The Department for Work and Pensions is seeking feedback from real people about your experience of claiming Personal Independence Payment (PIP), in a consultation process that lasts until 12 noon on 5 September 2014.
They have commissioned the first independent review of how PIP is working (or not), and are specifically asking for feedback about personal experiences of going through the claims process. This Review is a statutory requirement of the Welfare Reform Act 2012, but the terms of reference, available here are reasonable.
The MS Trust is not responding to this consultation as we have no experience of going through the process. But many of you do, and this is your chance to let the DWP know exactly how dismal your experience of claiming PIP has been.
As is the way with consultations, there are specific questions that they are looking for you to answer. You can write a letter, or email these responses, or there is an online form – all the options are set out here but you may need to scroll down the page.
Many of the questions allow the independent reviewer an insight into your experience of the process, since these include questions such as:
- a) How easy is it for people to understand the whole process?
- b) How easy is it for people to make a claim?”
“Please tell us about the experience of having a face to face consultation with an Atos or Capita health professional.”
and, very relevant for MS:
Question 5: Where you have evidence of any of the following, please describe how effective the PIP assessment is: c. For people with conditions that change (fluctuating conditions)?
They are also asking questions about the appeals process, and about the time taken from making a claim to getting a decision, and what the impact of this has been on your life and finances.
I would urge you to respond to this consultation. I cannot guarantee that an independent review of PIP will trigger change, however, it is the first time that the Government has officially acknowledged how unhappy disabled people may be with this new benefit and it is your chance truly to have your say.