The UK Government needs to fix PIP once and for all

The UK Government is planning big changes to disability benefits. But they still don't have a plan to fix the problems with PIP.

Ask your MP to call for a review of PIP

What’s happening with disability benefits?

The PIP assessment is riddled with issues, from the 20 metre rule to ‘informal observations’. Too many people with MS end up without the support they need.

Now, the UK Government is planning to scrap the Work Capability Assessment (WCA) for Universal Credit. This means the only way to get extra support on Universal Credit if you have MS is through the PIP assessment.

While many people with MS will welcome one less assessment, we know PIP isn’t fit for purpose. People could lose even more financial support if the assessment doesn’t go their way.

It’s more important than ever to fix PIP before these changes come in.

How can PIP be fixed?

The UK Government can do this by reviewing the PIP process, including scrapping:

  • the 20 metre rule
  • informal observations
  • the 50% rule.

The 20 metre rule is a senseless and arbitrary measure of mobility. The rule means if you can walk just one step over 20 metres (roughly the length of two double-decker buses) you don’t get the highest rate of mobility support.

Too often, PIP assessors make inaccurate decisions based on ‘informal observations’ (the way people look or act during their assessment). 67% of people with MS whose assessment included these said they didn’t reflect how MS affects them.

The 50% rule is another unfair rule for people with MS. This rule says if your symptoms affect you for less than half of the month, you aren’t entitled to support for them. For example, using a mobility aid for 14 days (about 2 weeks) of the month would not entitle you to support for this.

What’s happening in Scotland?

In Scotland PIP has been replaced with the Adult Disability Payment (ADP). But at the moment it has many of the same issues as PIP.

So we’ve also been campaigning for the Scottish Government to make ADP work for people with MS. Over 100 members of our campaigns community in Scotland responded to a consultation on ADP. And we've met with the Scottish Government to discuss further.

How can you help?

We’ve won on PIP before. The UK Government will test matching people with assessors who are specialists in their condition. They'll also test automatically sharing assessment reports with claimants. We’ve been campaigning for this for years. And we can win again, if we come together.

These new plans won’t happen for a few years, but PIP needs to change now. If the UK Government wants to rely on PIP, it has to make it work.

Ask your MP to call for a review of PIP now