Helen tells Minister of ‘shambles’ PIP application system

13 May 2024
Helen speaking in Parliament

Helen Morgan MP has challenged the Government over delays to disability benefit applications during questions in the House of Commons.

The MP for North Shropshire told Parliament of a case she has dealt with recently where mistakes from the Department for Work and Pensions led to a five-month wait for a constituent to receive their Personal Independent Payment.

The DWP first used the wrong name while assessing the constituent’s application. Then, when the constituent applied to appeal the faulty decision, the Department took four months to correct its mistake and a further month to pay the constituent.

Helen referred to the process as nothing less than a “shambles” during a question to Mel Stride MP, the Secretary of State for Department of Work and Pensions.

Another constituent who recently applied for PIP referred to the process as a “highly stressful bureaucratic nightmare”. Helen asked the Minister to simplify and speed up the PIP process for applicants.

Helen Morgan, Liberal Democrat MP for North Shropshire, said afterwards, “Mistakes have been made by the DWP which have cost my constituents time and money.

“PIP payments are crucial for anyone who struggles to complete everyday tasks or get around because of a physical or mental condition. The system is fraught with delays and needs reform.

“A constituent of mine referred to the system as a ‘highly stressful bureaucratic nightmare’. PIP applicants should not have to struggle to receive support which they are entitled to.”

Speaking in the Commons, Helen asked the Secretary of State, “I've recently helped a constituent who waited four months for an appeal to an initial PIP decision. The paperwork for that decision was incorrect, it referred to a person that wasn't her and in fact we don't know who that person was, it took another four months to correct that, and another month to pay her.

“The process could best be described as a shambles. Another constituent has described it as a ‘highly stressful bureaucratic nightmare’.

“I wonder if the Minister could give us some reassurance that his department are working to speed this process up and make it more dignified for those people applying for help?”

Secretary of State, Mel Stride, replied, “I have set out the improvements in the processing times that people have been experiencing and in fact are at 15 weeks now, which is the figure at the end of January, which is now quicker than was the case during the pandemic.

“I can't comment on the individual circumstances that the honourable lady identifies, but I will of course be very happy to look at the matter that she has raised.”

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