Two disabled claimants have today won their case against the DWP over huge delays in payment of their personal independence payment (PIP). However, minister for disabled people Justin Tomlinson said after the hearing that the claimants had no right to compensation and dismissed as ‘absurd’ the claim that their human rights had been breached.
The two unnamed claimants had to wait 13 months and 10 months respectively from the date of their claim to receive a decision on their entitlement to PIP.
The claimants explained that the delays had left them isolated and barely able to feed themselves whilst others had waited even longer and some had fallen into the hands of payday lenders.
The high court judge ruled that the claimants were amongst the most vulnerable in society and that the delay by the DWP had been “unlawful” and “unacceptable”.
However, whilst the delay breached the claimant’s common law rights, the court did not find that their human rights had been breached.
Justin Tomlinson, minister for the disabled appeared entirely unrepentant after the hearing, arguing that the DWP had taken “decisive action” to reduce waiting times to just seven weeks. Far from apologising to the claimants, he dismissed their complaint as “absurd”.
"The court has rightly dismissed the claimants' absurd suggestion that their human rights had been breached. As a result, they are not entitled to damages." Tomlinson said.