Beith questions Ministers on disability payments

MP Sir Alan Beith has today questioned ministers about delays with personal independence payments after learning that constituents in north Northumberland have been badly affected by the delays in getting assessments.

At Department of Work and Pensions questions, Sir Alan asked: “Will Ministers do something about the fact that, of all the people being helped with personal independence payment claims by the Berwick Citizens’ Advice Bureau, not one remaining in the area has received an assessment since the scheme started?”

Responding, Mike Penning MP, Minister of State for Disabled People, agreed with Sir Alan, and said: “Of course, as we roll out PIP, this is a really difficult situation and we must make sure we get the quality right. I will look into that individual case for my right hon. Friend and make sure we get it right in his area”

Following the debate, Sir Alan said: “It was clear that from other MPs questions that Atos has been failing disastrously to provide a service, not only in Berwick, but across the country. They are now trying to give up the contract, which will be welcome if the Government can put in place a better provider.

“People with serious disability should not be facing extra stress by not knowing for months whether they would be eligible for the benefit.”