Personal Independence Payment: Parkinson's Disease

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered at on 28 November 2023.

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Photo of Jim Shannon Jim Shannon Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Human Rights), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Health)

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, with reference to page 10 of Parkinson's UK's publication entitled Nowhere near enough, published in April 2023, what assessment he has made of the potential implications for his Department’s policies of the finding on the proportion of PIP claims made by people with Parkinson's that were initially assessed incorrectly compared with the general PIP claimant population.

Photo of Tom Pursglove Tom Pursglove The Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions

We are working hard to make the right decision, first time, every time. We continue to review our processes and decision-making and work closely with the assessment providers who carry out the assessments and provide feedback to ensure that they provide decision-makers with the highest quality reports.

Condition Insight Reports are also available to PIP assessors to gain a better understanding of a condition and its impact, including Parkinson’s disease. This insight report highlights the importance of exploration of the fluctuation of the condition and was completed in collaboration with relevant charities.

The Mandatory Reconsideration process is a key element of the department’s decision-making process for all benefits and offers claimants an early opportunity to challenge decisions and get them changed quickly. It offers the department an equally timely remedy for correcting decisions and means that fewer decisions progress to appeal, which is stressful and time consuming for claimants and costly for government. It is worth highlighting that in many cases, decisions can be changed as a result of new evidence or information being made available.

We published Transforming Support: The Health and Disability White Paper on 15 March 2023. Changes set out in the White Paper include those aiming to improve our assessment of fluctuating conditions, such as the way we use medical evidence, and developing the capability of our assessors. We will also explore options for introducing a new way of gathering evidence of fluctuation in a person’s condition before their assessment. The department continues to closely monitor all aspects of the assessment process, including how we assess fluctuating conditions.

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