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The Department for Work and Pensions has released its quarterly Personal Independence Payment (PIP) statistics up until July 2019, with data about registrations, clearances, awards, clearance times, mandatory reconsiderations and DLA claims.

PIP is a financial benefit intended to help people with a long-term disability, ill-health or terminal ill-health carry out daily tasks easier and live more independently. The money can be used to help them purchase essential mobility devices, get a full-time carer or have necessary housing adaptations.

PIP began replacing the Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for working age people in April 2013.

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The latest quarterly figures reveal that over four million PIP claims have been cleared, which is up by 184,000 clearances from April 2019.

For claims cleared in July 2019, on average, it took 10 weeks to clear normal rules claims, seven weeks to clear reassessed claims for normal rules and six working days to clear new claims and reassessed claims for terminally ill people.

However, whilst nearly all special rules claims (terminally ill) were awarded for PIP in July 2019, only 43 percent of new normal rules claims for PIP were awarded between April 2013 and July 2019.

In the past, PIP has come under fire for being too harsh and strict, leaving people unfairly assessed and without vital support. At the beginning of the year, a concerning story revealed that 23 percent of people in Sunderland receiving a disability benefit were declined PIP, which Scope called “deeply worrying”.

In response, the DWP has looked to make PIP more just by scrapping PIP reassessments for those with severe and progressive conditions and for disabled pensioners.

Although, more promisingly, average clearance times for those awarded PIP have reduced since its peak in July 2014, the statistics show.

On average, for new claims cleared under normal rules, the average PIP claim took 16 weeks from the point of registration to a decision being made on the claim and 10 weeks from the point of referral to the Assessment Provider to a decision being made on the claim.

For reassessed claims cleared under normal rules, the average PIP claim took 13 weeks from the point of registration to a decision being made on the claim and seven weeks from the point of referral to the Assessment Provider to a decision being made on the claim.

These figures echo the previous quarterly statistics, which unveiled an average clearance time of nine weeks for normal rules claims, seven weeks for reassessed claims and six days for people who are terminally ill.

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