Disabled bus pass delays could leave people housebound, warns Sheffield woman
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Claire Liversidge, aged 43, is concerned about what she claims are delays in processing Personal Independence Payments, which are needed for people to apply to renew their disabled bus passes.
Claire, of Handsworth, who has cerebral palsy, osteoporosis and epilepsy, says she is aware of people whose passes have run out before they have been able to be renewed and is concerned about her own position.
She said PIP information is necessary for the passes to be processed.
She said: “Many vulnerable adults who rely on bus passes are being left housebound or severely disadvantaged due to the delays in their renewal for PIP to enable them to renew or apply for their disabled persons bus pass.”
She told how her application in June 2021 to renew her PIP was still waiting for assessment. She said she needed a response as soon as possible to apply for her bus pass, which runs out in May.
Claire was aware of another woman, whose bus pass had already expired and still did not have all the approvals she needed to get it renewed.
She added: “If the person is disabled and relies on their bus pass to get out, perhaps due to walking difficulties… how are they expected to get anywhere?”
South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive said delays had not been reported at its end of the process.
Its remit within the process is creating and sending out the pass, once the application stating eligibility and entitlement is received.
It said the Department for Work and Pensions provides updated PIP entitlement letters – where there are delays here applicants could apply using older PIP letters.
A DWP spokesman said: “We are working hard to ensure everyone gets the support they are entitled to as fast as possible, with many entitled to support from other benefits as they await PIP payments.
“Customers awaiting an assessment to review their PIP will continue to be paid until the review of their claim is complete.”
He added that the department always aims to make an award decision as quickly as possible, taking into account the need to review all available evidence, including that from the claimant.