People with Parkinson's and other degenerative conditions are undergoing stressful and unnecessary reassessments to prove they still need Personal Independence Payment (PIP).
In response to a question asked by the Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Parkinson's, Madeleine Moon MP, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has revealed that almost a thousand people with Parkinson's have already faced reassessment since the benefit was introduced in 2013.
Losing access to support
Parkinson's UK continues to hear stories of assessors who have a very mixed knowledge of the condition, which can lead to people not getting access to the support they desperately need and having to appeal decisions in court.
It's crucial that the DWP looks again at the broken PIP assessment to ensure people with long-term conditions get the support they so desperately need, rather than rigging the system against them.
We're also extremely concerned that around a quarter of people with Parkinson's are losing some or all of their benefit when being transferred over from Disability Living Allowance, the benefit that PIP replaces.
This tells us that PIP is not fit-for-purpose in its current form and needs significant change to make it work properly for people with the condition.
Policy and Campaigns Adviser Phil Reynolds said:
"The cost of these pointless and wasteful reassessments for Parkinson's alone will be around £72,800.
"It's absolutely crucial that the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) looks again at the broken PIP assessment to ensure people with long-term conditions get the support they so desperately need, rather than rigging the system against them."
Campaigning for change
Parkinson's UK is working to improve PIP for people with Parkinson's by:
- raising issues and concerns with the assessment providers
- speaking out in the press to highlight the need for improvements
- helping people challenge incorrect decisions through our Benefits and Employment Advisers.
Find out more about our campaign to halt disability benefit cuts, and how you can get involved.
If you have any questions about applying for PIP, please call our helpline on 0808 800 0303.