New government research shows that hundreds of thousands more claimants of personal independence payment (PIP) would have taken further steps to challenge the results of their claims if the system had been less stressful and more accessible.
The research, carried out for the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) by Ipsos MORI, has cast fresh doubt on government claims that only a small proportion of disabled people are unhappy with the decisions made on their PIP claims.
DWP has repeatedly claimed that only about nine per cent of PIP decisions have been appealed since it was launched in April 2013, and that as few as four per cent of all PIP decisions have been overturned at appeal.
They have used this to suggest that this means that the overwhelming majority of claimants are happy with the PIP assessment system.
But the new research, based on more than 1,200 interviews, explains why many disabled people who applied for PIP decided not to appeal against an award, even if their claim was rejected completely or was lower than they believed they needed.
The research found that, of those PIP claimants who decided not to request a mandatory reconsideration (MR) – the internal review stage of the process, after a decision on a PIP claim has been made – 10 per cent took that decision because they thought it would be too stressful, four per cent did not know how to seek an MR, and seven per cent said they did not know enough about MR to proceed*.
Only three-fifths of those surveyed said they had not sought an MR because they were happy with the award they were given.