New Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) figures released today (Tuesday 11 December) show that just under 1,500 people with Parkinson's have lost out on some or all of their financial support this year, due to the harsher Personal Independence Payment (PIP) system.
Over 5,000 people with Parkinson's have been reassessed from Disability Living Allowance (DLA) to PIP, with about a quarter receiving less support or losing it altogether – despite living with a condition that will never get better.
Sajid Ahmed, who is living with Parkinson's, has been affected by these poor decisions. When he transferred from DLA to PIP he had his mobility award reduced, despite his condition being no better.
"The process is very unfair, and l have lost my Motability car and now l will have to pay on public transport because I don't have a freedom pass."
When people challenge these decisions, the government's own data show that it is wrong in over two-thirds of cases. We think it's wrong that people with Parkinson's have to go to a tribunal to get the support they deserve.
Michael Griffin, Senior Policy and Campaigns Adviser at Parkinson's UK says:
"It's completely unacceptable that people are having support taken away because of unnecessary reassessments.
"Parkinson's is a degenerative condition that will not get better. It defies logic that someone can be given a lower award now than they have received in the past. The DWP should give people with degenerative conditions, such as Parkinson's, long-term awards without having to go through another reassessment."
Urge the government to fix PIP
We're asking supporters to write to their MP to ask the new Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, the Rt Hon Amber Rudd MP, to make PIP work for people with Parkinson's.
Support our benefit campaigns
Show your support for our campaign to make the benefits system fairer by joining our Campaigns Network.
Questions about benefits
Please call our helpline on 0808 800 0303, email [email protected] or contact our Parkinson's local advisers to answer any questions you have about Parkinson's, including accessing benefits and support.