Dying forced to wait eight weeks as an alternative of eight days for assist amid ‘dire’ advantages overhaul – MPs

They spoke of claims apparently vanishing into system, prolonged delays, cancelled appointments, clerical blunders and applicants becoming passed back and forth among officials on best of a mounting backlog of applications.

The MPs urged ministers to invoke penalty clauses in contracts with private businesses, this kind of as Atos and Capita, if needed, but pinned the principal blame mostly on an apparent rush to implement the new benefit just before the IT and call centre techniques had been appropriately examined.

The report also criticised the Division of Perform and Pensions for seemingly “spinning” statistics in a way which could more fuel public hostility toward disabled folks.

While the committee encountered issues across the technique it singled out troubles faced by people with terminal illnesses.

It noted that, underneath the previous the Disability Living Allowance system, men and women recognised as getting no a lot more than six months to reside have been generally processed inside eight operating days.

“Macmillan [Cancer Assistance] reviews that it is taking as prolonged as eight weeks for a PIP claim to move into payment,” the report remarks.

“Macmillan points out that the delays can indicate that terminally unwell claimants are dropping out on as significantly as £134 a week.

“It can also impact on caring provision as the PIP award wants to be in place ahead of Carer’s Allowance can be paid.”

They extra: “Urgent action is necessary. We advise that DWP closely examine its personal systems and that it operate with the contracted suppliers to resolve the existing dire scenario.”

Jason Feeney, benefits director at the DWP admitted that some terminally unwell men and women had had “awful experiences”.

But a spokeswoman said: “Claims for terminally ill people are fast-tracked and Macmillan has acknowledged that enhancements in the system have currently been produced.

“Latest statistics demonstrate over 99 per cent of individuals with terminal illnesses who have utilized have been awarded the benefit, which implies in excess of 9,500 terminally sick claimants are now getting PIP.”

Duleep Allirajah, head of policy at Macmillan, mentioned: “The enormous backlog of claims even now waiting to be processed is appalling.

“The Government need to deal with these delays in the first instance as a matter of urgency and commit to publishing waiting instances on a quarterly basis.”

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