In April 2013, the Department for Work and Pensions introduced Personal Independence Payment, a new benefit to replace Disability Living Allowance, to support disabled people with the extra costs of living so that they can live independently and in some cases work. The Department administers and awards claims for Personal Independence Payment but it pays private sector contactors to assess claimants' needs. Atos Healthcare (Atos) and Capita Health and Wellbeing (Capita) conduct face-to-face consultations, or paper-based assessments, against criteria set by the Department. The Department started taking new claims for parts of the north of England from April 2013, and nationally from June 2013. However, only 360 decisions had been made by the time the scheme was implemented nationally. The Department began to reassess the 1.7 million Disability Living Allowance claimants from October 2013, but then postponed this for most claimants when it realised that claimants already faced long delays, and that significant backlogs had developed. Critical assumptions about the process were not fully tested and proved to be incorrect: interviews took longer than expected. The Department must speed up all stages of the process to ensure benefit decisions are made on a timely basis and tackle the backlog of cases that has arisen. The Department should ensure that it, and its contractors, provide an acceptable level of service to claimants by minimising delays and travel times, making home visits when arranged, improving administrative processes, and providing better information to claimants.The Department can apply up to 15% of the invoice value of service credits for a given month.38 15. ... how long they had to wait.39 To check the status of their claim, claimants must bear the cost of calling an 0845 number. ... costs. In some cases, family members or carers had stopped or reduced their working hours to help care for claimants, while they waited to receive Personal Independent Payment.
|Title||:||HC 280 - Personal Independence Payment|
|Author||:||Great Britain: Parliament: House of Commons: Committee of Public Accounts, Margaret Hodge|
|Publisher||:||The Stationery Office - 2014-06-20|