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.
Support to access benefits and wider support
The Government needs to improve the support it gives to people with MS to help them access benefits and wider support, including:
- Anyone who applies for a benefit should be given information on all support available to them. This should include information on benefits and wider support, such as housing and social care.
- Anyone who starts a claim for a disability benefit should have the right to be assigned a single point of contact from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to help them navigate the claim process and beyond.
Assessments for disability benefits
The Government needs to change the assessments process for disability benefits to make it easier to navigate and to make sure all people with MS get the support they need, including:
The Work Capability Assessment (WCA) and Personal Independence Payment (PIP) criteria should be changed to make sure they more effectively consider the fluctuating nature of MS and its hidden symptoms.
- The 20-metre rule for assessing mobility for PIP should be scrapped. A review and design exercise should come up with an appropriate alternative, and in the meantime, the 50-metre threshold should be reinstated.
- People should only be asked to go through assessments where there is a lack of reliable evidence to allow for a ‘paper-based’ decision to be made.
- People with MS should only be assessed by assessors who have some professional experience of neurological conditions.
- Informal observations should no longer play a role in the WCA and PIP assessments.
The Government needs to make sure benefit rates give people with MS the financial support they need, including:
- Benefit rates should be increased to a level where all people with MS are able to cover the extra costs of their disability and live independently.
- Benefit rates should be informed by research on minimum income standards [link opens in an external site]
To see our full recommendations on welfare, download our response to the Government’s Health and Disability Green Paper. You can also read the latest on our welfare campaigns.
Download our welfare recommendations
We last updated this page on 12-05-2022