Parkinson's UK campaigners hand in PIP petition to Downing Street

People with Parkinson’s take PIP campaign to Downing Street

Date

Yesterday (8 March) people with Parkinson’s took a petition to the heart of the UK Government, calling for drastic improvements to Personal Independence Payment (PIP).

Parkinson’s UK’s ‘Get a grip on PIP’ campaign petition was signed by 33,875 people and delivered to Downing Street alongside staff from the charity. It asks the Minister for Disabled People, Health and Work to protect people with Parkinson’s from stressful and unnecessary PIP assessments in future.

PIP, which replaces Disability Living Allowance (DLA), is designed to help people with the extra costs they face because of their condition.

However, PIP is failing people with Parkinson’s – a quarter of those with the condition who have been reassessed have lost some, or all, of the support they had under DLA.

Worse still, Government figures show that almost 70% of people who appeal their PIP decision get it changed in their favour, which clearly shows that the process is not working

Why PIP isn’t working

Janet Roberts, who went to Downing Street, almost lost her Motability car following her reassessment for PIP, but her MP was able to step in to help.

Janet said: “I feel proud to be here today on behalf of all the people living with and affected by Parkinson’s who signed this petition. I am also very hopeful that we can make a difference and the system will be changed and made better for people with Parkinson’s so that they won’t be reassessed needlessly.”  

Rob and Lynsay Jaques were also at Downing Street, as Rob lost his financial support under PIP. The couple said: “The whole process is unfair on people and causes so much stress. The whole thing needs to be overhauled.”

Parkinson’s UK Senior Policy and Campaigns Adviser, Phil Reynolds, said: “It’s completely unacceptable that people are having support taken away or even having their symptoms made worse by going through the PIP process. That’s why we need the Government to heed the warning of these 33,875 voices. 

“People with Parkinson’s who already have the highest rates of DLA should be automatically given PIP – and spared the trauma and indignity of a PIP assessment that could see them lose everything.”

Parkinson’s UK will be meeting with the Minister for Disabled People, Health and Work, Sarah Newton, in the coming weeks, and we’ll be raising the issue with her then.

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