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Source: Social Democratic and Labour Party of Northern Ireland

SDLP Foyle MLA Mark H Durkan has called on the Communities Minister to “get a grip” on the mounting backlog of outstanding appeals for Personal Independence Payment (PIP), after reports of over 4000 cases currently listed for appeal.

The Foyle MLA commented:

“Given that around half of disability benefit appeals succeed, there is a very real risk that thousands of people are being denied money they need and are fully entitled to receive. The stress and financial hardship this will cause PIP applicants cannot be understated, which itself can exacerbate conditions and affect individual’s mental health.”

“This backlog cannot be entirely attributed to the pandemic, with at least one applicant waiting a year for her appeal. It should be possible to hold appeals with social distancing and other such measures. The Minister must get a grip on the PIP appeal process and set out a timeframe for the maximum acceptable time an applicant should have to wait for their appeal to be heard.”

MIL OSI United Kingdom