Evidence that the DWP is a failing department was reinforced by figures published by the DWP itself which show that fewer than 1 in 25 claims are decided on-time for child disability living allowance (DLA), and only half for personal independence payment (PIP).  This represents a big fall in on-time processing over the last seven years.

Labour MP Anna Eagle asked the government what percentage of new claims for PIP are processed within DWP target times.

In a response for the government, Paul Maynard provided a table for a range of benefits.

This showed that in 2016-17 96.8% of child DLA claims were processed within the target time of 40 working days.  By 2023-24, this had fallen to just 3.5%.  The DWP claim that they are working through a backlog of deferred DLA renewal claims and that there has also been a high volume of new claims.  They say they have increased the number of staff working on child DLA.

For PIP, the percentage has fallen from 85.1% processed within the timescale of 75 working days in 2016-17 down to 51.7% in 2023-24.  The DWP’s excuse is that claim numbers have increased, in spite of the devolution of Scottish claims.

The story is a similar one for employment and support allowance (ESA), with claims processed within the target 10 days falling from 88.6% in 2016-17 down to 58.7% in 2023-24.  The DWP’s excuse for this benefit is that the claims process has changed.

It is clear, however, that where sufficient resources are put in, claims can be processed within planned timescales. This is demonstrated in the huge difference between benefits paid to pensioners and other benefits.

In 2016-17 87.9% of state pension claims were processed within the target of 20 working days, this figure increased to 96.2% in 2023-24.

The story was the same for pension credit, where the percentage meeting the target of 50 working days increased from 71% to 77%.

The full table of benefits processing timescales is available here


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    Jannette · 2 months ago
    It's a joke, I've been waiting 8 months for a decision on pension credit,
    And 11 months for a tribunal hearing for attendance allowance 

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