The SNP has pressed the UK government to urgently fix the “unacceptable two-tier” system in the Personal Independence Payment (PIP) process, that is seeing people who have gone through the tribunal process losing out on desperately needed support.
SNP MP Anne McLaughlin has raised gaps in the process where people who were turned down for PIP but were then awarded it after going to a tribunal, would not receive the three-month extension – cutting off support amid a health pandemic and lockdown measures.
The DWP recently announced that those in receipt of PIP – the benefit intended to help adults with the extra cost of a long-term health condition – could see it extended by three months, as there will be no assessments taking place due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Anne McLaughlin, SNP MP for Glasgow North East, said: “The coronavirus pandemic has had a devastating impact across society, but it will be especially felt by those who are in need of further support and help to get by.
“While it is welcome that the DWP has stopped assessments and extended PIP by three months, there are still very serious gaps being raised in the system that is resulting in vulnerable people losing out.
“It’s unacceptable that there are reports of a two-tier system in the process where someone who was turned down for PIP, but was then awarded it after going to a tribunal, would not get the three-month extension – cutting off vital support at a time when they need it the most.
“People already had to fight for what turned out to be their legal entitlement – it cannot be the case that they are singled out and treated differently again.
“The UK government must urgently look to fix this flaw to protect those people who have found themselves in a position of losing out through no fault of their own.”