Steve McCabe MP still waiting for meeting with Minister for Disabled People over PIP shambles

6 months after first contacting the Minister for Disabled People, Steve McCabe MP is still waiting for a meeting despite many vulnerable constituents having contacted him about long delays to their Personal Independent Payment applications.

Steve McCabe MP was meant to meet the Minister in July but following the government’s reshuffle, the meeting has now been delayed even further to October. Steve first contacted the Minister in March after being inundated with complaints from vulnerable constituents about the Personal Independent Payment application process.

Constituents have been waiting as long as 14 months for decisions on their PIP applications and are still waiting. Capita, a private company who the government have contracted to manage PIP assessments, have cancelled home assessments with short notice and no explanation. Many are still waiting for their assessments and have no idea when their assessment will take place or when they will receive a decision. The most recent figures from the Department for Work and Pensions show that 220,000 people made PIP claims but less than a fifth were processed indicating what an administrative shambles the application process is. Capita revealed to Steve that they are not fit for purpose and do not have the capacity to respond to complaints made because of their backlog.

The government replaced Disability Living Allowance with PIP which pays between £21-£134 a week. Until registered for PIP, disabled people cannot claim other crucial benefits such as bedroom tax exemption, severe disability premium and travel passes to get to and from hospital appointments. Macmillan Cancer Support also reported that many have died whilst waiting, they say that the delays have left the sick utterly destitute.

Steve McCabe MP said:

“The handling of PIP applications is utterly shocking. It’s absolutely outrageous that vulnerable people, many of whom are terminally ill, are struggling due to an administrative backlog. I have tried to raise my constituents’ cases with Capita who have refused to answer me or give me any information which is why I demanded a meeting with the Minister back in March.

“It simply is not good enough that it has taken 6 months to secure a meeting with the Minister whilst my constituents are expected to endure further hardship and uncertainty, it sends a message to both me and my constituents that this Government is not treating the concerns of disabled and vulnerable people seriously.  This issue is not going to go away and if it isn’t dealt with properly soon it’s only going to get worse, disabled people deserve better than this.”

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