220,000 due to get more in disability benefit

A court ruling means many are owed back payments

A recent court ruling stated that restrictions to Personal Independence Payment (PIP) discriminated against people with mental health problems.

In March 2017, the Government changed the rules so that people with mental health issues who struggled to make journeys because of overwhelming distress were entitled to less support from PIP than other people with mobility difficulties.

PIP and Mental Health

However, the court has now ruled this discriminatory and unlawful, and the Government has accepted the judgement, which means the rule no longer applies.

Up to 220,000 people could expect to have their disability benefit increased in light of this news.

Martin Atkinson, chief executive of disability charity Scope, said: “It’s absolutely right that the Government has accepted the high court’s ruling over the ‘discriminatory’ changes made to PIP last year.

“This announcement is a victory for the many disabled people who have been unable to access support they are entitled to.

“The regulations introduced last March made cruel and unfair distinctions between those with physical impairments and mental health conditions.”

The Government has said it will write to everyone who has been affected and that it will backdate payments to when the award was made.

If you are currently going through a reconsideration or appeal, you may want to reference these changes to make sure that the person making the decision takes them into account.

Source: Turn2us

Find out if you are entitled to PIP.

What do you think of PIP and ESA?

Share your thoughts with the Government

The Work and Pensions Committee have opened an inquiry into the application, assessment and appeals process for Personal Independence Payment (PIP) and Employment & Support Allowance (ESA).

The Committee has opened an inquiry in response to some of the recent criticisms of the two benefits.

Some of the most notable issues include the assessors’ ability to assess a wide range of physical and mental health conditions and the high success rate (65%) in appealing a decision.

The Committee is interested in hearing recommendations for changes, and lessons that can be learned.

Wheelchair user

Some of the points to consider include:

  • Do contractor assessors possess sufficient expertise to carry out assessments for people with a wide range of health conditions?
  • Is the Department for Work and Pensions quality control for contractors sufficient and effective?
  • Should the options for reforming the Work Capability Assessment discussed in the Government’s Government’s Improving Lives green paper be taken forward?
  • What examples of best practice in assessing eligibility for benefits are available internationally and how transferrable are they to ESA and/or PIP?
  • Why do claimants seek to overturn initial assessment outcomes for ESA and/or PIP?
  • Why are levels of disputed decisions higher for PIP than for ESA?
  • Is the Mandatory Reconsideration (MR) process working well for claimants of ESA and/or PIP?
  • What accounts for the rate of overturned decisions at appeal for PIP and/or ESA?
  • Are there lessons that could be learned from the ESA MR and appeal process for PIP and vice-versa?
  • What changes could be made earlier in the process to ensure fewer claimants feel they need to appeal?
  • Do prospective claimants currently understand the purpose of the assessment?
  • How could claimants be helped to better understand the assessment process?
  • Are some groups of claimants particularly likely to encounter problems with their assessments – and if so, how can this be addressed?
  • Should the assessment processes for PIP and ESA be more closely integrated? How else might the processes be streamlined for claimants?

Find out more about how to submit your views to the Work and Pensions Committee inquiry

Submissions are due by 10 November 2017.

Source: Turn2us