Newton – “PIP appeal delay figures are appalling”

DUP East Belfast MLA Robin Newton has said it is appalling that 1252 Personal Independent Payment (PIP) benefit applicants have been waiting between six months and over two years for a benefit appeal hearing.

This information was received by a Written Assembly Question to the Communities Minister.

Robin Newton said,

“This is appalling. Of the 1252 people waiting more than six months for an appeal, 251 of those people have been waiting for more than two years. The system is evidently broken.

This information demands answers from the Communities Minister. What action has she taken to resolve the matter? Where is her plan to fix the problem? We don’t need to hear blame, we need to hear about viable solutions.

PIP applicants shouldn’t be treated as statistics. They are people with mental health, mobility and care needs. No one should be waiting this length of time for a decision. That 251 people are waiting longer than two years is scandalous.

The Minister needs to address this issue. As the Minister dithers, it is probable that some of these people will find themselves in serious debt as they wait for their hearings date.”

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