A benefit designed to support disabled people is making their health worse, leaving them isolated and struggling to access funds to pay for help to help them live independently.
That’s the claim being made by new research which has found that nearly 80% of respondents in a survey said their assessment for Personal Independence Payment (PIP) had made their health worse due to stress and anxiety.
Led by the Disability Benefits Consortium, the report suggests that disabled people are generally finding it harder to access the funds they need to pay for independent living support which can include things like mobility and living aids.
The report found that 50% of respondents said they were receiving less money under PIP than they were previously entitled to under DLA, or they had lost their award completely.
It is the first time that PIP, which is designed to help people with extra costs caused by long term ill-health or disability and replaces Disability Living Allowance (DLA), has been evaluated in this way.
The organisations that make up the Disability Benefits Consortium (DBC) warn that although PIP is a lifeline for disabled people when they can access it, the findings provide clear evidence that in too many cases, the assessment process is failing people at every turn and having a devastating impact on their health.
As a result of this assessment process, people are losing out on vital support with half (The report warns of the devastating consequences this is having, including people:
The DBC say this suggests the assessment process is failing to make accurate decisions first time around, leading to further stress for the applicant. In addition, it is estimated people face a 17-week wait for their appeal without access to the financial support they desperately need.