12 August 2021
What: DWP figures reveal that the number of internal process reviews into the deaths of benefit claimants has increased sharply in the last couple of years. The figures, secured through a freedom of information request, show how many IPRs were launched in each of the previous five six-month periods. They show DWP has been starting an average of 46 to 50 death-related IPRs a year since the start of 2019. This compares with an annual average of about 21 IPRs completed in 2016, 2017 and 2018.
Why significant: The figures suggest a sudden change of DWP policy in late 2018, following the replacement of work and pensions secretary Esther McVey by Amber Rudd. This appears to have led to a rapid rise in the number of IPRs, with 18 completed in 2018 following the death of a benefit claimant, but 47 started in 2019.