FIX BENEFITS SYSTEM, SAYS LOCAL MSP

For immediate release:

FIX BENEFITS SYSTEM, SAYS LOCAL MSP

People living with a disability in South Lanarkshire have successfully appealed against a decision to deny them benefits 1,300 times – prompting calls for a fresh review of the Department for Work and Pension’s assessment and appeals process.

Figures obtained under Freedom of Information laws show 1,270 assessments for Personal Independence Payments (PIP) have been successfully challenged by people in South Lanarkshire since April 2013.

There were a total of 2,250 appeals during this period – meaning the success rate for appeals was a shocking 57 per cent.

PIP is being rolled-out across the UK to replace Disability Living Allowance (DLA) as the main benefit for disabled or ill people. To receive this benefit, claimants must endure assessments conducted by private companies on behalf of the DWP.

Local MSP Clare Haughey has written to the UK Government calling on them to fix the “fundamental flaws” in the assessment process.

Commenting, Rutherglen MSP Clare Haughey said:

“People living with disabilities in Rutherglen and Cambuslang rely on these financial lifelines to live independently and be part of their community.

“For the DWP to get these cases so consistently wrong suggests a systematic hostility towards people in need.

“The UK Government’s punitive approach to the system simply isn’t working. It’s failing vulnerable people, withdrawing support from those who need it most, and leaving people out of pocket and unable to afford the basic essentials.

“The money the UK Government must be spending on these appeals would be far better spent improving the application and appeals system, or better still, in the pockets of the claimants.

“It’s vital that these fundamental flaws in the current appeals process are urgently addressed to ensure that my constituents who are entitled to PIP receive it without undue delay.”

ENDS

 

Date published: 6th June 2019

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