. I had a phone call assessment with a lovely lady, and she actually said to me "let's see if we can word this so you can get more money". I was gobsmacked, but 10 days later I received my award, top rate for both and backpay for the whole 11 months. 
    It seems to be a lottery when it comes to assessors and decision makers, but I was lucky in the end, despite the 11 month wait being very stressful. 
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Grace · 9 months ago
    My pip review was due in 2020 i carried on being paid and my review paper work had to be in by February 2021. My assessment was March 2022 over the phone it left me mentality and physically exhausted by the end  of it i was lying down on the sofa half way through the assessment 2 hours in total felt like 5 hours. A week later they called to say I had to have another one over the phone  because I didn't answer all of the questions ( which was a lie i answered them all ) I was in tears but she booked another for 2 weeks time. When the day came I said Ito her i answered all of your questions the first assessment why would you want to do this again.  I physically can't do this it is making me ill i said and causing me so much stress. She said she will carry out the rest via paper assessment,? I then got a letter then saying they have all the information they need to make a decision this was back in May 2023, then another repeat letter in July 2023 i haven'theard anything from them yet.
    My fybromyalgia is getting worse I have heart problems and walking is impossible most of the time daily pain is unbearable. Its been 24 weeks of waiting on a final decision im not sure how long this bit takes but its very stressful all i can say is its a long drawn out process and has a worsening effect on people's health. 
We use cookies

We use cookies on our website. Some of them are essential for the operation of the site, while others help us to improve this site and the user experience (tracking cookies). You can decide for yourself whether you want to allow cookies or not. Please note that if you reject them, you may not be able to use all the functionalities of the site.