Disabled people in South Lanarkshire have successfully appealed against a decision to deny them benefits 1270 times – prompting calls for a fresh review of the DWP assessment and appeals process.
Figures obtained under freedom of information laws show 1270 assessments for Personal Independence Payments (PIP) have been successfully challenged by people in South Lanarkshire since April 2013.
There were a total of 2250 appeals during this period – meaning the success rate for appeals was a shocking 57% per cent.
PIP is being rolled-out across the UK to replace Living Allowance (DLA) as the main benefit for disabled or ill people. To receive this benefit, claimants have to endure controversial assessments, conducted by private companies on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).
SNP MSP for Hamilton, Larkhall and Stonehouse, Christina McKelvie said:
“Disabled people in South Lanarkshire rely on these financial lifelines to live independently and be part of their community.
“For the DWP to get these cases so consistently wrong suggests a systematic hostility towards people in need. It also worries me as this may well just be the tip of the iceberg. Many claimants may not have the confidence or experience to know how to challenge these incorrect decisions.
“The Tory government’s punitive approach to the system simply isn’t working. It’s failing vulnerable people, withdrawing support from those who need it most, and leaving people out of pocket and unable to afford the basic essentials.
“The UK government’s disastrous record on welfare shows why Scotland should have the power to take our own approach – rather than leaving these powers at Westminster.
“In the meantime, it’s vital that these fundamental flaws in the current assessment appeals process are urgently addressed.”