Personal Independence Payments – Committee Wants To Hear From Claimants



Published on 13 May 2014


by Scottish Parliament Press Office

(WireNews+Co)

Edinburgh, Scotland

Personal Independence Payments (PIP) are to be the focus of Parliamentary examination following the Scottish Parliament’s Welfare Reform Committee’s launch of its scrutiny into the latest round of changes to the welfare system.

The payments have been replacing Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for new claims since 10 June 2013, and since October 2013, existing claimants in parts of Scotland have undergone reassessment and transfer from DLA to PIP.

People aged 16-64 can apply for PIP to help meet some of the extra costs caused by long-term ill-health or a disability. Today, the Welfare Reform Committee is expanding its successful ‘Your Say’ campaign to include people with experience of PIP. This launch takes place on the same day as the contractor appointed to undertake the process in much of Scotland, Salus, gives evidence to the Committee on their perception of how the change from DLA to PIP is progressing. 

Committee Convener Michael McMahon MSP said:

“Before they started this contract, Salus promised us that they would take the best of NHS practice in patient centred care and apply it to the PIP process. Our Committee is interested to hear first-hand how this has been working. However, we want to hear from those going through the system as well, to hear from them how they think it has been working.

“By asking those who have experienced PIP to contact us, we hope to be able to shine a light on the reality of life for many welfare claimants with a disability. What we have seen with our evidence sessions on the bedroom tax, work capability assessments and benefit sanctions is that people claiming benefits feel victimised. I hope our evidence on PIP does not reveal such a deficit of dignity but I fear that hope could be in vain.”

Deputy Committee Convener Jamie Hepburn MSP said:

“The personal accounts the Committee has heard to date as part of our ‘Your Say’ initiative have really had an impact on the public and politicians alike. One thing that has come out very strongly is the disproportionate impact the policies are having on disabled people.

“We are very grateful to all who have been brave enough to come and talk to us so far, a public spirited action many have been willing to do in the hope of bringing about changes to the system. We are asking for more people to contact us so that we can see what the reality of the PIP benefit reforms are for people with disabilities across Scotland.”

Individuals are invited to share with the Committee their experiences of Personal Independence Payments (PIP). This includes new claimants and those who are changing from Disability Living Allowance (DLA) to PIP, as well as individuals and organisations that support PIP claimants, on any aspect of the process, including:

•           The PIP claim form

•           The PIP assessment process, including where your assessment was conducted

•           The Department of Work and Pensions decision on your PIP claim and payment of PIP

Evidence sessions are expected to take place in the autumn.

Please send your experience to the Welfare Reform Committee, if possible by email to WelfareReformCommittee@scottish.parliament.uk Hard copy responses can be sent to Welfare Reform Committee, TG.01, Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh, EH99 1SP

Background

Salus is an NHS based provider of Occupational Health, Safety and Return to Work Services across the public and private sectors. It is the largest multidisciplinary service of the NHS and operates as a social enterprise model. Salus have been commissioned to undertake the PIP assessments as part of the recent reform on welfare. It is estimated around 325,000 assessments will be undertaken between 2013 and 2017.

Salus provide consultation venues in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Hamilton, Kilmarnock, Ayr, Dumfries, Stranraer and Brodick. Atos Healthcare and other partners have responsibility for areas outwith those listed.


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Posted 2014-05-13 09:02:00