Thursday 07 January 2020
Green Party MLA Rachel Woods has welcomed the publication of the second review of Personal Independence Payments (PIP) in NI, with a caution that the picture hasn't changed in terms of the negative experiences of applicants since the first review was completed and recommendations made in 2018.
Rachel Woods MLA said: "The implementation of PIP has caused hardship for a significant proportion of applicants, throwing many people into significant distress and despair.
"Despite this, some recommendations from Walter Radar's first PIP review have gone largely unimplemented. I continue to receive contact from constituents around the same issues that have gone unchecked.
"This second review contains twelve recommendations and I'd encourage the Communities Minister to implement the recommendations as soon as practicable.
"Of particular significance, is the recommendation that the Department should produce guidance or examples for claimants, advocacy services and Healthcare Professionals of appropriate evidence to support the PIP process and where this evidence should be obtained.
"This is a fundamental problem experienced by applicants. I also welcome the recommendation for the removal of the 6 month rule for those with a terminal illness.
"The Minister has previously indicated to me that the formal Departmental response to the second review would be expected for Spring 2021. I look forward to this response coming through and am optimistic that Minister Hargey will commit the Department to improving the process for all PIP claimants."
Sinead McIvor - 07701 302 498