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Citizens Advice responds to the second independent review of PIP

30 March 2017

Citizens Advice has called on the government to improve the quality and accuracy of the application and assessment process for Personal Independence Payments (PIP), as well as the system which allows people to submit additional evidence as part of their claim.  

The national charity was responding to the second review of PIP, published today.

In the last 12 months Citizens Advice has helped people with almost 400,000 PIP problems, up 37% on the previous year.

Chief Executive of Citizens Advice Gillian Guy said:

“Anyone trying to get on with life while coping with a serious illness or disability deserves a quick and accurate experience when applying for personal independence payments (PIP).

“PIP is the single biggest advice issue people turn to Citizens Advice about and in the last 12 months we helped with almost 400,000 PIP problems. While some parts of the system have got better - such as a reduction in waiting times - we are concerned there is still a way to go in terms of improving the quality and accuracy of the PIP application and assessment process.

“It’s good to see the review recognises the need to improve the system around additional evidence which people can submit when they apply for PIP. Many currently find this confusing and don’t know what to send in.  It can also take a lot of time and money to get the evidence you need, like a note from the GP.

“It’s vital the the government pays close attention to the issues highlighted by this review and takes meaningful action to tackle the ongoing flaws with the PIP process which stop people getting the help they need to live their lives.”

Case studies:

Citizens Advice helped one woman with fibromyalgia and depression who had a two hour home visit booked for her PIP assessment. The assessor turned up early, rushed the assessment and left after just half an hour. The woman’s application was turned down, and she’s now appealing, which is causing financial and emotional strain.

In another case a man who is disabled and uses a wheelchair was given a PIP appointment over 25 miles away. He needed to take two buses to get there, and then it turned out the centre wasn’t wheelchair accessible.

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Notes to editors

  1. The Citizens Advice service comprises a network of local Citizens Advice, all of which are independent charities, the Citizens Advice consumer service and national charity Citizens Advice. Together we help people resolve their money, legal and other problems by providing information and advice and by influencing policymakers. For more see the Citizens Advice website.
  2. The advice provided by the Citizens Advice service is free, independent, confidential and impartial, and available to everyone regardless of race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, religion, age or nationality.
  3. To get advice online or find your local Citizens Advice in England and Wales, visit citizensadvice.org.uk
  4. You can get consumer advice from the Citizens Advice consumer service on 03454 04 05 06 or 03454 04 05 05 for Welsh language speakers.
  5. Local Citizens Advice in England and Wales advised 2.5 million clients on 6.2 million problems in 2014/15. For full service statistics see our publication Advice trends.
  6. Citizens Advice service staff are supported by more than 21,000 trained volunteers, working at over 2,500 service outlets across England and Wales.