PIP WILL END BENEFITS FOR PEOPLE WITH PARKINSON’S
Charity’s concern over new system
PEOPLE with Parkinson’s are being stripped of Disability Living Allowance due to new benefits rules, a charity has claimed.
More than a third of all claimants in Northern Ireland have had their money stopped after being assessed for the new Personal Independence Payment.
Parkinson’s UK has urged the Government to allow people with the condition and on the highest rate of DLA to move automatically to PIP without the need for reassessment.
The charity’s Northern Ireland campaigns officer Caroline Mcevoy said people “are going through stressful assessments only to be turned down and then being successful at an appeal”.
She added: “The flawed assessment process and mixed knowledge of assessors is leading to wrong outcomes for people and leading many to appeal. Parkinson’s is a complex, progressive, neurological condition with no cure and symptoms that fluctuate daily.
“We know people are going for assessments, being turned down for PIP and many are successful on appeal.”
PIP is paid to people aged 16 to 64 to help with extra costs they face due to ill health or disability and is gradually replacing DLA.
Wilma Johnston was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2014 at the age of 53 and finds it difficult to carry out everyday tasks such as dressing herself, preparing food, washing her hair and doing the shopping. The Belfast woman applied for PIP but after an assessment was turned down with no points.
She added: “I felt the decision was based solely on how I presented on the day of the interview as no reference was made to the information on my application form.”
However, after appeal she was awarded both the daily living and mobility parts of the payment.
Parkinson’s UK has called on people to sign an online petition urging the Government to reform the PIP system.
APPEAL Caroline Mcevoy of Parkinson’s UK charity