Personal Independence Payment: County Durham

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 24th June 2019.

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Photo of Grahame Morris Grahame Morris Labour, Easington

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps she is taking to reduce the 12-week waiting time for a mandatory reconsideration for personal independence payments in County Durham.

Photo of Justin Tomlinson Justin Tomlinson The Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions

We always aim to make the right decision as early as we can. The MR process was introduced as an opportunity to review the original decision and consider any additional evidence provided by the claimant since the original decision was made.

There has been an increase in outstanding PIP MR clearance times in recent months. Measures to reduce the number of outstanding MRs include:

  • Age profiles of outstanding work are managed at a national level to ensure that cases which have been outstanding for longest are actioned first.
  • Resource levels dedicated to the clearance of MRs have been regularly reviewed with significant recruitment, training and redeployment undertaken to support reduced clearance times.

MR is a key element of the decision making process for both the Department and claimants, and whilst ensuring they make quality decisions, decision makers work hard to clear applications without delay. Gathering the right evidence is critical at the MR stage if decisions are not to go to appeal; and we are reviewing our processes to not only obtain this, but to do so whilst continuing to make decisions timeously.

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