The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) has highlighted trends of people claiming the disability benefit during the coronavirus pandemic its latest Personal Independent Payments report for August to October 2020.
The summary covers both new claims and claims made by those with an existing claim for Disability Living Allowance (DLA). From 8 April 2013 the DWP started to replace DLA for working age people with PIP.
In October, there were 57,000 registrations for new claims, 12% higher than the level recorded a year earlier; and 8,200 changes in circumstances, up 11% on last year.
The stats also show that there were 17,000 MR registrations, 52% below last year, suggesting that fewer disabled people have appealed against DWP’s decision during the pandemic.
The department said its latest statistics continue to reflect the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, which have impacted the activity of claimants and led to changes in operational procedures to process claims in order to reduce the risk to claimants and ensure those eligible receive their benefit.
In March, the government suspended all face-to-face disability assessments, including for PIP. At this time, new and existing claimants either carried out telephone or paper-based assessments to ensure they could still access PIP.
Planned award reviews and some DLA reassessment activity restarted in July, and activity initiated by customers has gradually recovered in some parts of the process, with registrations for new claims and changes to circumstances increasing, though registrations for Mandatory Reconsiderations (MRs) remain low, the DWP said.
For more information, click here.