Disabled Scots ‘shot and exhausted’ by DWP benefit system that denies thousands of PIPs
According to one analysis, seven in ten people who appealed a decision to deny them disability benefits were successful.
Charities and opposition parties claimed this was further proof of the Conservatives’ “toxic” benefit system that made claims deliberately difficult for those most in need of help.
In England, Scotland and Wales, 287,116 people successfully appealed to court between 2018 and 2021.
Most of the hearings focused on Personal Independence Payment (PIP), the main disability benefit.
At the DWP Assessment Center in Glasgow, 60% of calls were successful last year.
Figures uncovered by the BBC’s shared data unit also revealed that more than 1,000 people across the UK have died as they formally challenged the award of their benefits.
Grieving families who won appeals on behalf of their deceased loved ones said they continued to fight on principle, but weighed on their emotions.
Daphne Hall, vice president of the National Association of Welfare Rights Advisers, said: “It is of course heartbreaking that people die without having a resolution.”
Initial benefit assessments are carried out on behalf of DWP by private contractors Capita, Independent Assessment Services (formerly Atos) and Maximus.
Since 2013, people seeking to overturn a benefit decision have to complete a written challenge within one month, known as a mandatory review. If that fails, people can take their appeal to court.
Mark Jackson,public affairs manager of the Marie Curie end-of-life charity, said: âW We know that there are significant issues with the PIP assessment process and terminally ill people do not have time on their side.
âThe way assessments are conducted is difficult for terminally ill people at a time when they come to terms with their diagnosis or feel extremely unwell.
“The nature of the checkboxes in PIP assessments also ignores any complexity and can easily distort a person’s condition.”
Pam Duncan-Glancy called the PIP application process âtoxicâ.
The Scottish Labor spokesperson for social security said: “We have known for a long time that PIP as it currently works does not work, the system is broken and the process is toxic.
âThis leaves thousands of people with disabilities devastated and exhausted and ultimately without the money they need.
âThat’s why we need to use the powers we have in Scotland to sort out this process as soon as possible. But changing the process will not be enough. We need to fundamentally reform disability benefits, make them eligible and address their shortfall. “
A DWP spokesperson insisted on all of his d Disability assessors were trained and qualified health professionals such as nurses or physiotherapists.
They added: âWe support millions of people a year and our priority is to get them the support they deserve as quickly as possible.
âThe vast majority of PIP cases are not appealed and we continue to improve the service offered to clients, notably thanks to recent changes to our decision-making process.
âThe PIP assessment process is carried out by experienced healthcare professionals and considers how people are affected by their disability, rather than just the disability itself, and more than double the proportion of PIP applicants get the rates highest levels of support compared to those with a disability. Living allowance.
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