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Our welfare policies

People living with MS should be able to get the welfare support they need to cover their extra costs and live independently.

Having MS is hard enough. It shouldn’t be made harder by a welfare system that doesn’t make sense.

Find out more about disability benefits, grants and other financial support

Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

The Government must fix the PIP process, so it more accurately reflects how people are impacted by living with MS. This should include:

  • scrapping the 20-metre rule for assessing mobility. In the short-term, it should be replaced with the previous 50-metre rule used under Disability Living Allowance. Longer-term, the Government should introduce a new evidence-based means of assessing people’s needs for mobility support.
  • abolishing all informal observations for people living with fluctuating conditions like MS.
  • changing the 50% rule for assessing fluctuating conditions to be more flexible. The new approach should consider the frequency, severity and impact of all symptoms over time.

You can read more about the issues with the PIP process affecting people with MS and what needs to be changed in our report PIP: a decade of failure.

Work Capability Assessment (WCA)

The Government should scrap plans announced in the 2023 Autumn Statement. These plans include tightening the WCA criteria for new Universal Credit and Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) claimants. You can read more about what we think of the Government’s plans in our blog.

Longer-term, the Government has said it plans to completely scrap the WCA. Instead they'll use the PIP assessment to determine whether disabled people will get extra disability-related support on Universal Credit. If the Government decides to go ahead with these plans, it must fix the PIP process for people with MS by following the recommendations set out in our report PIP: a decade of failure.

Disability benefit rates

Many people with MS who are unable to work due to their symptoms rely on means-tested disability benefits to support themselves. These include Universal Credit and Employment Support Allowance. However, many people are unable to cover the costs of their essentials due to benefit rates being too low.

The Government must review and improve means-tested disability benefit rates. Making sure all disabled people, including those living with MS, can cover the costs of essentials and live free from poverty.

You can read more about how many people with MS are struggling with the cost of living due to benefits being too low in our report Reduced to Breaking Point.

We last updated this page on Tuesday 13 February 2024