Disabled people wait 118,000 years longer than IDS intended

900,000 disabled people are waiting a combined 118,000 years longer than intended for assessments and decisions on crucial support.

900,000 disabled people are waiting a combined 118,000 years longer than intended for assessments and decisions on crucial support

IDS has come to stand for Incompetence, Delay and Stigma at DWP. Cameron missed the last chance to reshuffle him in this government, leaving disabled people to continue bearing the brunt of his shambolic oversight of welfare reform.

Today, a debate on IDS’ new Personal Independence Payments (PIP) takes place. PIP was introduced from April 2013, replacing Disability Living Allowance for disabled people of working age. Through this change, the government planned to cut expenditure by over a billion in this parliament – mostly by reducing the number of people claiming.

But DWP’s latest statistical release shows PIP is way behind schedule, just like IDS’ Universal Credit. The DWP figures show 529,000 applications for PIP but only 206,000 DWP decisions on eligibility. 323,000 disabled people left in limbo.

The NAO have also highlighted that 74 days was DWP’s expected timeframe for providing PIP decisions, but 107 days was the average wait experienced by disabled people. An extra 33 days just to discover if you qualify for help under the new system.

323,000 disabled people waiting an extra 33 days each for assessments means that the current additional DWP delay mean a collective extra waiting time of 10,659,000 days – or 29,203 years – being lost.

DWP have also acknowledged that work capability assessments (WCAs) are similarly behind schedule. WCAs are for ill and disabled people seeking Employment and Support Allowance. Current delays for assessments are taking an additional eight weeks per person beyond the timeframe set out in the contract with assessors (of 35 working days).

580,000 disabled people waiting for these assessments would face a combined additional delay (beyond the estimated timeframe) of 32,480,000 days or 88,986 years.

This means DWP is admitting 900,000 disabled people are waiting a combined 118,000 years longer than intended for assessments and decisions on crucial support. 118,000 years would apparently take Earth back to the Pleistocene era and Neanderthals walking the planet.

For the purposes of today’s PIP debate, over three million people need to be assessed under government plans – and the assessments cost £127 million a year. In February, the NAO reported that PIP was delayed and £140 million ‘savings’ were looking unlikely. DLA/PIP expenditure is £1.7 billion higher for this parliament than DWP projected in 2010.

Rising delays leaving disabled people without sufficient support should concern everyone. Labour have slammed the delays, highlighting their connection to rising foodbank dependency.

The rising Tory welfare waste under IDS and Cameron should also concern us all. But while disabled people face long delays, Ministers continue to claim that PIP is running on time and budget.

It was IDS’ hero Thatcher whose government paved the way to introduce DLA. It’s somewhat ironic that the Iron Lady’s legacy has been undermined by ‘Pleistocene Man’.

Neil Coyle was director of policy at Disability Alliance and is Labour’s parliamentary candidate for Bermondsey and Old Southwark

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10 Responses to “Disabled people wait 118,000 years longer than IDS intended”

  1. rabrab

    How to stimatise shit.

  2. rabrab


  3. David Davies

    Oh not they won’t – in deference to the season.

    Dr. Bunsen fritters away public money like a drunk in a casino, and has yet to `save’ a farthing – despite his `beliefs’.

  4. Leon Wolfeson

    Labour don’t plan anything different.

  5. CGR

    At least the IDS reforms are a move in the right direction. You can be sure that the next Labour government may criticise IDS now but these reforms will probably still be in place in 5 years time – changed slightly and called something else in the good old traditions of Labour politics.

  6. Dean Stockton

    As his first name is GEORGE that would be Genuine,

    Incompetence, Delay and Stigma. I get sick of people calling him Iain his first name is GEORGE.

  7. Jayne Linney

    As Cameron is too afraid to deal with IDS – WE MUST – “Use the full Powers of the Commission and investigate Iain Duncan Smith Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, for his regular use of untruths and the persistent deception misleading of The House of Commons, Select Committees and the Media.”


  8. Tony Turtle

    What planet are you on? In 2010 the DWP had a 0.7% Fraud Rate, in 2014 it is 0.7% IDS’s reforms were intended to address the fraud in Benefit claims. What have these programs (ESA and the WCA were Labour ideas) done to fight that?

  9. Leon Wolfeson

    Ah yes, 118,000 years the right way. British people really don’t like queues, so sorry to dispel that myth.

  10. Tony Turtle

    This is how statistics get misused. The 118,000 years are not consecutive, but are concurrent. This means that the 900,000 waiting for decisions are waiting an average of 47 days! I waited 11 months, does that means some are getting them before applying, must be Tory Party Members! The Selfservatives are misusing statistics left, right and centre, don’t follow them down that slippery slope!

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