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Minister for Disabled People, Sarah Newton MP gave a statement on the 20th of December updating the House of Commons on the progress of Personal Independence Payment (PIP). What seems to have gone largely unreported is that at least 4,600 people who were found to have incorrectly lost their Disability Living Allowance (DLA) in 2017, still haven’t been contacted by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).
The Minister was updating MPs on how decisions from several legal cases that have affected the disability benefit, are now being implemented. From her statement it’s clear that the DWP are doing their best to delay making payments to those who’ve lost out.
She gave an update on the progress of implementing last Decembers High Court ruling that found the PIP assessment guidelines for mental health conditions was discriminatory. Out of 140,000 identified cases, 1000 have been repaid so far. The reason for the low number was due to “the complexity of the process.”
I would like to point out that Esther McVey previously reported the number at 220,000 claimants, as of yet I have had no response from the DWP regarding this inconsistency.
2017 Tribunal Ruling still not implemented
In November 2017, an Upper Tribunal ruled that a claimant named ‘OM’ unfairly had their Disability Living Allowance (DLA) stopped when they failed to attend a PIP assessment despite having “good reason” not too.
The decision stated that claimants’ DLA payments should be reinstated until a final decision on their PIP claim, and that they should be back paid as necessary.
Newton went on to say;
“We expect 4,600 people to gain as a result of this review exercise, all claimants who benefit from the Upper Tribunal decision will be notified by the Department.”
It’s important to note she uses the term “review exercise”. This is because they only started reviewing who may have been affected on the 17th December 2018. Over a year since the ruling was made.
As with the ruling on mental health sufferers, the government is yet again dragging its feet. Just another example of how the Tories treatment of disabled people falls far short of any reasonable standards.
After all the United Nations did say that the current government has created a “human catastrophe” for disabled people in the UK. This just goes to prove that they’re intent on continuing to do so.
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