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Personal Independence Payment (PIP) was introduced in the 2012 Welfare Act

PIP was brought in to replace Disability Living Allowance (support with care needs) and Employment and Support Allowance (support claimants in work)

PIP is available from the age to 16 to 64. Those over 64 are not eligible to claim the allowance, although if already on the allowance at 65 the claimant will remain eligible

PIP has turned out to be a disaster for those moved onto it

The whole ethos of the DWP has been to deny a claim and then reward a claim later down the line under appeal

For many claimants this hostile attitude can leave them destitute, without mobility and often suicidal

The new ethos of hostile treatment of claims was extended to DLA and ESA as well

The coalition government identified PIP as a cost cutting exercise, rather than a method to make the system fairer

The government announced plans to tighten eligibility for a key disability benefit, to remove entitlement from at least 360, 000 disabled people with lower support needs

Research carried out at by Disability Alliance identified that upto 50% of DLA claimants would have to cut their work hours or even give up work under the new PIP scheme

The Disability Rights Partnership (DRP) said the changes would have “a hugely detrimental effect” on a “significant number of disabled people and their families”

The DRP were deeply critical of the reforms, which they said were “underpinned” by the government’s plans to cut DLA spending on working-age people by a fifth – saving £2.17 billion by the end of 2015/16

The SSAC the coalitions own advisory committee said the reforms appeared to be driven by the coalition’s wish to cut the number of working-age disabled people claiming DLA by 20 per cent

The SSAC also said that the government’s much-criticised plans to remove the mobility component of DLA from most disabled people in residential care should not go ahead

As has been the way with all consultations and reports on Disability Rights, the coalition government ignored the findings and went ahead as originally planned

The coalition government misled parliament and the public about the scale of opposition to its reform of DLA

Responsible Reform found “overwhelming” opposition to replacing DLA with a new personal independence payment (PIP) for working-age claimants, with only seven per cent fully in favour

The Responsible Reform report also showed that the government had consistently used inaccurate figures to exaggerate the rise in the number of DLA claimants

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) claimed that the number of DLA claimants was increasing, but neglected to point out that working-age recipients have actually been falling

DWP initially gave the assessment and delivery of PIP over to two private companies, ATOS Healthcare and Capita

Atos came under scrutiny early on after it was discovered it had made misleading statements to the DWP in order to win regional contracts of £540 million

In October 2013 it became clear that Atos was at crisis point due to not having enough doctors to carry out assessment of claimants

In November this led to Atos to pull out of the provision and led to non-medical qualified civil servants carrying out the assessments

Atos stated that the reason for pulling out of the “fitness for work” contract was because of assaults on its staff by disabled benefit claimants, although continuing with two lucrative contacts to assess claimants for PIP

Atos failed to provide any evidence and didn't make a single report of a criminal offence for assault

Atos won the PIP contract by boasting in a tender document of its “extensive” network of 16 NHS trusts, two private hospital chains, and four physiotherapy providers, all of which it said would provide sites where the PIP tests would take place

In the months after Atos winning the contract, all but four of the NHS trusts and both of the private hospital chains dropped out

Atos stated in the £184 million disability assessment contract tender that it had a network of 740 assessment sites across London and the south of England

Atos only managed to secure 96 assessment centres meaning thousands of disabled people faced longer delays in being assessed, and longer and more complicated journeys to reach their assessments

The public accounts committee said an absence of competition for companies such as Atos and Capita had led to the growth of "privately-owned public monopolies which have become too big to fail"

In 2014 the National Audit Office confirmed that lengthy backlogs had built up in the first few months of Atos and Capita taking on the PIP assessment contracts

The Chief Executive of DABD said her organisation was being “bombarded” with appeals for help because of delays with PIP claims

DABD CE also said “The whole timescale of waiting is ridiculous. And when we have challenged the DWP and Atos they are blaming each other for the delays.”

Citizens Advice, said their organisation had “seen far too many examples” of claimants who had arranged home visits from Capita but no-one had turned up, with some claimants experiencing this three times

Claimants have arrived at Atos assessment centres to be told there was no-one there to see them

Capita responsible for assessing disability benefit eligibility failed to make its own workplace accessible for a disabled employee for more than three years, and then sacked her when she became too ill to work

Atos was mired in further controversy when it was found in 2015 that it was lying on its claimant assessments

Costs of delivering the service soared yet all three (Atos, Capita, Maximus)service providers failed to provide an adequate service

The National Audit Office found spending on assessments was set to double in just two years while the three providers were failing to meet the required standards

The NAO said the DWP had failed to achieve value for money from the health and disability assessments it had contracted out to Atos, Maximus and Capita

The Commons public accounts committee said disabled benefit claimants do not receive an acceptable service from contractors

The Commons public accounts committee had particular concerns about the way claimants with fluctuating and mental health conditions are assessed

In 2018 the DWP extended the contracts of two discredited companies Atos and Capita to carry out disability benefit assessments despite their continued failures

In July 2019 more than a third of disability assessment reports completed by Capita were found to be significantly flawed

Atos was found to be even worse with proportion of disability assessment reports found to be significantly flawed soaring by more than 40 per cent in the last two years

The government always saw the move over from DLA to PIP as a massive cost cutting exercise, looking to reduce the overall costs by 28% regardless of need

The government sought to create the impression of scroungers committed to a life of welfare at the tax-payers expense

Both Esther McVey and Ian Duncan Smith tried to create the untrue impression that there had been a massive surge in the number of applicants for DLA

In 2014 the DWP carried out 60 secret reviews into benefit-related deaths in less than three years

Gary Moyse was harassed and bullied by the DWP over a number of years

The biopsychosocial model of health (BPS) used by the DWP to assess claimants has been found not fit for purpose

BPS assumes “it is the negative attitudes of many ESA recipients that prevent them from working, rather than their impairment or health condition”,

BPS has been used to “underpin increasingly harsh and at times punitive measures targeted at disabled people” as the state tries to cut the number of people receiving ESA

The DWP has repeatedly been found to be bullying claimants

In 2016 government figures showed a steep fall in the proportion of disabled people being found eligible for out-of-work disability benefits

Evidence shows, the outlook for disabled people in the WRAG is extremely poor employment prospects, unjust sanctions, a culture of stigma and bullying, and from April 2017, severe financial hardship

In 2017 one of the outsourcing giants admitted that it is standard practice to ask claimants with mental health conditions why they failed to take their own lives

Many claimants have taken to twitter to describe the hell and abuse they have been through, often making claimants suicidal

Maria Lane was left to sit in her own urine for 2 hours by a physiotherapist who was assessing her benefit claim then had her benefits heavily cut

Roy Bard, a long-term recipient of disability living allowance (DLA), described how his financial support was suddenly removed because he missed an appointment for a PIP assessment he was never told about

CeaJay Clem, from Gloucestershire, has chronic discoid lupus, which has caused a significant facial disfigurement. But despite the impact of the condition on her skin, the doctor who assessed her wrote in her report that her complexion was “normal” and that she “looked well”

In 2017 a House of Commons select committee carried out an inquiry into the government’s flawed disability benefit assessment regime. The inquiry received more submissions from the public than any other previous inquiry with 2800 submissions made online and a further 450 written submissions

The submissions recorded a series of lies, brutality and false assessments

In 2017 figures showed attempted suicides among people claiming out-of-work disability benefits doubled between 2007 and 2014

The DWP destroyed a damaging internal report about its failure to ensure the safety of benefit claimants in jobcentres, preventing it being released under freedom of information laws

In 2019 the government was forced to admit that about 1,600 working-age disabled people are dying every year after having their claim for disability benefits rejected

more than 130 working-age disabled people a month have been found ineligible for PIP following an initial assessment by government contractors Atos and Capita but were still so unwell that they died soon afterwards

Between 2013-2018 over 17,000 people (10 per day) who have been diagnosed with terminal illnesses have died waiting for PIP

Between October 2012 and 30 September 2013, 104,200 disabled people had benefits ‘sanctioned’ following the introduction of the coalition's 2012 Welfare act

More to follow on sanctions

In 2012 The government changed the eligibility for support for people with the highest mobility needs, without any warning or consultation

The changes will see 20,000 fewer people eligible for the enhanced rate than under the previous version of the PIP regulations, with this gap rising to 51,000 by 2018

Previous drafts had stated that a claimant who could not walk at least 50 metres would be entitled to the enhanced rate, making them eligible to lease a Motability vehicle. This was slashed to just 20 metres

There was no mention of the alteration in the Commons statement by Esther McVey or in any of the government’s consultations on DLA reform

In 2015 it was revealed that more than 100 disabled people every week were losing their Motability vehicles

By 2018 about 75,000 have lost eligibility to remain on the mobility scheme and had to return their cars

According to a leading housing association, disabled people are paying a disproportionate share of the estimated £550 million-a-year that the government hopes to save

Two-thirds of their tenants who have been hit by the bedroom tax are disabled people

More than half the housing association’s properties that have been adapted for wheelchair use were not granted exemptions

A great many wheelchair-users are opting to pay the difference in housing benefit out of their own shrinking incomes rather than move to a smaller home due to lack of suitable properties

Dame Anne Begg, who chairs the Commons work and pensions select committee, described the bedroom tax as “a pernicious and vindictive measure that blames people and is causing a huge amount of distress”

More to follow on Bedroom Tax

Sheila Holt

Brian McArdle

Jacqueline Harris

Nick Barker

Michael O’Sullivan

Paul Donnachie

David Barr

Susan Roberts

Jodey Whiting

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