Central Government

PIP and the value of further evidence - follow up report

In June 2021 the Ombudsman found that repeated failings by the Department for Communities in how it handled further evidence amounted to ‘systemic maladministration’. Ombudsman Margaret Kelly made 33 recommendations on how the system could be improved.

This follow-up report shows that out of the 33 recommendations made, 10 have been fully met, 18 partly met, and 5 not met. 

Report summary

 Ms Kelly welcomed the fact there is now: 

- Clearer information to claimants about how further evidence is gathered and used; 

- Better training and guidance to Case Managers so they can obtain further evidence when it is needed; 

- More information to claimants about the mandatory reconsideration process where claimants can challenge decisions, and also about the additional review stage; and;

- A better process for investigating complaints about further evidence. 

However, she said she still has concerns that decision letters sent to claimants are still difficult to understand, that it is still not clear to claimants if their health professionals will be, or have been, contacted during the assessment of their claim, and that further focus is required to improve the data collated about the role of further evidence to help the Department to get decisions right first time. 

Supporting publications

Video overview

Click on the video below for a short overview from Ombudsman Margaret Kelly on the follow up to her first Own Initiative investigation.

Video file
Central Government
Department for Communities
Issue Date
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