Minister for Disabled People, Sarah Newton MP gave a statement on the 20th of December updating the House of Commons on the progress of Personal Independence Payment (PIP). What seems to have gone largely unreported is that at least 4,600 people who were found to have incorrectly lost their Disability Living Allowance (DLA) in 2017, still haven’t been contacted by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).
The Minister was updating MPs on how decisions from several legal cases that have affected the disability benefit, are now being implemented. From her statement it’s clear that the DWP are doing their best to delay making payments to those who’ve lost out.
She gave an update on the progress of implementing last Decembers High Court ruling that found the PIP assessment guidelines for mental health conditions was discriminatory.Out of 140,000 identified cases, 1000 have been repaid so far. The reason for the low number was due to “the complexity of the process.”
Source: Disabled claimants not told benefits wrongly cut | Universal Credit Sufferer
A Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) minister chose to release some staggering figures during the afternoon of Friday 20 July; essentially dropping them and running off for the weekend.
The DWP: sneaking things out on a Friday
Minister of state at the DWP Sarah Newton was responding to a written question. It came from Labour’s shadow minister for disabled people Marsha de Cordova. On 9 July, Cordova asked:
how many people with epilepsy who were in receipt of Disability Living Allowance [DLA] did not receive an award as a result of a reassessment for personal independence payments [PIP]…
Newton’s response on Friday 20 July was shocking. She said:
Since the introduction of… (PIP) a total of 6,330 decisions on claims with an epilepsy condition listed as the main health condition have been made as part of migration from… (DLA) to PIP. Of these, 3,380 did not receive any benefit award at the initial assessment and 1,120 of these people subsequently appealed their decision. Of those who appealed their decision 870 cases were settled in favour of the claimant.
This means the DWP denied PIP to over 53% of people living with epilepsy who previously had DLA. Moreover, of the 33% of people who appealed after the DWP denied them PIP, a massive 77% of people ended up being given the benefit.
In a seeming attempt to gloss over these figures, Newton claimed:
Under PIP, 29 per cent of working age claimants with epilepsy recorded as their primary disabling condition receive the highest level of support compared to 6 per cent under Disability Living Allowance when PIP was introduced.
Source: A DWP minister just dropped some shocking figures then ran off for the weekend | The Canary
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:
Source: A ‘senseless and unfounded’ DWP policy is causing harm to claimants and costing the NHS millions, says a charity | The Canary
A mum whose young daughter has a twisted spine and only one fully functioning lung claims her girl has had her benefits stopped because she ‘has some mobility and goes to a mainstream school ‘.
Charlotte Ormrod, 11, has double curvature scoliosis, which means she struggles to walk and relies heavily on a wheelchair.
She also has a deformed hip and ends up in hospital regularly due to a weak immune system.
Since her diagnosis last year, Charlotte has been admitted to hospital 12 times due to problems with her lungs, her mum says.
But following a reassessment by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP), Charlotte has been told she’s no longer entitled to Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for her personal care, Chronicle Live reports.
Julie, 44, claims one of the reasons it is stopping the benefit is because the youngster attends Albany Primary School, a mainstream school in Washington, Tyne and Wear.
Julie said: “I’m absolutely disgusted.
“She is entitled to that money. I’d maybe understand if it was an adult but she is just a child going through this.
“They said she was not entitled because she has some mobility and goes to a mainstream school.
Source: Girl, 11, with twisted spine and one lung has disability benefits axed ‘because she attends mainstream school’ | DisabledGo News and Blog
New statistics show that more than 220,000 people have been awarded ZERO points when assessed for the disability benefit, Personal Independence Payment (PIP).
The shocking revelation has led to accusations that disabled people “are being written off” by the UK Government, causing “great distress” to thousands of the most vulnerable people in society.
Figures show that during the last 18 months alone, more than 220,000 people have scored zero on both the care and mobility components of the new disability benefit, which is replacing Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for all working-age adults.
The figures also show that around 180,000 people have been denied PIP when transferred from DLA, despite being eligible for support under the old system, with
Source: More than 220,000 people score ZERO points in disability benefit assessments : Welfare Weekly