Disability PIP Figures Released but Were they Buried to Avoid the Media?

Terrible facts about the UK government’s Personal Independence Payments (PIP) crept out almost unnoticed towards the end of last month. I find the way those important figures were released was both despicable and cynical.

And that’s because the unpalatable facts were not given in the House of Commons as you might expect. Instead, they were placed in a written answer to a question from Christian Matheson, an MP of the Labour party.

PIPNow, you might think that the question was prearranged and, while I cannot say it definitely was, it is certainly not possible for me to dismiss the suggestion. Add to that the fact that the answer was given on April 28. That was some days later than prime minister Theresa May announced plans for the snap general election. Then consider the possibility that the way the information was published was meant to bury it. The Press had bigger stories to attract their interest .

On the other hand, leaving the main election coverage to the mainstream media, I’ll concentrate on disability matters.

So, let’s look at the information supplied by Penny Mordaunt, minister for disabled people.

Mr Matheson asked what proportion of 2016 PIP cases, overturned at reconsideration or appeal, were initially assessed at zero points.

Shocking PIP admission

Replying, Ms Mordaunt shockingly admitted a quarter of claimants who won their PIP appeals in 2016 started with zero points.

She said that in 2016, a total of 34,110 PIP mandatory reconsiderations led to a higher award. Of these, 5,030 – or 15% – were decisions where the original award was zero points.

But it goes from bad to worse. This is because, out of a total of 32,070 PIP appeals that resulted in a higher award, 8,100 – or 25% – also started as zero points decisions.

What’s really terrible, really shocking, about the figures is the fact that more than 66,000 PIP assessments were overturned and that more than 13,000 had been given zero points.

It all points to a sad indictment of those original assessments, the competency of the assessors and the suitability of the two companies involved – Capita and Atos.

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Affiliate disclaimer: This affiliate disclosure details the affiliate relationships of MS, Health & Disability at 50shadesofsun.com with other companies and products. Read more.

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50shadesofsun.com is the personal website of Ian Franks, who has enjoyed a successful career as a journalist, from reporter to editor, in the print media. During that career he gained a Journalist of the Year award in his native UK. Diagnosed with MS in 2002, he continued to work until mobility problems made him retire early in late 2006. He now lives in the south of Spain. Besides MS, Ian is also able to write about both epilepsy and cardiovascular matters from a patient’s perspective. Besides that, he is a keen advocate on mobility and accessibility issues.

 

5 thoughts on “Disability PIP Figures Released but Were they Buried to Avoid the Media?

  1. I have MS …. My mobility part of PIP was stopped in December 2016 and my mobility car went back to the dealership last Wednesday ..,, I cannot walk far at all … I have lost my only bit of independence I feel so isalated . My appeal has now gone to the tribunal so I don’t know how long I will be waiting for an answer .

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    • Hi Adele, I am so sorry to hear that. I think it is ludicrous, and unfair, that you have to return your car while your appeal is still in process. In my opinion, if the PIP assessment is being appealed then so is the car and that should only be taken away if you lose the appeal. The fact that this is not how the DWP works (if it can be said to work at all) is disgusting and immoral.

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  2. I know nothing about the medical (healthcare) plan in Great Britain, but it seems incredible that you would lose access to a car if it would be provided, if you cannot walk well. In the US, you have to buy your own car…there is no program to provide one…if you qualify or not. I wish there was a program like that! But the rating system is obviously not working for you and probably many others in the UK.

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    • Hi Linda. The UK healthcare system is a social one where all services are provided free at point of delivery. Disability benefits are a different program. They are supposedly given according to need but the government has been cutting down its spending by making the benefits more difficult to gain. Anyone granted the top mobility segment of PIP or its predecessor DLA is allowed to trade that for a Motability vehicle. A new car is provided every three years, with ALL costs paid except fuel. Even insurance is provided free. But if you lose that top rate of benefit, you lose your car.

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