18 March 2015
Responding to the publication of the Personal Independence Payment official statistics by the Department of Work and Pensions, Dr Fran Woodard, Director of Policy and Research at Macmillan Cancer Support, says:
“We welcome the publication of the official Personal Independence Payment statistics. Over the past year, Macmillan has been calling on the government to reduce delays and publish statistics and now for the first time we have sight of comprehensive waiting time statistics.
“While there has been some progress, these figures suggest that current waiting times are at an average of 14 weeks1 - this means there is more to do. Under the old system people with cancer had to wait no longer than 11 weeks for their much-needed benefits. However since the introduction of the Personal Independence Payment, lengthy delays have left people anxious, depressed and saddled with unnecessary debt2.
“The next government has a duty to ensure that the new disability benefit works at least as well as the old one and Macmillan will be calling on them to ensure delays are reduced further, and any backlog in claims is cleared, as a matter of urgency.”
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Notes to Editors:
1. DWP Personal Independence Payment statistics: April 2013 to January 2015
https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/personal-independence-payment-april-2013-to-january-2015 (March 2015). Average waiting time of 14 weeks is between DWP referring a claim to an assessment provider, to the claimant receiving a decision.
2. 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.u