Last week, Medway Labour and Co-operative Leader Cllr Vince Maple secured his eighth consecutive successful PIP appeal since the beginning of Lockdown for local residents.
PIP, short for Personal Independence Payment, is an amount of money given by Government to those with long term ill-health or disabilities in order to help with extra costs associated with this. However, the process is notorious for deeming individuals ‘ineligible to receive much needed support’ when this is not necessarily the case. According to figures released by the Ministry of Justice the overall success rate for appeals is 73%, a worrying reflection on the accuracy of initial assessments.
The Covid-19 pandemic has, as with most things, exacerbated pressures to the welfare system with an increase in demand for services and support. Similarly, thousands faced delays to their appeals process due to the strain induced by lockdown in March. Since then, the tribunal process has transitioned from in-person to telephone hearings, an adjustment for all parties involved.
Whilst this is a brilliant result for people in our community, it is also a tangible reflection of how often PIP assessments simply get it wrong. Cllr Vince Maple
Cllr Vince Maple, Medway Labour and Co-operative Group Leader said that, ‘I’m really pleased to have secured my eight PIP appeal for Medway residents since the beginning of Lockdown in March. Whilst this is a brilliant result for people in our community, it is also a tangible reflection of how often PIP assessments simply get it wrong.
‘The system is fundamentally broken, with more and more residents having to wait in some cases more than two years to have their appeals heard. This is always troubling, however in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic this is simply an avoidable added stress to families.’
The national Labour Party 2019 manifesto committed to halting the dehumanising assessments which repeatedly and falsely find ill or disabled people fit for work.