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Personal Independence Payment: Coronavirus

Question for Department for Work and Pensions

UIN 99157, tabled on 5 October 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what the average clearance time frame was for her Department to process a new personal independence payment claim in the period from March 2020 to August 2020; and what that average time taken was in that same period in 2019; and if she will make a statement.

Answered on

8 October 2020

The latest available data on Personal Independence Payment (PIP) clearance times covers claims cleared up to the end of July 2020. Therefore, the average clearance times are calculated from March 2020 to July 2020, and March 2019 to July 2019 respectively for comparison.

The median end to end clearance time for PIP New Claims in Great Britain for Normal Rules claimants was 21 weeks for claims cleared from March 2020 to July 2020, and was 15 weeks for claims cleared from March 2019 to July 2019.

[In Wales, the median end to end clearance time for PIP New Claims for Normal Rules claimants was 14 weeks for claims cleared from March 2020 – July 2020 and was 16 weeks for claims cleared from March 2019 – July 2019.]

Changes in the average end to end clearance time across from March 2020 to July 2020 reflect disruption due to COVID-19, including the development, testing and successful rollout of a new telephony assessment model to enable claims to be progressed robustly in the absence of face-to-face assessments to ensure we were not putting vulnerable people and our staff at risk.


Source: PIP ADS

  • PIP data includes normal rules claimants only and is for new claims only.
  • Figures have been rounded to the nearest whole number of weeks.
  • The status of claims as 'normal rules' and 'new claim/reassessment' is shown as at the point of clearance.
  • The figures quoted are the median clearance time of claims which are cleared in the given time period.
  • The median time is the middle value if you were to order all the times within the distribution from lowest value to highest value. The median is presented here instead of the mean because the mean can be unduly affected by outlying cases (e.g. cases where the person has been hard to reach due to being in prison, hospital, failed to attend the assessment on numerous occasions etc.)
  • The 'Registration to DWP decision (end to end)' clearance time is measured as the median time between the date of registration of the claim and the date of the DWP decision to either award or disallow the claim. It does not include claims that were withdrawn by the claimant or claims that were disallowed by DWP pre-referral to the Assessment Providers (e.g. for failure to meet basic eligibility criteria or failure to return the Part 2 form within the time limit).
  • Great Britain only.
  • The median clearance times for March 2019 – July 2019 and March 2020 – July 2020 are unpublished data. It should be used with caution and it may be subject to future revision.
  • From late March 2020 onwards, disruption due to COVID-19 affected volumes of clearances for all activities - Assessment Providers switched to paper based and telephony assessments rather than face to face assessments, and in the first few weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic efforts were made to clear residual claims in the system from before emergency measures were put in place, giving rise to an initial spike in clearance volumes. During the quarter ending July 2020, the effects of the disruption due to COVID-19 have reduced in some areas though they continue in many parts of the process.
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