Disabled benefit claim delays 'causing distress'

Disabled people are facing "distress and financial difficulties" as they are being forced to wait longer for the processing of claims under a new Government benefit scheme, according to the National Audit Office.

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DWP defend disability benefit scheme amid criticism

The Department for Work and Pensions has defended the new Personal Independence Payment, after a report suggested claimants were having to wait longer for their claims to be processed.

Margaret Hodge said the claims would cost almost three and half times more to process than the previous Disability Living Allowance system, and claimed the delays would cause "real distress" for vulnerable people.

However, the DWP defended the scheme claiming the previous system was "broken".

PIP is a completely new benefit with a face-to-face assessment, something missing under DLA, and there will always be initial costs so this is not comparing like with like.

The figures show good value for money for taxpayers in the short and long term, with expected savings of £3 billion annually by 2018/19.

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