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Delays to welfare payments for disabled people 'unacceptable', admits minister

Just under 40% of cases registered for Personal Independence Payment have been cleared in 16 months, says Mark Harper

Added Date: Today

The delays facing some claimants of a flagship government welfare scheme are "unacceptable", a minister admitted as the latest update was published.

Data released by the Department for Work and Pensions showed that of the 529,400 cases registered for the Personal Independence Payment (PIP) between April 2013 and the end of July this year, just over 206,000 had been cleared – either awarded, declined or withdrawn.

The figures do not reveal how long individuals had been waiting within that 16-month period, but Mark Harper, minister for disabled people, accepted that for some it had been too long.

He said: "Unlike the old system, PIP includes a face-to-face assessment and regular reviews to ensure support goes to those who need it most.

"Today's figures show just that, with nearly 23% of people getting the highest level of support, compared with 16% under Disability Living Allowance (DLA).

"We accept that the delays faced by some people are unacceptable, and we are commit...

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