North Staffs Green Party today put its support behind a campaign by the Multiple Sclerosis Society calling for an improvement to Personal Independence Payment (PIP) assessments.
A report published by the Disability Benefits Consortium (DBC) this week has shown that PIP is not working for people living with long term medical conditions and disabilities.
Since the introduction of PIP in October 2013 people living with MS have lost some £6million in benefits.
Figures obtained by the MS Society from the Department of Work and Pensions show that between the introduction of PIP in 2013 and October 2016, 2600 people previously on the highest mobility component of the old Disability Living Allowance have had their payments cut; 800 people claiming the highest care component on the old system have also lost out.
The report shows that over half the people who responded to a survey conducted by the DBC felt that DWP assessors didn’t properly understand their condition. Three quarters of respondents said that applying for PIP had caused them levels of anxiety that made their condition worse.
MS Society Director of External Affairs Genevieve Edwards said’ these staggering figures show how PIP is failing people with MS who need the highest level of support’.
She added that it ‘doesn’t make sense that people are losing money they once qualified for when they are living with a progressive condition’.
North Staffs Green Party Campaigns Coordinator Adam Colclough said, ‘this is another example of the government cutting support for vulnerable people for no good reason, the impact of PIP stress on the physical and mental health of claimants even if they are successful can be hugely damaging’.
The MS society are calling on the government to reform what they describe as a ‘broken’ system.
Adam Colclough said, ‘as a party we are fully behind the MS Society in this campaign and will be supporting them locally in any way we can’.
The campaign is set to last for six weeks.