MPs want to hear your experiences of applying for PIP and ESA
4 November 2021
The Work and Pensions Committee has launched a survey to hear about first-hand experiences of the assessment processes for Personal Independence Payment (PIP) and Employment and Support Allowance (ESA).
- Survey: How could DWP improve health assessments for PIP and ESA? (now closed)
- Inquiry: Health assessments for benefits
- Work and Pensions Committee
The survey is open to everyone who has had an assessment to claim PIP or who has had a Work Capability Assessment, either to claim ESA or as part of a Universal Credit claim.
The survey is part of the Committee’s inquiry which is examining the effectiveness of the application and assessment processes for benefits paid to disabled people and people with long-term health conditions, amid continuing concerns about the problems being experienced by people making claims.
Anyone who has had an assessment for another health-related benefit can submit written evidence to the inquiry.
The Committee has previously heard that the application and assessment processes for health-related benefits are often flawed, with a majority of people who apeal against decisions made by the DWP being successful.
Rt Hon Stephen Timms MP, Chair of the Work and Pensions Committee, said:
“We hear all too often about the problems that people have when being assessed for PIP and ESA, both on the Committee and as constituency MPs, but progress in improving the assessments has been slow. DWP has said it is currently thinking about how they can be made better, and we think that the views of people who have had PIP or ESA assessments are vital to doing this effectively. We want to hear directly from people who have been through assessments about how the assessment went, and what needs to change to make the process better in the future.”
Below is the full list of questions included in the survey. You may find it useful to prepare your responses in advance, or to refer back to them as you complete the survey.
You can fill in this survey about yourself, or to tell us about the experiences of someone else, such as a family member or friend. Are you responding to this survey yourself, or on behalf of someone else?
Have you claimed or tried to claim PIP and/or ESA (including as part of a Universal Credit claim) at some point since 2008?
Do you receive PIP, ESA, or both?
Can you tell us the year when you last had a PIP assessment?
2013-2015/2016-2018/2018-2022/Don’t know/I’m waiting for my first assessment
Can you tell us the year when you last had an ESA assessment?
2008-2010/2010-2015/2015-1018/2018-2022/Don’t know/I’m waiting for my first assessment
Section 2 – A “single digital platform”
DWP is thinking about whether it should introduce a “single digital platform” for PIP and ESA. This might, for example, allow people to make and receive updates on their claims (such as decisions) online, without filling in paper forms, or allow for information on claims (such as medical evidence) to be shared between applications for different benefits.
Do you think DWP’s proposed “single digital platform” is a good idea? Why/why not? (250 words max)
Is there anything that you would particularly like an online portal to contain?
Forms to make a claim/Updates on the progress of your claim/Decisions on your claim/Information about where to go for help and support with your claim/Option to upload medical or other supporting evidence/Other – please specify
Section 3 – Your experiences of applying for PIP and/or ESA
The Committee would like to know more about your experience of applying for PIP and/or ESA. This could include, for example, finding out information about PIP and ESA before you apply, filling in your forms, and gathering any additional medical evidence that might be useful.
In later questions you will have a chance to tell us about your assessment and the decision that DWP made on your claim.
What worked well about the application process, and what didn’t work well? (250 words max)
What suggestions would you make to improve the application process? (250 words max)
Section 4 – Your experiences of being assessed for PIP and/or ESA
After you have applied for PIP or ESA, DWP will assess your claim. This will often involve a face-to-face assessment with one of the Department’s contractors (Atos, Capita and Maximus). Sometimes claims can be assessed without a face-to-face assessment using evidence that you have provided (for example, medical evidence).
What worked well about the assessment, and what didn’t work well? (250 words max)
What suggestions would you make to improve this part of the process? (250 words max)
Section 5 – Your experiences of Mandatory Reconsideration
After DWP has decided whether you will receive PIP and/or ESA, they will contact you with a decision. If you are not happy with that decision, you can request that DWP reviews it via a process called Mandatory Reconsideration. If you still think that DWP has made the wrong decision after Mandatory Reconsideration, you can ask for an appeal/Tribunal, which is held in Court.
Did you ask for a Mandatory Reconsideration from DWP? Yes/no
Did you go to appeal/Tribunal? Yes/no
Can you tell us what happened? For example, you could tell us why you asked or decided not to ask for a reconsideration, what worked well or didn’t work well with the Mandatory Reconsideration process, how you found the appeals process, or whether you were happy with the overall outcome. (250 words max)
Is there anything else you would like to tell us about Mandatory Reconsideration or appeals? (250 words max)
What suggestions would you make to improve these parts of the process? (250 words max)