MS Society report: How the PIP process betrays people with MS

‘At least one in four people with MS are losing out on PIP. That’s at least 12,886 people with MS who have lost out on support since PIP was introduced, compared to the level of support received under DLA.’

This is according to a November 2019 report from the MS Society on the difficulties people with multiple sclerosis (MS) experience with the Personal Independence Payment (PIP).

The report also finds that:

  • One of the key problems recognised is the PIP application form, as 65% of respondents to the survey said the form was either hard or very hard to complete. Of those who found the form hard to complete, 61% said this was because the form was too long. Although the form is long, 34% of respondents said they didn’t think the form allowed them to explain how their MS affects them. The MS Society recommend that the application form is redesigned with disabled people, so that it works for those with MS and other long-term conditions.
  • Evidence collection mechanisms, both for claimants and assessors, was found to be problematic for many applicants. 37% of respondents said it was difficult or very difficult to obtain evidence from their healthcare professionals, with half of those saying the reason was that there was not enough time.
  • Many applicants with MS raised concerns over assessors’ lack of knowledge of the condition. 55% of respondents who had a face-to-face assessment disagreed or strongly disagreed that the assessor had a good understanding of MS. 55% of respondents also disagreed or strongly disagreed that the assessor understood the impact of their MS. Furthermore, of respondents who had informal observations included in their assessment report, 67% said the observations did not reflect how MS affects them.
  • Changes are required to improve the decision making process. 45% of respondents who had received a decision on their claim said they don’t think they were given enough information with their decision letters to explain how the decision was made.
  • The MS Society emphasise the responsibility of the government to ensure assessments and decisions are of good quality, and to establish better quality control mechanisms to ensure a better level of service.

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