MP raises concern over new benefit payments scheme
Concerns by Welsh MPs over the change from the Disability Living Allowance to Personal Independence Payments are being highlighted in a debate at Westminster Hall. Welsh MP Susan Elan Jones is holding the debate.
The UK Government has been urged to act after it emerged thousands of people in Wales with serious conditions like cancer are facing unprecented delays in getting the vital assessment they need to qualify for financial help. Some patients died before they were even seen.
One Welsh MP has described it as a scandal of national proportions. Today the head of the company responsible promised improvements to the recently introduced Personal Independence Payments, which are replacing the Disability Living Allowance.
Ian Lang has been speaking to one woman from North Wales with cancer, who says she's been left devastated by the delays.
Welsh MPs have urged the Government to take action over the company responsible for assessing thousands of terminally ill people across Wales, after unprecedented delays meant some patients died before they were even seen.
Welsh MPs criticised Capita, the company contracted to carry out assessments under the recently introduced personal independence payment system, calling the backlog of medical assessments which have left some claimants struggling financially, "a scandal of national proportions".
Labour MP Susan Elan Jones said: "It's very clear from Capita's handling of PIP assessments that they are not the right company for the job."
Earlier, Stephen Duckworth, the Chief Executive of Capita Personal Independence Payments, apologised and said that there has been recent investment in the system to help make improvements.
PIP is a completely new benefit with a face-to-face assessment and regular reviews to ensure support goes to those who need it most. In some cases the end-to-end claims process is taking longer than the old system of Disability Living Allowance, which relied on a self-assessment form. We are working with providers to ensure that all the steps in the process are as smooth as they can be and the benefit is back-dated so no one is left out of pocket.