DWP backlog — failure to communicate PIP extensions causes so much stress

WinVisible member Elizabeth J has written to her MP:

“Dear Tulip Siddiq MP and team,

Please can something be done about the DWP failing to send out letters informing claimants that our PIP has been extended by 12 months due to their backlog.

I got a letter informing me about a similar extension during the COVID crisis, so there is technically no reason for this not to be done.

I sent in my review paperwork in May 2022, my payments were due to end 25 Feb 2023 according to the previous extension.

It is hugely stressful and I needed support to make the phonecall asking if my payments were about to be stopped. The woman who I finally got to speak to after 45 minutes on hold, could not tell me anything about why they did not send out letters or how much longer I am going to have to wait for a decision on my Review.

I am capable of keeping my paperwork accurate and organised because I was a filing clerk when I was able to work but I know this is not possible or easy for many of my fellow claimants. Keeping people poorly informed of their status is really very distressing, to the point of making me unable to cope on my own and needing to self-refer to a Crisis house for respite. All of which means my care is taking an additional cost that would be avoided if the DWP would simply inform us what is happening.

I got no letter informing me my paperwork had arrived, that it was being processed or that if they had not completed my Review by 21 days from the end date of my claim, it would automatically be rolled over for another year. It doesn’t take much to explain this in a simple letter, rather than forcing people to phone an already overburdened phone system.

Similarly it would be helpful for ESA to send out a letter informing me how much time my ESA will stand for before I need to go through the review process all over again. These constant reviews are pointless for someone like myself with a long-standing claim . . .

Please help change the rules by which the DWP and its outsourced private profit-making companies are allowed to run. 

It ought to be a claimant’s right to know and be informed about any changes they make to our claims just as much as they expect us to inform them about the changes that may happen in our lives.

Yours sincerely

Elizabeth J

cc WinVisible team for information”

WinVisible adds:

We’ll post any updates. Us not knowing what’s happening with our PIP while it’s being reviewed is enormously stressful.

But also, not having a current letter to prove our PIP entitlement has knock-on effects for transport and other concessions. We won on this issue with London Councils after they refused Ms A a Taxicard renewal. We got them to change their policy — read more here.

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