Parkinson's UK speaks out over PIP nightmare
On 15 March, Parkinson's UK joined with over 30 other charities in calling on the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to rethink damaging changes to Personal Independence Payments (PIP).
Regulations that come into force tomorrow will restrict the way PIP is awarded for people with Parkinson's and other conditions, who struggle to follow a journey because of the psychological impact of their condition.
Instead of kicking people when they're down, the DWP must ensure the broken PIP assessment supports people with long-term conditions.
This is against the ruling of the courts, who felt the assessment should be more lenient.
That's why Parkinson's UK Chief Executive Steve Ford has signed an open letter with 30 other charity leaders, including the MS Society, Mind and Scope, to ask the Government to rethink these harmful regulations.
The Government estimates that these changes will stop around 160,000 people getting access to the benefit in future.
Although we don't know how many people with Parkinson's this will include, we're concerned many won't be able to access the support they need.
PIP is a failure
The need for change is more urgent than ever, as figures show that a quarter of people with Parkinson's that have been reassessed from Disability Living Allowance (DLA) to PIP have lost some or all of their support so far.
Despite this, we know that more than 2 in 3 people who take their PIP decision to appeal are successful in getting it overturned in their favour.
Policy and Campaigns Adviser Phil Reynolds said:
"PIP is an utter failure for people with Parkinson's. We're horrified at the numbers of people forced to return Motability vehicles they've had for years, only to get them back again when they appeal the decision.
"Damaging changes to the PIP assessment will only add insult to injury for people with Parkinson's, who feel the game is being rigged against them.
"Instead of kicking people when they're down, the DWP must ensure the broken PIP assessment supports people with long term conditions."
Back our campaign
Parkinson's UK is working actively 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 and 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.