Disabled people expect PIP to make their life easier, however, the bureaucracy and complexity of the process itself often wears applicants down.
The PIP assessment, in fact, only looks at a limited range of daily living activities which rarely give an accurate or holistic indication of the actual disabled people’s support needs. As a result, many applicants are rejected and apply for ‘mandatory reconsideration’, an internal review of a decision by DWP, which rarely overturn the original verdict. The next, final chance is for the disabled person to appeal.
‘We’ve found that people have a higher cost of living due to the need for help with domestic tasks, having a restricted diet, and needing therapeutic treatment to maintain health which is not available on NHS. None of these difficulties or additional needs are covered in the PIP assessment’, said disability campaigner Catherine Hale, referring to the research work of ‘Chronic Illness Inclusion Project’, which she leads.
The Project aims to bring the chronic illness community together online to explore their experiences under a social model for disability and look at ‘how cultural attitudes and social organisation create unnecessary disadvantage’ to the disabled people’s wellbeing.
Managing such an inspiring online community has given Ms Hale the chance to identify further flaws in the PIP application form.