28 January 2015
Responding to the publication of the Personal Independence Payment ad hoc statistics by the Department of Work and Pensions, Dr Fran Woodard, Director of Policy and Research at Macmillan Cancer Support, says:
“We are delighted the government has listened to our calls and published clearance times for the disability benefit, the Personal Independence Payment. Today’s statistics reveal that the average time it now takes for assessment agencies to clear a claim is at 14 weeks.
“But the statistics do not provide a time frame for the end-to-end claiming process which would tell us how long a person with cancer has to wait between submitting their application and receiving their benefit payment. Over the past year, Macmillan has been calling for the government to reduce delays and ensure that no one with cancer is forced to wait longer than 11 weeks for their payment.
“We know that delays have left thousands of people with cancer facing severe hardship as they struggle to heat their homes, are saddled with debt or left anxious or depressed because they are waiting so long for their much-needed benefits.
“This is heartbreaking and completely unfair. No one should have to face these situations simply because they have been diagnosed with cancer.
“The Government has a duty to ensure that the new disability benefit works at least as well as the old one and Macmillan is calling on them to fix the delays as a matter of urgency and ensure no one with cancer is left waiting longer than 11 weeks throughout the process.”
For further information, please contact:
Cora Bauer, Media and PR Officer, Macmillan Cancer Support
0207 091 2016 (out of hours 07801 307068)
Notes to Editors:
 DWP Personal Independence Payments new claims: ad hoc statistics. https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/personal-independence-payment-new-claims-ad-hoc-statistics. January 2015
 Macmillan Cancer Support. Waiting to Benefit: An evaluation of how Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is working for people living with cancer. June 2014. http://www.macmillan.org.uk/Documents/GetInvolved/Campaigns/Campaigns/WelfareReform/Waiting-to-benefit-report.pdf
About Macmillan Cancer Support
When you have cancer, you don’t just worry about what will happen to your body, you worry about what will happen to your life. Whether it’s concerns about who you can talk to, planning for the extra costs or what to do about work, at Macmillan we understand how a cancer diagnosis can take over everything.
That’s why we’re here. We provide support that helps people take back control of their lives. But right now, we can’t reach everyone who needs us. We need your help to make sure that people affected by cancer get the support they need to face the toughest fight of their life. No one should face cancer alone, and with your support no one will.
To get involved, call 0300 1000 200 today. And please remember, we’re here for you too. If you’d like support, information or just to chat, call us free on 0808 808 00 00 (Monday to Friday, 9am–8pm) or visit macmillan.org.uk