Dozens more people claimed disability benefits in Blackburn and Darwen in July than in the previous year, double that across England and Wales, according to a survey.
The number of new claimants in Blackburn and Darwen will rise from 49 in July 2021 to 121 in July 2022, according to an analysis of Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) figures from the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS), a think tank. Increased.
The figure comes as the shadow minister said the government “cannot ignore” the growing backlog of disability assessments.
Personal Independence Grants (PIPs) are awarded to people with long-term physical or mental conditions to help them continue with their daily work.
Across England and Wales, the number of new PIP applicants doubled from 14,800 to 32,200 over the period.
The IFS said deteriorating health conditions were likely behind the rise, with increases in all age groups and in most major conditions.
Nationally, about a third of new claims are for mental or behavioral conditions, rising to 70% of people under the age of 25.
The organization’s research economist, Sam Ray Chaudhuri, said:
More recent figures show that as of July 9,734 people were eligible for PIP in Blackburn and Darwen and 2.7 million people were eligible for PIP across England and Wales.
IFS also found that more than 250,000 people were awaiting review of disability insurance claims as of July.
Mustafa Desai, Executive Member of Adult Social Care and Health at Blackburn with Darwen Council, said:
“As a council, we have partnered with BwD’s Shelter and where possible we can work together to advise residents on the PiP application process as the application process can be complex.
“However, the evaluation process and decisions are made by DWP, so I cannot comment on this point.”
John Ashworth, secretary of shadow jobs and pensions, said ministers “cannot ignore these findings.”
“We must tackle the backlog of disability benefits and reform employment assistance, as proposed by Labor, to provide professional assistance to those looking for work,” he added.
The Office for National Statistics estimates that about 2.4 million people lost their jobs across the UK due to long-term illness between September and November.
This is down from the July-September peak of 2.5 million, but up from 2.3 million unemployed at the same point in 2021.
Ashworth said this amounted to “a colossal waste of human potential.”
“Helping people find suitable and supportive jobs is good for them, good for society and good for the economy,” he said.
A DWP spokeswoman said it was committed to helping people access support “as soon as possible.”
“We are constantly improving our services by increasing our resources and beginning phone and video assessments.
“Latest statistics show that clearance times have improved significantly and returned to pre-pandemic levels,” they added.