As reported in Barnsley News and Sport and Barnsley Gazette on 4tth October, Stephanie has revealed Government figures that show Barnsley residents are forced to wait over 15 weeks on average for a decision on welfare appeals.
The figures were attained by Stephanie after she forced Ministers to admit the statistics through a Parliamentary Question.
The figures relate to the appeals made on Employment Support Allowance (ESA) and Personal Independence Payment (PIP) applications.
ESA provides both help to those unable to work through long term illness or disability and support when they can work, whilst PIP helps cover the extra costs caused by serious disability or long-term ill-health.
The data obtained by Stephanie shows that residents in Barnsley wait on average 15.2 weeks for an outcome to their appeal of the initial decision.
The figures follow her recent reveal of the ‘shocking’ number of two-thirds of initial PIP and ESA applications rejections that are eventually overturned on appeal in Barnsley.
Commenting, Stephanie said:
“Many people who have fallen on difficult times through no fault of their own depend on vital financial support.
“Yet this admission by Tory Ministers just shows how carelessly those who are struggling with disability or long-term illness in Barnsley are treated.
“I recently revealed figures showing two-thirds of people who are initially rejected PIP and ESA are found to be eligible on appeal, with the original decision eventually overturned.
“This figure is shocking enough, but now we find out those same people are being forced to wait nearly four extra months for the privilege of being offered the help they are eligible for.
“This is simply not good enough, and the Government should immediately explain why residents in Barnsley are forced to go months without the vital help they are entitled to.”