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Hundreds of thousands of ESA claimants may be missing out on PIP

Statistics released by the DWP following a freedom of information request show that almost 380,000 people who are in the support group of employment and support allowance (ESA) are not getting an award of personal independence payment (PIP) or disability living allowance (DLA). Six out of ten of these claimants have mental health conditions.

The rules for being awarded PIP are very different to those for being placed in the support group of ESA. Nevertheless, the criteria for ESA support group are strict and there is a considerable overlap between the two benefits.

In relation to mental health, ESA descriptors relating to problems with learning task, awareness of hazards, initiating actions, coping with change and social engagements and behaving appropriately would all be relevant to PIP and to DLA.

However, the difficulty of getting information and advice about eligibility for benefits as funding for the advice sector continues to fall means that many ESA claimants may not be aware of their potential eligibility for PIP.

You can download the full document from this link.


#3 TraceZee 2016-01-27 16:22
The PIP descriptors are very poor, so it can fit to a tick box system. They WANT people to not appeal, as this reduces numbers of claimants. None of the descriptors IMO take into account the mental and cognitive affects of a physical illness/ disability as well as treating those whose impairment is mental/ cognitive very badly too. It also does not allow for those who can do something once or only on a good day (even if a good day is a monthly phenomenon). I would recommend anyone having a medical take someone with them if possible as should anything be incorrectly recorded the other person can confirm what was said.

The system now is not about helping people, it is about reducing the cost of the wrlfare bill to make themselves look good. The fact that the burden is then passed to social services, the nhs or on to family has been conveniently overlooked.

Look at the cut to WRAG, the proposed cuts on PIP for those who use aids and appliances... we are in a very scary place now
#2 shady0808 2016-01-27 15:27
Fully agree with you.[quote name="shimtoan" ]mental and cognitive health are poorly covered with PIP
I'm diagnosed as hypersensitive by Immunology, so can't take many meds, need higher anesthetics, hear everything, and become easily overwhelmed by the world, can't use a phone without sweating, palpitations etc., hate crowds and rarely wash as my skin is sensitive and water causes a draughts and pain. They have disregarded my anxiety and depression problems stating that I do not take medication so cannot be suffering. Oh I'm suffering alright, from side effects of past meds, just been told I could be left with Parkinsons due to Metoclopramide. But hey , no I'm fine......the DWP says so. Both them and doctors work for the government, why the hell is it left to sick people to get evidence. I always ask for a copy of any letter sent back to my GP....still to arrive after 15 years! After attending hospital from the age of 7 primarily for leg pain and weakness I was eventually awarded high rate mobility on DLA only to lose it ALL on PIP.
They have stated that I spend 30 minutes a day in my garden, I never wrote that and the assessor didn't either (I got a copy), I rarely go out, sometimes bedbound, they won't say where that information is from but it is not true. I am too ill to appeal, spent 8 months last year with a chronic migraine due to stress of this. Work was so much easier, I feel I'm being punished for being ill, like physical pain is not enough they make you acquire mental problems like stress, anxiety, or depression, or make it worse.
Funniest thing, the DWP also suggested that I don't go out in my garden for such a length of time! What! That a shorter time more often WILL improve my health. WHAT! Is this a medical professional who knows the cure for my incurable illness, it would seem yes, the government has them working at the DWP instead of the NHS.
+1 #1 shimtoan 2016-01-21 12:23
mental and cognitive health are poorly covered with PIP as most descriptors are about whether you're physically capable of doing something.

I've got sensory issues with noises and crowds, but because I'm physically capable of going out I'm apparently ok to mix with other people.

I also have sensory issues regarding water, but because I'm physically capable of washing myself despite needing a lot of prompting and encouragement I'm only entitled to 2 points under Washing and Bathing

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