Less than a week in, Government data shows devastating impact of benefits changes on disabled people

Posted On: 
16th December 2019

New data from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) shows that hundreds of thousands of people with mental health problems have seen their support from benefits like DLA and PIP cut completely.

The data shows that people’s experiences are not improving, new data from the DWP showed that 185,838 people with mental health problems saw their disability benefits stopped between June 2016 and October 2019. That includes:

  • 87,540 people who had their PIP stopped following planned award reviews
  • 8,900 people who had their PIP stopped after reporting a change of circumstance
  • 89,398 people who had their DLA stopped after being moved to PIP

Responding to the data, Paul Spencer, Policy and Campaigns Manager at Mind says:

“Living with a mental health problem can be extremely isolating but with the right support from disability benefits, people can live well, for example by being able to maintain crucial social connections, for example by visiting family or paying for a support worker. Yet these figures show that in the past three years nearly 200,000 people with mental health problems have seen their support from benefits like DLA and PIP cut completely

“We know the impact of financial instability can be devastating for those of us with mental health problems, and that issues with the current benefits system are in turn leading to huge surges of working poverty and the appalling increase of foodbanks across the UK.

“This is yet another example of how the current system is devastatingly letting down the people it is meant to support. People are at risk of falling into, or falling further into poverty, unless our new government makes sure everyone entitled to PIP is able to access the safety net they need. With more than half of decisions about PIP overturned when they reach court, there urgently needs to be an independent body who can hold the government to account when it makes mistakes about how much support disabled people receive.

“The Government must put mental health at the heart of all policy areas. We will hold those elected to account on promises made and continue to campaign until everyone experiencing a mental health problem gets the support they need, and deserve.”