A new campaign by the charity MS Society is calling on the DWP to scrap a “senseless and unfounded” policy that’s harming claimants and costing the NHS millions.
The 20 metre rule
MS Society represents people who suffer from Multiple Sclerosis (MS). MS is a “condition which can affect the brain and/or spinal cord”. It causes a wide range of symptoms, including fatigue, trouble walking, numbness, muscle stiffness / spasms, and problems with balance.
The charity’s campaign is focused on scrapping the ’20 metre rule’ which governs access to the mobility component of the PIP disability benefit. A press release for the campaign seen by The Canary states:
People with MS have been increasingly losing vital support since Personal Independence Payment (PIP) began in 2013. The biggest change has been the introduction of the 20 metre rule, used in PIP assessments to determine eligibility for the higher rate of mobility support. Under the previous benefit – Disability Living Allowance (DLA) – the measure was 50 metres. Now, if you can walk just one step over 20 metres, roughly the length of two double-decker buses, you won’t qualify for higher level of mobility support. Under DLA 94% of people with MS were receiving this higher rate but this has fallen to just 66% under PIP.
The charity has also released a campaign video highlighting the callousness of the 20 metre policy: