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Four in Five people appealed their PIP in one month amidst pandemic

photo of a woman holding hands with a man in a wheelchair walking in the park
photo of a woman holding hands with a man in a wheelchair walking in the park Image credit: istockphoto.com

The number of people who have won Personal Independent Payment (PIP) tribunals has hit an all-time high.

 A record 79% of claims was recorded between April and June 2020 and has only dropped slightly to 72% in the first three months of this year.

Those on PIP receive up to £152 a week to help towards the cost of living for people with disabilities.

If they are unsuccessful there is a process to put in a claim, but the system has been criticised for being complicated and taking around six months to complete.

The benefits are handled by private healthcare providers Atos and Capita, both forms have had their contracts renewed three times.

Over time the number of tribunals has fallen from an average of 10,000 a month to 14,557 at the start of this year.

But in March charities raised concerned when 70,822 PIP claims were recorded in just one month.

Louise Rubin, Head of Policy and Campaigns at disability equality charity Scope, said: “With more Personal Independence Payment (PIP) applications than ever, it’s crucial the Government makes sure assessments are right first time.

“These figures show the system is still failing too many disabled people, who have to go through stressful and lengthy tribunals to get the support they need.

“We need a welfare system and assessment process that gets it right first time.

“The Government must use the upcoming green paper to overhaul the system, and iron out routine inaccuracies and mistrust.”

According to the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) out of 4.3million PIP cases between December 2013 and December 2020 only 9% have been appeared and 5% overturned at a tribunal.

A DWP spokesperson said: “In the vast majority of PIP cases we make the right decision, meaning they never even go to appeal and through recent improvements to our decision-making we are ensuring that disabled people get all the support they are entitled to as quickly as possible.”

Personal Independent Payment replaced the Disability Living Allowance in 2013.