Disabled people need information on why they have been rejected for PIP

Pip claims web

Disability charities have said that those who are rejected for benefits need more information on how a decision was made

16th January 2018 by Gareth Jones 0 Comments

Disabled people who have welfare claims rejected look set to remain in the dark as to the reasons why they have been knocked back.

A second independent review into Personal Independence Payments (PIP), which was carried out last year, recommended that assessment reports should be made available to claimants.

The Westminster government has now published its response to the review - which was led by Paul Gray, chairman of the Social Security Advisory Committee – and said that it broadly accepts its main recommendations.

It has committed to ensure the evidence of carers is given sufficient weight when considering applications, will explore options for looking at claimant’s medical history in advance of assessment appointments and implement a system to follow up evidence identified after an assessment.

However the government has said it is not practical to automatically provide reports to those who have been assessed.

Its response states: “Given the scale of the challenge to provide assessment reports to all claimants automatically, including the significant dependencies across a number of the department’s IT systems, and the high cost to the taxpayer, this is not an option we will be pursuing.”

Disability charities have said that information in the reports would give those who have been knocked back for PIP more of an understanding on how a decision was reached by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP).

Disability Rights UK’s welfare rights adviser Ken Butler said: “In our response to Paul Gray’s second PIP review we recommended that the DWP should provide a copy of the Healthcare Professional (HCP) report with all decisions made.

“Recent DWP commissioned research found that just 66% of PIP claimants said they understood how the decision on their claim had been reached.

“If disabled people had access to the HCP report earlier in the process, they would be able to see for themselves the evidence on which the decision maker has based their decision.

“This would allow them to better understand the decision and help inform what evidence they may need to provide to bring about the change in decision. This potentially saves time for all involved and facilitates evidence to be provided earlier and thereby avoid the need for a tribunal.”