Thousands of disabled people who suffer from progressively worsening conditions will face reassessment for their benefits this year, new figures show.
Campaigners and MPs are now demanding changes to stop those with such conditions being repeatedly reassessed to claim personal independence payments (PIP).
Between April and October, 3,500 people suffering progressive conditions rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis (MS), Parkinson’s disease and motor neurone disease were reassessed for PIP, according to a written parliamentary question from Labour MP Madeleine Moon.
SNP MP Carol Monaghan said she was dealing with four cases in her constituency of people who suffer from MS being reassessed for PIP, despite their condition only getting progressively worse.
“MS is a progressive condition, they’re never going to be any better than they are at the moment, so they should never be asked to go for a re-assessment,” she told the Press Association.
“Some of these people are still able to walk to a certain extent, so they get themselves in just about, and then they’re being told that ‘you look fine’. That’s like somebody ill going to a doctor and the doctor saying ‘yeah, you’re looking all right, I’m not going to bother doing any tests’. It’s a medical condition – it’s not about how somebody or somebody presents. It’s actually about a diagnosis that’s given by a medical professional, and this simply isn’t happening.”
In 2015/16 2,400 people with these conditions were reassessed for PIP, according to the figures obtained by Ms Moon, compared with a total of 200 in the previous two years.