Personal Independence Payment: North West

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered at on 5 March 2020.

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Photo of Angela Eagle Angela Eagle Labour, Wallasey

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many personal independence payment claimants were passed on to her Department's specialist team for severe hidden disabilities in (a) the North West, (b) Merseyside, (c) Wirral and (d) Wallasey in each of the last 12 months.

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

We have a duty to provide a compassionate service to all of our customers, treating each person with dignity and respect to deliver the best service with the right outcomes. Therefore, we do not have a team specialising in hidden disabilities we ensure all members are staff are trained in dealing with all customers.

Our Case Managers have all had up-skilling sessions delivered around Holistic Decision Making to ensure they are equipped to action the most complex cases. Holistic decision making empowers Case Managers to review all available evidence and give customers the best opportunity to provide information. This allows us to better understand our customers and their conditions before making decisions.

We have a team of Vulnerable Claimant Champions to ensure our most vulnerable customers are supported when engaging with us. A vulnerable claimant is defined as someone who has difficulty in dealing with procedural demands at the time when they need to access our services; all staff are aware of the Champions and use them when they feel additional help is needed.

To ensure consistency, we provide our Case Managers with regular updates and provide sufficient time to read any policy guidance and complete mandatory training for Disability awareness. In addition, regular all colleague calls with medical experts speculating in various conditions are held along with monthly Quality Calibration sessions on real life cases. Quality Assurance Managers who are also always on hand to provide further expert help, advice and support to all of our people.

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