Thousands turned away from benefit assessments due to staff shortages

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DWP staff shortages are causing thousands of Personal Independence Payment (PIP) claimants to be sent home unseen from health assessment appointments.

Figures revealed by a DWP minister show that in 2018, 5,700 Personal Independence Payment (PIP) claimants attended their health assessment, only to be turned away due to the unavailability of a health professional .

PIP, which replaced the Disability Living Allowance (DLA) has been widely condemned by experts, charities, and front-line services, with some saying the controversial new system shows a “lack of humanity” from the Tory government, and has caused a culture of “inherent distrust” of the welfare system.

Angela Crawley, SNP spokesperson for disabilities, said: “There is already a staggering amount of evidence that PIP assessments cause stress, anxiety and health issues.

“Adding undue stress to the highly stressful and, frankly, degrading process of interrogation to receive benefits is completely irresponsible.

“Social security should be used as a tool to fight poverty and inequality, and support vulnerable people – not something which leaves claimants struggling to afford the basic essentials like food, rent and bills.

“It’s clear that Scotland’s communities simply can’t rely on Westminster to deliver those essentials.

“The Tory government are failing disabled people – as is clear from their handling of the PIP assessment process, which has been shambolic from the very beginning.

“It’s time for an urgent, independent investigation into how these assessments are run.”

Disclaimer: This is an official press release from the Scottish National Party (SNP). Images added by Welfare Weekly.

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