Thu 14 Mar, 2019

Scottish Greens have criticised the UK Government’s approach to assessing eligibility for disability benefits after the release of figures showing that nearly three quarters of those who appeal a decision have their complaints upheld.

73% of people who lodged appeals against decision made regarding their eligibility for Personal Independence Payment won their appeals. This is a 1% increase on the previous quarter. Across the UK, 15,372 people had their appeals upheld.

The payment will be replaced in Scotland by Scottish Disability Assistance for Working-Age People from 2021.

Alison Johnstone MSP, Scottish Greens Social Security Spokesperson said:

“Today’s figures are a shocking indictment of how dysfunctional reforms to UK disability benefits have been, with the majority of people who challenge decisions to reduce or remove PIP entitlement winning their appeals.

“Clearly, there are several major problems with the eligibility criteria and how they are assessed. The determination to callously save money at the expense of people’s wellbeing has also led to people being turned down for support when they are clearly eligible.

“Restoring fairness to the disability benefits system is the biggest challenge that the Scottish Government faces in establishing the new Scottish social security system.

“I hope that it is paying due consideration to today’s figures, to ensure that, when the Scottish replacement for PIP begins, Scottish claimants get the support they need from the start, and are not forced to go through the stress of the appeals process.”

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