COMMONS

Personal Independence Payments - Chair's comment

27 February 2014

A statement from Rt Hon Margaret Hodge, Chair of the Public Accounts Committee

"I was shocked to learn that, not only will Personal Independence Payment claims cost almost three and half times more to administer than Disability Living Allowance, they also take double the amount of time to process. The current backlog and delays in processing claims are simply unacceptable and will no doubt cause real distress for vulnerable claimants. Without the Department for Work and Pensions sharing details of how long claims should and do take, claimants are left facing uncertainty and potential financial difficulties whilst waiting for a decision. Once again we see the Department under-performing - and we have little faith that costs will not increase down the line as it tries to get things under control.

The Department need to understand the causes of this backlog to develop a clear plan on how they are going to work with contractors to clear it, and ensure there are suitable processes in place to make sure this does not happen again. I look forward to discussing their progress on dealing with this backlog when they come before us on the 20 March."

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