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UK GOVERNMENT'S PERSONAL INDEPENDENCE PAYMENTS 'FAILING THOSE WHO NEED HELP THE MOST' SAYS MORAY MP

06/04/2017  

INDEPENDENT REPORT FINDS LACK OF PUBLIC TRUST IN FAIRNESS OF DISABILITY ASSESSMENTS

Moray’s MP Angus Robertson says the UK government must bring Personal Independence Payments “right back to the drawing board” after an independent report found a lack of public trust in the assessment for the benefit.

Among the key conclusions of the Second Independent Review of the Personal Independence Payment Assessment report is that “public trust in the fairness and consistency of PIP decisions is not currently being achieved, with high levels of disputed award decisions, many of them overturned at appeal”.

Angus Robertson MP said:

“The latest victims of the UK Government’s welfare changes are PIP claimants, who are among the most vulnerable welfare claimants. I am dealing with PIP cases where people have felt let down and even humiliated by the system.

“This is especially the case when it involves medical assessments that are so flawed that 65% of decisions that are appealed are then overturned as a result of that appeal.

“This independent report into the UK government’s Personal Independence Payment system is a damning indictment of the Tories’ social security policies which are continuing to erode public confidence in assessment for the benefit.

“The fact that claimants have expressed a complete lack of confidence in the ability of health professionals to accurately record what is said during their assessments, as well as the 65% rate overturned initial decisions on appeal, is completely unacceptable. This shows that there is something fundamentally wrong with the approach being taken by the UK Government.

“The Tories have just railroaded through changes to PIP, which amounts to a cut to awards and will particularly impact those with mental ill-health conditions, with no consultation or parliamentary scrutiny. It is disgraceful that this legislation was forced through when it is now clear that there is already a total lack of trust in PIP assessments.

“The UK Government’s approach to disability support is failing those who need our help the most. They must listen to claimants and disability rights groups and take PIP back to the drawing board, to ensure disabled people receive the proper and adequate provision they need to live as independently as possible.”

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