Listen to This Article
I previously reported how The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) reported that between June 2013 and July 2018, 7,990 people died within six months of having there Personal Independence Payment claim rejected. Now just under two months later, it has emerged that this number is actually 10,380. That’s 2,390 more than we were told in February.
Labour MP Madeline Moon had originally asked on January 17th;
“How many claimants of personal independence payments who died within six months of their claim being registered had their application rejected.”
Then Minister for Disabled People Sarah Newton responded on February 1st with a detailed answer. Then main point in the answer was the number of deaths that had occurred in the previous five years. Newton stated that government figures show;
“3,680 Personal Independence Payment (PIP) claimants died within three months of their initial application being disallowed.”
Extra Deaths Found
Moon decided to follow up on this answer by asking how many of the 7,990 claimants died had applied under “normal rules.” Basically how many of those had not applied under special rules because they have a terminal condition.
As Sarah Newton resigned as Disabled People’s Minister, and has not been replaced 3 weeks later, Justin Tomlinson MP was the junior minister tasked with answering.
His answer however, raises more questions than it does answers. He told Labour’s Moon;
“Over 3.8 million applications to Personal Independence Payment (PIP) were made between April 2013 and 31st July 2018. Of these, 10,380 PIP claimants died within six months of their claim being disallowed at initial decision under normal rules.”
Somehow, since February 1st an extra 2,390 deaths have appeared. Also the previous figures revealed by Newton stated 5,000 terminally ill claimants had died within six months of a rejection.
Terminal claimants usually apply under the special rules so by that premise, that leaves only 2,990 claimants dying under “normal rules.”
However, Tomlinson has been very clear that 10,380 claimants died under “normal rules.” This would insinuate that over 15,000 have actually died, double the original amount.
The same dates have been used by Tomlinson as was by Newton. The figures can change I accept but, there is a very big difference in the numbers.
More PIP Woes
This latest scandal just adds to the growing list of evidence that Personal Independence Payment (PIP) assessments are unfit for purpose. Last month it emerged that 5,700 claimants were turned away because there was no staff member to carry out their assessment.
I have no doubt that the DWP will be questioned on these figures but it is staggering that they can get such important figures so wrong.
I contacted the DWP for comment but received no response at the time of publishing.