The call to action around disability benefits assessments

Data shows that the government spends more than £12om fighting appeals for Personal Independence Payment (PIP), even though over 70% of tribunals are won. Charities such as Scope are campaigning for the government to ‘Get Disability Benefits Right The First Time.’

Between 2017 and 2019 the Government spent more than £120m fighting appeals to benefit decisions.

Less than half of applicants for PIP, a personal payment irrelevant to income that is for disability-related costs to living, get accepted, however when taken to tribunal 72% of PIP applicants are won, whilst two-thirds of work capability assessments are overturned on appeal.

woman holding sword statue during daytime

Scope, a charity to advance the rights of disabled people, says that these figures show a problem with assessment for these benefits:

‘Time and again assessors are getting benefits decisions wrong. Taking vital support away from disabled people and their families, creating enormous amounts of stress, anxiety and pushing many into poverty…It shouldn’t be a fight. Disabled people should get the right benefits the first time around.’

The charity has gone on to create a petition to get ‘disability benefits right the first time’, specifically to make sure disabled people get the right assessor, who understands the condition or impairment(s) that they live with and has notable signatures.

Scope write in their petition: ‘We believe that disabled people should have a right to request an appropriate assessor. Right now, if someone applies for PIP primarily on the basis of having a learning disability, they could be assessed by a physiotherapist who has little understanding of their needs. A right to an appropriate assessor would mean a disabled person could be assessed by someone with appropriate medical background and a far better understanding of their needs.’

Photo by Tingey Injury Law Firm


Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Help us break the news – share your information, opinion or analysis
Back to top