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210,000 new Personal Independence Payment (PIP) claims have received clearance, which is the highest level since records began.

This is according to the Department for Work and Pensions’ (DWP’s) new quarterly PIP statistics for the quarter ending April 2022, highlighting the trends of people claiming the disability benefit.

What is PIP?

PIP helps with some of the extra costs caused by a long-term disability, ill-health or a terminal illness. The finances could be used to purchase essential assistive technologies for people with reduced mobility or cover the costs of a carer, for example.

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There are two types of PIP awards: the daily living part – which is where the claimant needs help with everyday tasks like drinking, making decisions about money, bathing or reading – and the mobility part – which is where the claimant needs help moving around.

Earlier this year, DWP announced some proposed PIP increases that came into effect on 11 April 2022. More information on the weekly payment increases can be found here.

Quarterly figures information

DWP’s quarterly statistics cover the customer journey from registration through to payment, providing key data on PIP registrations, clearances, awards and mandatory reconsiderations. A mandatory reconsideration (MR) is where claimants who wish to dispute a decision on their PIP claim at any stage ask DWP to reconsider the decision.

The highest level of award refers to claimants who receive both the daily living part and the mobility part of PIP.

The statistics cover both new claims and claims made by those with an existing claim for Disability Living Allowance (DLA) (known as reassessments). From 8 April 2013, the DWP started to replace DLA for working-age people with PIP.

Key figures and trends

The latest statistics show that as of 30 April 2022, there were three million claimants entitled to PIP, with just over a third of the cases receiving the highest level of award.

In the quarter ending April 2022, there were 200,000 registrations and 210,000 clearances for new claims – the highest levels since PIP began.

Compared to previous quarterly PIP statistics from 2019, for example, only about 43 percent of new PIP claims under normal rules were awarded, so the latest figures show a significant increase in new claims being awarded.

This could suggest that DWP assessors have taken on previous criticisms that PIP assessments are unfair, especially when a freedom of information request in 2019 revealed that around half of disability benefit appeals were won in tribunal court due to poor assessments.

Of the 28,000 claimants who reported a change in circumstances in the latest figures, only 1,000 were not granted clearance.

There were 20,000 registrations and 21,000 clearances for DLA reassessments. 110,000 planned award reviews were registered and 71,000 were cleared. Additionally, 73,000 MRs were registered and 85,000 were cleared.

Over the last five years (May 2017 to April 2022), a total of 3.8 million claims have been cleared.

Adult Disability Payment

In Scotland, PIP is changing. It is being replaced by a new disability benefit, administered by the Scottish Government, called Adult Disability Payment.

Currently, people living in three councils in Scotland (Dundee City, Perth and Kinross or the Western Isles (Na h-Eileanan Siar)) now make new claims to Adult Disability Payment.

DWP says the impact of this change on the PIP figures is “limited” at this stage, affecting only six weeks of data for that group of local authorities. However, the impact of this change will grow over future months and a different approach for PIP Statistics in Scotland will be taken from the September 2022 release onwards.

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