New figures show thousands with MS are refused PIP

Published date: 29 Nov 2017 at 9:56AM

Photo shows Big Ben clock face with MS Society flag taken by Rebecca Cresta

Nearly one in three people with MS who apply for Personal Independence Payment (PIP) for the first time are refused the benefit.

The Department for Work and Pensions told us that in the four years since PIP started, 31% (4,100) of new claims from people with MS were found to be not eligible.

A further 6% (1,100) qualified for PIP initially, but were turned down after a reassessment.

These figures look at new claims for PIP since 2013. They don’t include people being reassessed from Disability Living Allowance (DLA).

Fundamentally flawed

When people turned down for PIP appeal against the decision, 65% of the time independent tribunals decide they should be awarded the benefit.  

Earlier this year, we highlighted that at least £6 million a year has been taken from people with MS who have been reassessed from DLA.

All these figures show how the PIP assessment process is fundamentally flawed.  

PIP hurting too many people

Michelle Mitchell, our Chief Executive, said: “It’s insulting that so many people who are diagnosed with a long-term condition are being told they don’t qualify for support.

“These latest figures show PIP isn’t just hurting those who’ve been moved across from the old system, but also new people who are trying to get support for the first time.

“PIP is meant to help manage the extra costs of living with a disability and assist people to be more independent. But it’s a tougher system than DLA, with much stricter rules. In too many cases, assessments fail to reflect the barriers people with MS face.”

Review urgently needed

We’re calling on the government to review PIP to make sure assessments accurately reflect the reality of living with MS.

Changes we want to see include:

  • Assessments for people with MS being done by assessors who have professional experience of neurological and fluctuating conditions and adequate training.
  • An evaluation of how PIP rules take into account hidden symptoms like pain, fatigue and cognitive problems.
  • Improvements in processes around providing medical evidence.

Help us campaign on PIP

Have you been refused PIP? Was it when you first applied, at reassessment, or when transferring from DLA? Or have you experienced any other problems with PIP?

>> Email us at campaigns@mssociety.org.uk to share your story 

Page last updated: 29 Nov 2017

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