News & Features

NI Personal Independence Payment Review

Posted in General News on Wednesday, January 6th, 2021

The second independent review of how Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is administered in Northern Ireland has now been published. Both this review, and the previous one were commissioned by the Department for Communities. The first independent review was published in 2018 and in this review, 14 recommendations for improvement were made. In total, 10 of these recommendations were accepted or partially accepted and four were rejected by the department. Distrust on behalf of claimants was seen as the biggest issue with the PIP assessment process in this first review and the recommendations therefore centred around the need for clarity, openness and clearer advice as to how claimants can obtain the relevant information required for their PIP claim.  Three of the four recommendations which were rejected in the first review were revisited in the second one, including a request for the department to remove the six-month life expectancy criterion for terminally ill claimants and replaced by a system based on clinical judgement. The second review also highlighted the need for the department to be open to communication with a representative, social worker or relative who has made contact on behalf of a claimant and view this as implicit consent. Crucially, the report went on to recommend that the Department and the independent assessment firm, Capita should make sure that improved training and support is provided to disability assessors who are assessing claimants with conditions which fall outside of their expertise.

If you would like to read the full report it can be viewed at

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nev's Gravatar

Thursday, January, 7th, 2021

About time the assesors were assessed, they also need hearing tests because what you say to them is either not heard or totally ignored,I get the impression there minds are made up before the assessment to meet there cost cutting targets no matter what the applicants needs