Navigation to other PIP analysis webpages:
Source for PIP data (from DWP): Personal Independence Payment statistics
Stat-Xplore system for DWP data: Stat-Xplore databases
Source for Vaccination data: NHS - COVID-19 vaccinations archive
Source for Population Estimates (UN - Population division): UN table: Population estimates
The data available from the DWP PIP program includes disability claim caseload, new registrations, and cases that had been cleared (aka clearances) in that month. “New registrations” data does not provide information on disability type (i.e. disease or condition), but clearance data and total caseload data does provide this information. The only other claimant characteristics provided are sex and 5-year age group.
It should be noted that PIP replaced the UK’s previous Disability Living Allowance (DLA) system in 2013. As such, you may see a sharp increase in cases/claims in the few years following the initiation of PIP, which has been explained as “capacity issues” by the DWP. For this reason, only cases after January 2016 are included in this set of analyses.
A person may be eligible to claim PIP if they are between the ages of 16 to 64 and have a health condition or disability that:
The charts below summarise the analyses of monthly or yearly PIP Clearances for new claims for different age groups and different body systems related to the causes/conditions that lead to the disability claim. Please note that the word "clearance" is used to define a claim for which a decision has been made, and does not indicate whether or not the claim was approved or rejected.
Our charts allow individuals, researchers and institutions to visualise the data, and make their own conclusions based upon what they observe. Users can browse the different disability causes and age groups.
Each interactive chart attempts to capture different aspects of the observed change in PIP clearances during the Covid-19 pandemic years. All the data is downloadable and the original data sources are provided. We will endeavor to update our servers as new data becomes available.
Our analysis shows that PIP clearances for new claims increased substantially in 2021 and 2022 when compared to previous periods. When looking at the behavior of underlying cause for disability claim, we observe that some causes rose rapidly from early 2021 while others only started rising sharply from late 2021 or 2022. The detailed analysis of the trends in disability claims by cause could provide important information to researchers in the medical field who want to understand what is occurring in the population.
Notes on the PIP Data:
It should be noted that a substantial amount of unpredictability should be expected when trying to infer increases in disability to any particular time period due to the changes in processing times that were occurring throughout the pandemic. According to the DWP:
“Clearance times for normal rules new claims:
Methodology for body system classification of underlying cause of PIP claim:
To ensure clarity in presenting health conditions or disability claims for PIP clearances, our structure is based on the ICNARC coding method (ICM) used in the UK. The ICM is a coding system that helps categorize and organize health information related to specific conditions or disabilities.
The ICM employs a hierarchical structure consisting of five tiers: type, system, site, process, and condition. With the data available from the claims, health conditions were divided first by the system tier (body system or organ affected), and then divided by the condition tier (specific diagnosis or clinical manifestation).
View the methodology for body system classification:
UK PIP claims - Body System Classification
In this analysis we investigate trends in monthly PIP clearances of new claims for different body systems that are associated with the underlying causes. We compare the 2016 to 2019 trendline in PIP clearances with actual claims and compute the deviation from trend in absolute terms, relative terms (percentage deviation) and the deviation from trend Z-score (number of standard deviations from trend). To visualise the different computations, the user can perform the respective selection in the interactive chart below.
The user can select the desired age group and body system of the underlying cause for the disability claim.
The plots also show the cumulative vaccine rollout (all doses) for the selected age group, as a percentage of the population, as we observe that the increase in many disability claim body systems for the underlying causes are correlated to the vaccine rollout, particularly when observing younger age groups.
The monthly data provides a granularity that allows us to investigate the impact of immediate vaccination deaths, lockdowns, or other effects, on excess disability claims.
In this analysis we investigate trends in yearly PIP clearances of new claims for different body systems for the underlying causes. We compare the 2016 to 2019 average in PIP clearances with actual claims and compute the deviation from average in absolute terms, relative terms (percentage deviation) and the deviation Z-score (number of standard deviations). To visualise the different computations, the user can perform the respective selection in the interactive chart below. Please note that Z-scores computed in the yearly analysis are based upon the standard deviation of excess clearances for 2016 to 2019, which comprise of only 4 datapoints. Consequently, these values could easily exaggerate the statistical significance of the underlying signal. For a more reliable measure of statistical significance, the Z-scores provided using the monthly analysis are preferred.
The user can select the desired age group and body system associated to the underlying cause for the disability claim.
The plots also show the cumulative vaccine rollout (all doses) for the selected age group as a percentage of the population at 31st of December of the respective year.
The yearly data does not provide a granularity that allows us to investigate the impact of immediate vaccination deaths, lockdowns, or other effects, on excess disability claims. However, it does provide interesting information in the sense that the annual averages smoothen seasonality trends or temporary changes in the PIP system.
In this section we summarise the changes in yearly PIP clearances (new claims) for different body systems for the underlying causes. We compare the 2016 to 2019 average in PIP clearances with actual claims for 2020, 2021 and 2022. We compute the deviation from average in absolute terms, relative terms (percentage deviation) and the deviation Z-score (number of standard deviations). We then present the results in a table format where the trends for different body systems can be compared. To visualise the different metrics, the user can perform the respective selection in the interactive table below.
We can observe large increases in PIP claims in 2021 and 2022. Some body systems such as haematological diseases experienced extraordinarily large increases, corresponding to many standard deviations from the 2016-2019 average.