PIP delays unacceptable (BBC News)
The Commons Work and Pensions Committee has said it is unacceptable that disabled and sick people have to wait six months or more to find out if they are eligible for benefits as a result of government changes. It said delays to decisions about the new personal independence payment (PIP) were causing stress and uncertainty. New claims for the PIP, the replacement for the disability living allowance (DLA), began in April 2013. Most people applying for PIP have a face-to-face assessment to determine eligibility, which is carried out by the private contractors Atos Healthcare and Capita Business Services. In a report last month, the NAO found claimants were waiting an average of 107 days, and terminally ill patients 28 days, for a decision on their cases – much longer than had been predicted.