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Disability benefits campaign

Sachin Shah and Tina Walker marching at the Hardest Hit March in London

Help us campaign against cuts to disability benefits and for a better welfare system that fully supports people with Parkinson's and their carers.

The welfare system in the UK has undergone huge reform.

In October 2015 the Welfare Reform Bill is going through Parliament which will bring even more changes particularly to Employment Support Allowance.

Join our campaign for people with Parkinson's to receive the financial support they need

Your experiences will help us gather evidence. Tell us about how you found Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and Personal Independence Payment (PIP) assessments:

Share your experiences on Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) Share your experiences on Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

Quick links:

Employment and Support Allowance campaign

Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) helps people with Parkinson's who cannot work and is a benefit already available across the UK.

I could not believe what the doctor at the assessment asked me to do. She said could I stop shaking while doing a test. I'd love to be able to stop shaking but I can't!

A person with Parkinson's at an assessment

We believe the tests of eligibility for Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) are too crude and simplistic to take account of the full symptoms and fluctuating nature of Parkinson's. And we're campaigning for changes.

We're alarmed that people with severe and progressive Parkinson's are still being put in the ESA group where a 'return to work' is expected and subject to repeat assessments.

We're also alarmed at changes made by the previous Government which mean that some ESA claimants can only claim this essential support for up to a year.

With a new Government in place, we have an opportunity to highlight how badly the system is failing people with Parkinson's, and what needs to change.

We're calling for:

  • Longer award periods for people who are not expected to return to work in the near future and put into the 'support' group
  • The next Government to revise the ESA assessment, to make sure it fully captures the impact of Parkinson's on a person's ability to work

People with progressive conditions to only be placed in the 'back to work' group when there's evidence that they will be able to return to work in the foreseeable future,

You can take action

Please tell us your experiences of claiming Employment and Support Allowance:

Share your experiences on Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)

Personal Independence Payment and Disability Living Allowance campaign

The information below applies to Great Britain only. In Northern Ireland there are no changes as yet.

We are campaigning for people with Parkinson's to receive the financial support they need – join us.

The Coalition Government replaced Disability Living Allowance (DLA) with Personal Independence Payment (PIP) in Great Britain. PIP was introduced for new claimants from April 2013.

Under current plans, people who've been awarded long-term or permanent DLA awards are required to be reassessed for PIP from October 2015.

People with Parkinson's have found applying for PIP frustrating, upsetting and stressful.

Many believe that the anxiety and stress caused by the applications made their condition worse. This is why we are campaigning to make PIP work for people with Parkinson's.

Great successes but work not yet over

We have had some great successes to make sure the fluctuating aspect of the condition is understood by assessors.

And now most people with Parkinson's who provide enough medical information in their paper application shouldn't have to go to a face to face assessment.

But our work isn't over.

We're worried about stricter rules for 'mobility' which could see people with Parkinson's losing vital support for travel and transport costs.

We're also worried about a policy of regular reassessments for everyone who qualifies for PIP, even though they have a progressive condition.

That's why we're calling on the new Government to:

  • Stop reassessing people for PIP if they have a progressive condition, unless there's medical evidence they are able to continue working
  • Look again at the '20 metre' rule which means that only people with the most severe mobility problems will qualify for essential support, such as Motability access
  • Improve the way that medical evidence is collected, so that people with Parkinson's don't need to go to face-to-face assessments
  • Introduce a longer-term award period for PIP, for people with progressive conditions like Parkinson's

Find out more in our disability and age-related benefits policy statement

You can take action

Please tell us your experiences of claiming Personal Independence Payment:

Share your experiences on Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

More information

Read our policy page on welfare reform to find out more background information, including reports and consultations including our suggestions for how PIP and ESA should change.

Read our Welfare benefits and grants for people with Parkinson's page to find out more about what PIP and ESA are, if you’re eligible and how to apply

Get involved

  • Sign up to our Campaigns Network - we'll update you on our welfare reform work.
  • Share your experiences of applying for Employment and Support Allowance or Personal Independence Payment for the current independent reviews.
  • Contact us on or 020 7963 9307.

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