Personal Independence Payments Question

As part of the Work and Pensions Oral Questions on Monday 1st September, I asked the Minister for Disabled People, Mark Harper, about the Personal Independence Payment (PIP). PIP is a benefit that supports disabled people across the country to lead independent and active lives.

A number of my constituents receive this support from the Government. I am concerned that although there is guidance on this, my constituents are having to attend a number of face-to-face assessments, despite there being clear medical evidence to support their claim.

To represent these concerns I asked the Minister what scope there is for increasing the number of people who are able to receive PIP without having to attend medical assessments when there is clear evidence. I was reassured by the Ministers’ response and welcome his commitment to improving how this benefit is awarded and reducing the need for a face-to-face assessment for those with clear medical evidence to support their claim. You can read the full text of my question to the minister and his response below:

Nigel Mills MP: What scope is there for increasing the number of people who can get PIP without having to go through the medical assessment? If written evidence is clear that they are entitled to it, why waste everyone’s time by going through an assessment?

Mark Harper MP, The Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions, (Forest of Dean, Conservative): I agree with my hon. Friend. It is a relatively new benefit, and what we are trying to ensure is that in cases where there is clear medical evidence for the impact of someone’s disability, the decision can be made without their having to come in for a face-to-face assessment. That was not happening enough in the earlier stages; it is one of the improvements that we are making.