Wednesday, 13 March 2019 23:28

DWP STAFF SHORTAGES ADDING ‘UNDUE STRESS’ TO ASSESSMENTS

SNP: PIP ASSESSMENT SYSTEM FAILING THOSE WHO NEED SUPPORT MOST

DWP staff shortages are causing thousands of Personal Independence Payment (PIP) claimants to be sent home unseen from health assessment appointments.

Figures revealed by a DWP minister show that in 2018, 5,700 Personal Independence Payment (PIP) claimants attended their health assessment, only to be turned away due to the unavailability of a health professional . 

PIP, which replaced the Disability Living Allowance (DLA) has been widely condemned by experts, charities, and front-line services, with some saying the controversial new system shows a “lack of humanity” from the Tory government, and has caused a culture of “inherent distrust” of the welfare system.

Angela Crawley, SNP spokesperson for disabilities, said: 

“There is already a staggering amount of evidence that PIP assessments cause stress, anxiety and health issues.

“Adding undue stress to the highly stressful and, frankly, degrading process of interrogation to receive benefits is completely irresponsible.

“Social security should be used as a tool to fight poverty and inequality, and support vulnerable people – not something which leaves claimants struggling to afford the basic essentials like food, rent and bills. It’s clear that Scotland’s communities simply can’t rely on Westminster to deliver those essentials.   

“The Tory government are failing disabled people – as is clear from their handling of the PIP assessment process, which has been shambolic from the very beginning. It’s time for an urgent, independent investigation into how these assessments are run.”

ENDS

https://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2019-03-04/228088/

Personal Independence Payment: Medical Examinations

228088

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many claimants of personal independence payment were sent home from their assessment appointments at Independence Assessment Services in 2018 due to staffing issues.

Minister for Disabilities: “In 2018 the number of claimants who attended an assessment appointment for Personal Independence Payment that were sent home unseen by Independent Assessment Service (IAS) due to the unavailability of a Health Professional was 5,700.”

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