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Personal Independence Payment

Question for Department for Work and Pensions

UIN 35748, tabled on 19 July 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, with reference to the Order by Consent issued by the High court on 13 July 2021 (CO/4263/2020), whether her Department carried out an equalities impact assessment of its policy to make on-the-spot personal independence payment benefit calls to recipients of that benefit.

Answered on

22 July 2021

The Department’s aim is that claimants are paid the correct amount of benefit at the earliest opportunity. Where new evidence or information becomes available after an appeal has been lodged, but before it is heard at a tribunal, DWP is able to revise a decision and increase the award where appropriate. In circumstances where the decision can be revised but not to the level the claimant is seeking on appeal, we contact claimants to give them the option to continue with their appeal or to have the decision revised, in which case they can still appeal the new decision. The right of appeal was always set out in the decision letter claimants receive notifying them of the new decision. Accordingly, we have no plans to further review the Department’s handling of past calls.

We began contacting claimants in this way in 1998 consequent on the change in the law introduced by the Social Security Act 1998, whereby the Secretary of State may revise a decision in the claimant’s favour even if they would not get everything they were seeking on appeal. An equality impact assessment was not conducted at that time and has not been conducted pursuant to the Equality Act 2010.

Named day
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