Dr Spencer yesterday questioned the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions and the Permanent Secretary on how the Government could streamline new benefit applications and ongoing appeals for PIP and ESA during the current crisis. The DWP did announce this week that all reviews and reassessments for existing disability benefit claimants are being suspended for three months.
In light of the unprecedented demand on the NHS, Dr Spencer highlighted the need to ensure fairness for claimants while minimising demands on health professionals to support new PIP and ESA benefit claims.
Dr Spencer also highlighted the existing pressures on the tribunal service and questioned what was being done to mitigate delays, including whether an amnesty could be granted for current cases due to the exceptional circumstances.
While Ministers did not believe an amnesty would be possible, they did set out measures the Department are already taking to improve current processes, including minimising burdens on doctors and proactively contacting claimants to ensure all relevant information is considered.
The full session is available here: https://parliamentlive.tv/Event/Index/f4fa274e-9c0e-4a7a-a981-a9c3e49c1a5b