Charities sounded the alarm over a “devastating” shake-up which has axed or reduced 230,000 people’s Personal Independence Payments (PIP)
The fund is designed to help disabled people live independently and is replacing the old Disability Living Allowance (DLA).
Yet around 110,000 DLA claimants who were reassessed for the new benefit – 21% of the total – have been rejected since PIP launched in 2013. Another 121,000 – 23% of those reassessed – were given PIP but at a lower rate than their previous benefit. Overall, 40% saw their payments rise and 12% saw no change.
The figures, covering April 2013 to October 2016 and compiled by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), were slipped out without fanfare on the government’s website today.
Those who lost out include many with progressive diseases – around 450 Parkinson’s sufferers, 3,069 people with multiple sclerosis and 4,450 suffering unspecified ‘malignant diseases’. Others with progressive conditions who saw benefits axed or reduced were around 294 cystic fibrosis sufferers, 36 people with motor neurone disease and 1,617 people classed as “terminally ill”.
Mental health charity Mind warned 74,580 DLA claimants with four key psychiatric disorders lost some or all of their benefits – 55% of all those who were reassessed.
Policy manager Vicki Nash said the figures were a “a huge cause for concern”, adding: “Hundreds of thousands of people with mental health problems rely on DLA and PIP to help them get the support they need to stay well.