Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is a benefit that's meant to help with the extra costs of having a condition like MS. Costs like an adapted Motability vehicle, or money to pay for things like physio or counselling.
In the words of one person with MS, PIP can give people the support they need “to live, rather than exist”.
But PIP is failing people with MS. Our new report (PDF, 3.4 MB) shows there are still unnecessary barriers at every stage of the PIP process. And these barriers lead to thousands losing or being denied support.
From tackling the long, complicated form, to proving yourself to an assessor, to fighting an incorrect decision – we face an exhausting and demoralising battle every step of the way.
Assessors need to understand MS
Our new research shows more than half of people with MS surveyed didn’t feel their assessor understood their MS.
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.
We need a PIP process we can trust. Decisions must be backed by evidence not assumptions. And assessments should be carried out by people with good knowledge of MS.
21,000 of us spoke up
In the run up to the general election, we wrote an open letter to the UK Government, telling them we need a PIP assessment process we can trust.
21,000 of us added our names to the letter, sending a clear message to the new Government that PIP must change. We’ll be delivering the letter to Downing Street in early 2020.
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