Over half of people with mental health problems have had their benefits cut in the move from DLA to PIP

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Posted on 14/12/2016

New statistics released today by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) show that more than half of people with mental health problems who need support from Personal Independence Payment (PIP) have lost out financially after being reassessed.

PIP helps with the extra costs associated with having a disability, such as transport and heating. PIP is gradually replacing Disability Living Allowance (DLA), and as part of the move, recipients have to be reassessed.

People can receive PIP whether they are be in paid employment or out of work but applicants must first be assessed to determine whether or not they’re eligible for the benefit.

The data shows that:

  • 135,600 people with mental health problems were reassessed between April 2013 and October 2016 as part of the move from DLA to PIP.
  • Of those, 74,580 (55%) either had their award reduced or withdrawn all together.
  • 62% of people with personality disorders had their benefit reduced or withdrawn.
  • 57% of people experiencing psychosis had their benefit reduced or withdrawn
  • 52% of people with a behavioural disorder had their benefit reduced or withdrawn
  • 49% of people classified as having psychoneurosis* had their benefit reduced or withdrawn.

Responding to these figures, Vicki Nash, Policy and Campaigns Manager at Mind, said:

“These data are a huge cause for concern, but not surprising as they echo what we hear every day from the people we support, many of whom are being told they are no longer eligible for this support. Even though these data show high amounts of people losing their support, these statistics only tell half the story as they don’t include people who may have a mental health problem alongside another primary condition or the hundreds of thousands of people with mental health problems who are making a claim for the first time.

“Hundreds of thousands of people with mental health problems rely on DLA and PIP to help them get the support they need to stay well. Often we hear from people with mental health problems who tell us that they dread the face-to-face assessments which rarely take into account their mental health. In the same way we want to see reforms to the Work Capability Assessment currently used to determine whether someone is eligible for Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), we also urgently need the Government to overhaul the PIP assessment process to make sure it is fit for purpose and delivered by people who really understand how someone’s mental health problem can affect their daily life.”

*Please note the term ‘psychoneurosis’ comes from old DLA categories. Mind does not use outdated terms such as these, except in a historical context.

 

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