I thought this may be of interest to you all (found on Action for ME website)
Starting this month (May 2018)) and continuing throughout the summer, members of the Disability Benefits Consortium (DBC) will be supporting campaigners to meet with their MPs to talk to them about Personal Independence Payment (PIP). This guide will help you arrange and prepare for a meeting with your MP, and also has tips on what to do afterwards.
What is PIP?
Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is replacing Disability Living Allowance (DLA) as a
benefit that provides extra financial support for disabled people and people with long-term health conditions. It is there to help with the extra costs of their condition.
What are the problems with PIP?
From the experiences of our members and a recent DBC survey of 1,700 PIP claimants,
disabled people too often find:
● The process of claiming PIP is incredibly complex and confusing: 70% of
survey respondents found the PIP application form ‘hard’ or ‘very hard’ to complete.
● Assessments are causing stress and making people’s health worse: over three
quarters of respondents agreed that the stress and anxiety associated with their PIP
assessment had made their condition worse.
● Initial assessments are inaccurate: 65% of PIP decisions which are appealed are
overturned in the claimant’s favour.
● People are being reassessed from DLA to PIP and losing support they have
been receiving for long periods of time: 48% of those reassessed from DLA have
received a reduced or no award.
● Shorter awards are meaning people are facing regular assessments despite no
improvements in their condition.
What needs to change?
The DBC thinks urgent improvements are needed to PIP to ensure that disabled people
and people with long-term health conditions can access the support they need. The processes and assessments in place to get this support must understand their conditions.
We call on the Government to:
1. Urgently review the PIP assessment criteria to ensure these are fair. Any review
must involve disabled people and people with long-term health conditions.
2. Ensure indefinite PIP awards are available for all people with severe, complex
conditions who have no prospect of improvement or whose conditions are
progressive in their nature.
3. Simplify the PIP claim process. This could be done by introducing forms that don’t
have to be returned within four weeks. Forms should be simplified and made
available in Jobcentres, to download online and in accessible formats.
4. Improve staff training and guidance for PIP assessors. This will help them to get
decisions right the first time.
5. Explore ways to improve the evidence gathering process. For example, there
should be clear guidance given to health and social care professionals and PIP
claimants on what is good evidence for PIP claims.
What your MP can do:
● Write to the Minister of State for Disabled People, Health and Work - Sarah Newton
MP - highlighting the problems with PIP and urging the Government to make urgent
reforms to the PIP assessment process.
● If you or someone you know is having problems with PIP, ask your MP to support
you with this as well.
Click the link to read more: actionforme.org.uk/uploads/...
If you feel like adding your support to the campaign the PDF has lots of information how to do so effectively and over social media using #GetAGripOnPIP