Letter to Editor
PIP review great news
But vast majority of initial assessments are flawed, not just mental health cases
On behalf of The British Polio Fellowship, I welcome news that 1.6 million Personal Independence Payments (PIP) claims will be reviewed. We have seen decisions concerning Post Polio Syndrome (PPS) overturned on appeal, and this latest decision should be an opportunity to review all previous decisions affecting PIPs, not just those relating to mental health conditions.
The court ruling highlights the problem of trying to limit the amount of support available, ahead of reviewing individual cases. While 220,000 people are expected to receive more money from this ruling, two thirds of all people who contest PIP cases are winning; why are so many assessments found to be flawed on appeal?
Polio and PPS often involves living with crutches and/or wheelchairs for life. As Polio survivors, we take this for granted, but rarely allow it to dominate our lives as a ‘serious aid to mobility’. Many of us don’t walk one step unaided, let alone the PIP criteria of 20 metres. Even a win on appeal leaves people distressed and out of pocket. Surely it would make sense if correct assessment decisions were made in the first place?
I urge the government to use this opportunity to have a rethink on how all initial assessments were and are made.
The British Polio Fellowship