In response to the campaign on disability benefits, David said:
"The aim of Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is to ensure support is focused on those with the greatest barrier to independence. Around £50 billion of public money a year is spent to support people with disabilities and health conditions. Spending on disability benefits has risen by over £3 billion in real terms since 2010, and will remain higher in each year to 2020 than in 2010. PIP is an important part of this. It has been designed to focus more support on people who have higher costs associated with their condition. Entitlement is not based on what condition a person has, but on how their condition affects their ability to live an independent life.
I appreciate your concerns about the assessment process. The Department for Work and Pensions is continually reviewing and refining the PIP process in order to improve its efficiency and effectiveness. New claims are now being cleared in under a third of the time they were in July 2014, at a current average of 13 weeks from registration to decision. The Government is committed to further improving this process.
A public consultation has just closed which asked how the assessment process could be made easier and quicker, with particular focus on how information can be shared between decision makers, lessening the amount of paperwork for claimants. Additionally, a new feedback system will be introduced for claimants to talk about their experience claiming PIP, which will help focus reforms where they matter to claimants.
PIP is an important source of support for many disabled people, and these changes will ensure those people continue to be supported."
More information about the campaign can be found here.