Personal Independence Payment (PIP) assessments have been branded a “total failure” as 69% of people appealing them at a tribunal now win their case
The victory rate for people appealing for disability benefit has reached its highest ever.
Personal Independence Payment (PIP) assessments have been branded a “total failure” as 69% of people appealing them at a tribunal now win their case.
That is the highest percentage success rate ever recorded since the benefit launched in 2013.
PIP, worth £22 to £141 a week, is replacing the old Disability Living Allowance as a fairer way for 1.6million people to meet everyday costs.
But campaigners argue assessments for the new benefit are unfit for purpose.
Of 947,000 people moving from DLA to PIP, almost half (46%) had their payments downgraded or stopped.
New Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey is overseeing the system (Image: Jack Taylor)
Today’s figures show that between October and December 2017, 20,144 benefit tribunals were completed – and 13,881 ended in victory for the claimant.
Separately 69% of appeals for sickness benefit Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) also ended in victory in the three-month period, just short of a record.
The actual number of PIP cases, and PIP victories, were both slightly lower than in the first six months of 2017. However, the percentage victory rate was a record.
In total 190,184 PIP appeals have gone through the system since the benefit launched – of which 121,671 (64%) resulted in victory for the claimant.
But hundreds of thousands more people have been denied benefits without showing up in the figures.
That is because people who are turned down for PIP must first launch an internal appeal called a “mandatory reconsideration”, for which the success rate is much lower.
Only once they are denied a reconsideration by the DWP can they move on to an independent tribunal.
190,184 PIP appeals have gone through the system – and 64% resulted in victory (Image: Getty Images)
Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Debbie Abrahams said: “It is clear the assessment process is a total failure and not fit for purpose.
“The Government is failing sick and disabled people by knowingly allowing this injustice to continue.”
Mark Atkinson, Chief Executive of disability charity Scope, said: “Today’s figures show that despite dire warnings, these assessments continue to fail disabled people.
“The assessments for PIP and ESA must be overhauled to iron out the mistrust, lack of transparency and routine inaccuracies which disabled people report on a weekly basis.”
A DWP spokeswoman said: “We are absolutely committed to ensuring that disabled people get the support they’re entitled to. Since PIP was introduced more than 2.9 million decisions have been made, and of these 8% have been appealed and 4% have been overturned. In the majority of successful appeals, decisions are overturned because people have submitted more evidence.”