Personal Independence Payment (PIP) Claimant Research

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has published findings from three waves of qualitative and quantitative research exploring claimants’ experiences of the PIP claim process.

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) Claimant Research

The author(s)

  • Dr. Margaret Blake Ipsos Public Affairs, UK
  • Kate Duxbury Ipsos Public Affairs, UK
  • Claire Lambert Ipsos Public Affairs, UK
  • Lauren Bridges Ipsos Public Affairs, UK
  • Leila Morris Ipsos Public Affairs, UK
  • David Candy Ipsos Public Affairs, UK
  • Joanna Barry Ipsos Public Affairs, UK
  • Emma Carragher Ipsos Public Affairs, UK
  • Harriet Fowler Ipsos Public Affairs, UK
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Research on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP)

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has published findings from research exploring claimants’ experiences of the PIP claim process.

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) contributes towards the extra costs of long-term ill health or a disability for people aged 16 to 64 who need help with mobility and/or daily living costs. PIP is replacing Disability Living Allowance (DLA) but maintains the key principles as a non-means-tested, tax free cash benefit available to people in and out of work. 

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) commissioned Ipsos MORI to undertake three waves of quantitative and qualitative research with Personal Independence Payment (PIP) claimants, designed to give an in-depth understanding of claimants’ experiences of the various stages of the PIP process. At each wave a survey and qualitative interviews were carried out to explore different stages of the process. 

At wave one 1,106 survey interviews and 50 qualitative interviews focussed on the application process, including motivations for claiming, the initial call to the claim line, completing the form, and expectations of next steps. At wave two 1,203 survey interviews and 50 qualitative interviews explored claimant experiences of the face-to-face assessment and decision stages. During wave three 1,205 survey interviews and 50 qualitative interviews focused on the mandatory reconsideration and appeals processes.

DWP found the research really valuable in providing insight into the claimant experience. Following the insight provided in this research along with insight from other sources, the Department has progressed various improvement initiatives, for example:

  • making changes to the PIP2 to make it simpler and easier to understand;
  • launching a series of PIP videos to help claimants better navigate and understand the claims process, the types of supporting evidence to send, and what to expect at an assessment;
  • adding pages specifically on Mandatory Reconsideration on GOV.UK to make the process even clearer;
  • taking action to ensure that decision makers are proactively obtaining all the evidence available from both the existing claim and from the claimant, to ensure informed and accurate decisions.

The final report of the project as a whole, covering all three waves of quantitative and qualitative research, has now been published:

Technical Note

Quantitative survey

Three waves of quantitative fieldwork were carried out.  The primary method was a structured questionnaire which was administered via telephone interviews, and postal questionnaires were available as an alternative for those who were not able or willing to take part by telephone. 

Results for all waves were weighted back to the profile of each cohort of claimants by age, gender, national region and claimant type.

Wave 1 survey

In wave one, Ipsos MORI sought to interview claimants who had called the PIP claim line to request a form, had received the form, but had not yet attended an assessment interview or received a final decision. Mainstage fieldwork took place between 19th September and 17th October 2016, and 1,106 interviews were achieved. 

Wave 2 survey

In wave two, most of the claimants interviewed had a face-to-face assessment and all had received a decision on the outcome of their PIP claim. Mainstage fieldwork took place between 6th and 28th February 2017 and 1,203 interviews were achieved. Around one-third of the sample (388 participants) were longitudinal participants who had taken part in wave one. The remaining two-thirds of the sample (815 participants) were new sample participants who were taking part at wave two for the first time. 

Wave 3 survey

In wave three, around two-fifths of interviews (450) were with longitudinal participants who had taken part in wave two or in waves one and two. The remainder of the interviews (755) were with new sample participants who had not taken part in the research before. In total, 1,205 interviews were achieved.   Mainstage fieldwork took place between 13th July and 7th August 2017. 

Qualitative research

Ipsos MORI also conducted qualitative depth interviews with 50 claimants in each wave. The first wave of qualitative fieldwork took place between 18th October and 28th November 2016, the second wave took place between 20th February and 7th April 2017, and the third wave took place between 10th July and 25th August 2017.

Please see the interim, overall and technical reports for further detail about the survey methodology.

The author(s)

  • Dr. Margaret Blake Ipsos Public Affairs, UK
  • Kate Duxbury Ipsos Public Affairs, UK
  • Claire Lambert Ipsos Public Affairs, UK
  • Lauren Bridges Ipsos Public Affairs, UK
  • Leila Morris Ipsos Public Affairs, UK
  • David Candy Ipsos Public Affairs, UK
  • Joanna Barry Ipsos Public Affairs, UK
  • Emma Carragher Ipsos Public Affairs, UK
  • Harriet Fowler Ipsos Public Affairs, UK

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