Disabled Scots win 23,000 appeals in battle for benefits as DWP

The success rate for appeals was 61%, with claims that the welfare system is failing through “malice rather than mistake”.

Disabled Scots have successfully appealed against a decision to deny them benefits more than 23,000 times, the Daily Record can reveal.

Figures obtained under freedom of information laws show 23,250 assessments for Personal Independence Payments (PIP) have been successfully challenged since April 2013.

There were a total of 38,040 appeals during this period – meaning the success rate was 61 per cent.

The most successful appeals were in Glasgow, where 5640 decision were overturned.

PIP has been replacing Disability Living Allowance (DLA) as the main benefit for disabled or ill people. It is worth up to £145.35 a week.

It is designed to help towards the additional costs of a disability or long-term illness, such as help getting dressed, cooking meals or getting around.

But claimants have to endure controversial assessments, conducted by private companies on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

Bob Doris says it’s vital “fundamental flaws” in the appeals process are urgently addressed (Image: DAILY RECORD)

 

The SNP last night seized on the figures as further proof the welfare system is failing. MSP Bob Doris said: “Something is going seriously wrong here – and with successful appeals skyrocketing, it looks like malice rather than mistake.

“Disabled people rely on these financial lifelines to live independently and be part of their community.

“For the DWP to get these cases so consistently wrong suggests a systematic hostility towards people in need.

“The Tory Government’s punitive approach to system simply isn’t working. It’s failing vulnerable people, withdrawing support from those who need it most, and leaving people out of pocket and unable to afford basic essentials.

“It’s vital that these fundamental flaws in the current assessment appeals process are urgently addressed.”

But the DWP last night defended the PIP scheme.

A spokeswoman said: “PIP is a better benefit which takes a much wider look at the way a person’s health condition or disability impacts them on a daily basis.

“Under PIP, 31 per cent of claimants receive the highest rate of support, compared to 15 per cent under DLA.

“In fact, Nine in 10 of all PIP claims are made and completed without appeal and since PIP was introduced there have been 3.9million decisions made and of these, five per cent have been overturned at appeal.

“In many successful appeals, decisions are overturned because people have submitted more oral or written evidence.”

Source: https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/disabled-scots-win-23000-appeals-16235869

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