The Department of Work and Pensions has seen 67% of its initial decisions regarding the personal independence payment changed as a result of a court.
New figures from the Justice Department have highlighted how some decisions about disability benefits are being overturned.
Of the disposition hearings conducted by the Social Security and Child Support Tribunal, 15,000 (63%) were cleared at the hearing, and of these, 59% were overturned in favor of the client.
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This reversal rate varied according to the type of benefit, with a PIP at 67%, a Disability Subsistence Allowance (DLA) at 65%, an Employment Support Allowance (ESA) at 54% and a UC at 42. %.
Following the release of these figures, Scope and other disability organizations called on those affected to appeal decisions made regarding their PIP payments.
James Taylor, executive director of strategy for the disability charity, explained what these numbers really mean in terms of how decisions about disability benefits are made.
Mr Taylor told the Express: “These numbers show that the system works against people with disabilities. Again, a high proportion of decisions are overturned.
“Behind these huge numbers lie the many difficult stories of people with disabilities and families who have had to face months of unbearable stress, fear and anxiety of not being believed, in order to access financial support for them. allow them to live independently.
“These bad decisions turn a person’s life upside down. Having to fight for financial support has a huge impact on the mental and physical health of people with disabilities and can push families into poverty.
“We heard from a large number of people with disabilities who felt that their assessors did not understand their condition or how it affects their lives.
“An assessor with the appropriate knowledge will be able to understand the real impact of a person’s health condition and its fluctuations, while giving people with disabilities the confidence that they will get a fair assessment and the right decision.” the first time. “
All benefit claimants have the right to appeal a decision, including claimants from PIP, the Social Security and Child Support Tribunal, KentLive reports.
This body is impartial, which means it is independent of government oversight and the DWP.
In order to get an appeal, claimants must first request that their case be reviewed once more under the “mandatory review” rules.
Any appeal to the court must be lodged within one month of obtaining a decision through compulsory review.
Appeals can be submitted through the government website with applicants required to provide key information, such as their national insurance number and the outcome of their mandatory review.
Once the appeal is initiated, it will go to the department that originally made the decision, which in the case of PIP applicants would be the DWP.
At this point, the DWP would explain why they made their decision in the first place.
After this point, the court hearing process can continue for up to six months, with the PIP claimant being kept informed of what is happening.
As part of its “Disability Benefits Without The Fight” campaign, Scope is lobbying for people with disabilities to have the right to a benefit assessor who knows their particular condition.
On its website, the association says, “We call on the government to give people with disabilities the right to request an appropriate assessor.
“While all assessors are medically trained, not all are appropriate. If your mental health prevents you from working, should a physiotherapist assess your needs?
“In the current system, there is no way to make sure that you will have an assessor who understands mental health. And the wrong rater can lead to the wrong decision.
“People with disabilities should be assessed by someone who understands them and their disability or condition. “
People who have been affected by a similar decision making and are seeking advice on how to appeal should contact Scope for advice.
A DWP spokesperson said: “For the majority of PIP claims, we get the right decisions and they don’t need to go to court.
“All assessments are carried out by health professionals trained to take into account the impact of a person’s health condition or disability and we are exploring what more we can do to make the social protection system better meet the needs of people with disabilities through our Green Paper on Health and Disability. “
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