Half of disabled PIP claimants have had benefits cut by DWP

Medical assessment

​Ongoing reviews mean claimants need to prove they are entitled to benefits - and often fail to do so 

5th April 2017 by Robert Armour 7 Comments

Nearly half of all Personal Independence Payments (PIP) claimants had their money cut or halted last year due to ongoing “planned reviews” which constantly reassess their entitlement.

Disability News Service obtained unpublished figures from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) showing that the number of PIP claimants who had their payments reduced after a review of their entitlement rose from less than 10% in 2014 to nearly 20% in 2016.

The proportion who lost their PIP completely after a planned review increased from 13% in 2014 to nearly 25%, or one in four of all reviews, in 2016.

It means that nearly half (45%) of PIP claimants who had a planned review of their award in 2016 either saw it cut or lost it entirely.

Everyone on disability living allowance (DLA) is migrating to the PIP system which involves a series of initial assessments to confirm eligibility.

However even if a claimant initially qualifies for PIP, the new regime of reviews means they constantly fear having their payments cuts or, worse, halted.  

The DWP describes a PIP review as “an opportunity to look at entitlement at set intervals to ensure the claimant continues to get the right amount.”   

As PIP is mostly aimed at people with long-term conditions, most of which do not improve, campaigners say they it is unlikely such a high proportion of claimants’ conditions are improving within a few years.

Disabled researcher Stef Benstead, from the Spartacus Network – a group of  group of disabled and chronically ill camapigners - said: “I think any change made, whether to guidelines or training or legislation, should be publicised, so sick and disabled people know what they’re facing.

The government will probably argue that it is improving the accuracy of assessments.

“But its arguments regarding the mobility threshold, aids and appliances, and now on mental health, show that it has no evidence that people are getting more help than they need, and plenty of evidence that people are getting less help than they need.

“It’s disturbing that the government plays with benefit assessments in this way without any scrutiny, justification or decent evidence.

“If it’s going to shaft people, at least let it do so in the open.”

Last week Labour’s Derek Twigg told MPs: “I just cannot understand why some of the people who come to see me have not been awarded their [PIP].

“I have had experience of cases such as these over a number of years now, and I have never come across such difficult cases as those I have seen recently.”

Anita Bellows, a Disabled People Against Cuts researcher, said it looked like the figures were being deliberately covered up.

“Interestingly, and unlike employment and support allowance, these reassessment statistics are not published as part of DWP normal statistics releases,” she said.

“It looks like DWP is not keen to have these figures in the public domain.”

Genevieve Edwards, director of external affairs at the MS Society, said the figures show that PIP currently isn’t working for those who rely on it.

"According to our own estimates, one in five people with MS have lost access to some or all of their mobility support after being reassessed from DLA. And new rules introduced last month will make it even harder for people to access PIP.

“Living with a long-term and unpredictable condition like MS is hard enough; it shouldn’t be made harder by a welfare system that doesn’t make sense. The government must improve PIP assessments to reflect the realities of living with MS.”

A spokesperson for the DWP said the data was not complete as the system was still transferring people from DLA to the new payments.  

“Many claimants moved across to PIP will not have had award reviews yet and therefore will not be represented in the data,” they said. 

Comments

6th April 2017 by Jean heale

Have gone from highest rate of disability and mobility allowance to zero. My husband has to help me bathe plus dress he has also put a small kitchen complete with toaster microwave fridge and kettle upstairs Have blue cards to help park close to where I need to go I have osteoarthritis which affects most of my body and am in constant pain my daughter who is at uni in Hastings comes home every week to do laundry and change bedding which I can no longer do This isn't the life I expected when I got older but I can only get worse not better How can someone who was in my home for thirty minutes tell me that I don't need all the help I get from family members do they realise the utter humiliation of answering their questions Because of medication I get very confused yet they say I can plan a journey on my own yet I can't even walk to the end of my road which consists of five houses to walk past have tried but my husband had to run back for the car I don't know what to do know the allowance helped keep the house warm in the winter I expect that next winter will be very cold

6th April 2017 by Roy Cutler

Is it fact that ,although having been granted PIP untill 2020 ,I may face a review of my award under new guidelines ?

6th April 2017 by tracey

My high rate daily living award was granted until oct 2017. ive been diagnosed with two more health problems since my previous award and im in a worse place now...medically...than i was before. I was called for reveiw in jauary and within a week, I received a letter telling me that I was entitled to ZERO !!!! Conditions are as follows....Neurocardiogenic syncope Kyphosis (curvature of the spine) Flattening of the lumber lordosis Fibromyalgia Flat feet Guttate psoriasis Nail psoriasis Palmoplanter psoriasis Social anxiety Depression AgraphobiaI feel pi*+ed off but I know there are so many more people worse affected than me. Some people have lost there car as well and their independance. I really don't know what the future holds for me....or anyone that has had the same outcome as me. Just keep signing any petitions that arise..... us POOR DISABLED folk have to stick up for each other.....no one else is !!!!!

7th April 2017 by Andy

I've got to go for pip assment in a couple of weeks I was diagnosed with cryinoc paine syndrome 2 years ago mental health problems which caused me to selfarm regerly which long term condition and now I've got other on going problems and not expecting anything good comeing out of it

7th April 2017 by collette metcalfe

I had mine awarded by a tribunal till 2017 july..and because i cudnt attend a assessment by ATOS..due to a bad fall they didnt ring or send 2nd app out just stopped it in oct..i only nu because wasnt pain into bank ...i sent all medical reasons why.and they sed no twice..now am in limbo!!! Cant get anyone to help..ca.b. always full..have to use taxi's because cant use public transport...and now i am in quite alot of debt.no wayout..of it all like money struggling with rent c/tax amm bills..i cant sleep prop cant eat just cruel but they dont care wonder if any of them lazy gud for knothin conserves wud do if table turned on then ????

7th April 2017 by Lorraine Richardson

I have c o p d and Ashma bad and trouble walking longer than 10 mins. My kids look after me take it in tern they got me wheel chair .I m in flat I would love to get put but car is not good so I'm in more than put. Breathing gets hard and my back legs pain bad I have arthritis .I m on standers rate but I think should get higher for mobility please help

7th April 2017 by Simon King

Welfare Reforms were brought in, solely to save the Exchequer as much money as possible..........Even if this meant driving as many as possible to suicide! It is in direct violation of the European Court of Human Rights as well as a direct violation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which the UK government are signatories to!If these charities want to do something other than giving bland statements, they should unite and take this, the most loathsome, evil of governments EVER, to the international court under Articles 2 & 4 of the Convention for the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, which we, the persecuted few, have EVERY RIGHT to demand!!!