PIP petition: Cancer charity calls for waiting times to be reduced to 12 weeks | Personal Finance | Finance

Macmillan Cancer Support has started a petition asking the DWP to reduce the waiting time for feedback on PIP (Personal Independence Payment) claims to 12 weeks. The charity’s website says it currently takes around 18 weeks for a decision to be made, while financial support charity Turn2us estimates it at 20 weeks.

The campaign was supported by Sarifa, a London woman who is caring for her husband and son and has experienced delays in receiving PIP.

Sharing her experience on the charity’s website, she said: “The process of applying for PIP can be very difficult. I support a group of women with cancer trying to access it.

“Some of them are now talking about whether to eat or whether to turn on the heat while waiting for PIP.

“It has a massive impact on their mental and emotional well-being. I’ve had women come to me in tears because they didn’t know how to get through the long wait.”

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The petition calls on Work and Pensions Secretary Chloe Smith to take action to reduce waiting times for applicants.

PIP provides funds for people living with a disability, illness or medical condition to cover their additional costs.

Sarifa spoke about how her health and daily finances were severely impacted when her PIP payments stopped.

She said: “Eventually my own PIP payments were stopped. It was really bad for my health because of the financial implications.

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“This is how I understand what life can be like for the many people who wait an average of 18 weeks for their PIP payments.

“I had to cut things like spending on nutritious food because I couldn’t afford it. I’ve had to limit myself from seeing my family and friends as I couldn’t afford the taxis I need due to my serious mobility needs.

“I’ve been fighting to get my payments back and now that I’m getting what’s due to me it means I can see my loved ones and take care of my health again.

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“We need the UK Government to pay PIP now so others like me don’t have to put their lives on hold, suffer or go into debt.”

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At the time of writing, more than 4,100 people have signed the Pay PIP Now petition.

A DWP spokesperson said: “We understand how difficult and life-changing a cancer diagnosis can be, which is why we are committed to getting people the support they are entitled to as quickly as possible and we will be backdating the awards to ensure.” that no one missed.

“We serve millions of people each year and continue to improve our PIP service by increasing resources and offering assessments by phone and video, with turnaround times now reduced by eight weeks compared to last year.”

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The department said wait times had “gradually improved,” shortening from 26 weeks in August 2021 to 18 weeks at the end of August this year.

PIP applications under the special rules for people with a terminal illness are expedited and processed within three business days on average.

Applicants can receive PIP payments of up to £156 a week, with support available for people with a range of physical and mental illnesses.

The benefit consists of a daily living component and a mobility component, with a lower and a higher amount available depending on the support needs.

PIP is not means-tested and can be claimed by employees, and the payments are tax-free.

Applicants are assessed to determine what level of assistance is appropriate, and individuals can appeal a decision if their application is denied.

People can also challenge their decision if they feel they are entitled to more money or if they feel the PIP price should be extended longer.



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