The Workers Party has condemned an unannounced, but significant, change to the time limits for the completion of Personal Independence Payment (PIP) claims.
During the pandemic the Department for Communities extended the time allowed to complete a PIP application form from one month to 90 days. As of Monday of this week, and without warning or consultation, the time frame for new claims has reverted to four weeks,
Apart from the fact that it is too early to be making this change the Department for Communities has placed hundreds of people in a very precarious position and is risking putting already vulnerable people under additional and unnecessary pressure.
There will be many people who are left unaware of the change in time scales and will assume that they have the full 90 days to complete their new claim form. This could easily result in rejected claims, additional pressure on claimants and people left without benefits.
The Minister must reinstate the 90 day timeframe immediately and if it is eventually necessary to revert to the one month slot there must be full consultation, advance notice and a flexible approach to its implementation.