Our #10YearsOfPIP petition was signed by 22,524 of us. Yesterday, we went to Westminster to meet MPs, and to hand in your signatures to the Department of Work and Pensions.
What we're calling for
It’s the tenth anniversary of Personal Independence Payment (PIP). But we won’t be celebrating. Ten years of a broken PIP system has meant a decade of stress, indignity and humiliation for people with MS. We need a plan to fix PIP once and for all.
We launched our #10YearsOfPIP campaign six weeks ago. We asked you to sign our petition, calling for the Government to fix the PIP system. And we handed that petition in yesterday.
We were joined by Rob and Shereena, who both live with MS, and have shared their experiences of PIP as part of our campaign.
We're calling for the UK Government to launch a full review of PIP. This must consider:
scrapping the 20 metre rule, and replacing with the 50 metre threshold until an alternative is found
scrapping informal observations for people with fluctuating conditions
changing the ‘50% rule’ for assessing fluctuating conditions
We hope this petition will act as a wake-up call to the Government and persuade them to take real steps to support the MS community.
What people with MS have to say
One of the people who joined us was Rob, who lives with relapsing remitting MS.
“I wanted to come down to Westminster because I felt it was important that MPs were given real life experiences of the broken PIP system and how it impacts people's lives. I'm grateful for the opportunity to make that contribution.
“Once again, this has raised awareness of the growing number of issues within a broken and not fit for purpose system. The MPs were kind enough to listen and empathise with my comments, but we need ideas and solutions. My greatest fear is that we will revisit parliament with a campaign of #20YearsOfPIPEnoughIsReallyEnough.”
Shereena also joined us. She says:
“It was important for me to be involved in the MS Society’s PIP campaign because it is so important to my independence. Right now, I don’t receive enough mobility support to help me get out and about independently, so I have to rely on my husband, friends and family.
Attending the Westminster event as one of the experts in the room made me feel heard. I hope the conversation around the PIP process continues to be had. I’d like to feel like invisible illnesses, like MS, are more understood.
Speaking up for people with MS in Westminster
As well as handing in our petition, we also hosted a drop-in event in Parliament. We invited MPs to hear how the PIP assessment process affects people with MS. And why it’s so urgent that we fix the PIP system now.
Over 30 MPs came to the drop-in. They heard from Rob and Shereena who shared their experience of why the PIP system is so difficult for people with MS.
MP Charlotte Nichols also asked a question at Prime Minister’s Questions yesterday. She highlighted our petition, and asked the Prime Minister to implement a full review of PIP. The Prime Minister responded that he would ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions to write to her about the issue.
We also met with Tom Pursglove, Disabilities Minister, and told him why it’s so urgent that we fix PIP now.
Why we’re campaigning on this issue
Our survey of over 3,500 people living with MS showed just how urgent it is that the PIP system is fixed. We found:
2 in 3 people with MS said going through the PIP process had a negative or very negative impact on their physical and mental health.
6 in 10 of people with MS said their assessment report did not give an accurate reflection of their MS.
Over 3 in 5 said their assessor didn’t consider their hidden symptoms.
What happens next?
We haven't finished campaigning on PIP or disability benefits. Keep up to date with the campaign as it progresses.
You can also get in touch with us to share your story by emailing [email protected]