Tue, 16 August 2022

Newsletter sign-up

Subscribe now
The House Live All
Before ministers publish the Gambling White Paper, they need to consider a few home truths Partner content
Education
A delayed Online Safety Bill puts us all at risk Partner content
Education
Stepping Up To Level Up: Financing the Reinvention of Affordable Housing Partner content
By Legal & General
Environment
Equality watchdog: Millions may be digital natives, but how many is AI leaving behind? Partner content
Communities
Communities
Press releases

Former IPSA head slams disability benefits assessments as ‘Kafka-esque’

Former IPSA head slams disability benefits assessments as ‘Kafka-esque’
2 min read

The former Chair of the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority has said that the system for assessing benefits has created a “hostile environment” for disabled people. 


Andrew McDonald, who now chairs the disability charity Scope, made the comments after he had his benefits stopped after being told he was not ill enough to qualify for personal independence payment (PIP). 

Mr McDonald, who has Parkinson’s and terminal prostate cancer, told the BBC’s Today Programme this morning that a “full overhaul of the system” was needed and that “if anybody from any party thinks that PIP is fixed, they’re wrong.” 

The former watchdog chair was twices deemed to qualify for the payment by review boards after resigning has head of IPSA in 2014. However, a third review in March ruled that he was no longer eligible for the benefit. 

PIP is not means tested and is intended to cover the additional costs of living with disability.

Speaking to the Guardian, Mr McDonald said that he was shocked that 71% of PIP decisions were overturned when appealed at a tribunal. 

“I was shocked by the way this was being administered against the interests of some of the most disadvantaged people in the country.” 

He said: “the system of a whole does create the impression of it being a hostile environment where two of the foes are complexity and the sense that it is not a level playing field.”

“I thought this was a system to give people a hand up; in practice they encounter a sleight of hand that is completely out of kilter with the best traditions of British Public service in which I was not only raised but worked for most of my career.” 

A spokesperson from the Department for Work and Pensions said that it was attempting to improve the PIP assessment process.

“We constantly seek to improve the quality of PIP assessments. We have undertaken two independent reviews of PIP and most recently announced that we will pilot video recording of assessments, to help increase people’s trust in the assessment process."

PoliticsHome Newsletters

PoliticsHome provides the most comprehensive coverage of UK politics anywhere on the web, offering high quality original reporting and analysis: Subscribe

Read the most recent article written by Alex Hacillo - Philip Hammond 'forced to abandon' private school VAT plans

Categories

Communities
Partner content
Connecting Communities

Connecting Communities is an initiative aimed at empowering and strengthening community ties across the UK. Launched in partnership with The National Lottery, it aims to promote dialogue and support Parliamentarians working to nurture a more connected society.

Find out more