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Health & Fitness Personal Independence Payment fury as 'cruel' DWP rejects sick and dying PIP claimants

14:21  29 july  2022
14:21  29 july  2022 Source:   express.co.uk

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This state benefit is aimed at people who need help with daily activities or getting around because of a long-term illness or disability. Yet applicants report being turned down despite suffering from cancer, triple heart attacks, brain tumours, strokes and other debilitating illnesses.

Widespread anger at the DWP's treatment of applicants for Personal Independence Payment (PIP) has been exposed by Waspi women campaigner Elizabeth Latham.

Liz, 66, is one of more than 3.5 million women born in the 1950s who were hit by moves to increase the State Pension age for women from 60 to 65, and then 66.

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They are known as Waspi women, named after the Women Against State Pension Injustice campaign.

Liz has suffered lifelong health problems since her kidneys stopped growing at the age of two, forcing her to retire from her supermarket job in 2018.

Her life was a financial struggle, but nobody told her that PIP existed.

When she posted her issue on a Facebook group for 1950s woman, she was stunned to be met with a deluge of complaints about the DWP.

"The response was truly staggering," she says.

Personal-independence-payment-claim © Getty Personal-independence-payment-claim

Her posting has attracted almost 1,000 messages from women who felt badly treated by the DWP, and the numbers are growing.

"It's incredible how many people are suffering, and not getting the support they need."

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PIP claimants have to fill in a form called How your disability affects you, and may be invited to an assessment with a health professional if more information is needed.

Many find the process gruelling.

A woman who said she suffered from Crohn's disease shared her story on the forum: "Just been to a tribunal to argue my case. They turned down initial application, then on appeal. Nowhere else to go now."

Another wrote: "My best friend has cancer, stage 4. They keep scheduling appoints when they know she's having treatment and asking her when she'll die."

Yet another posted: "My mum was refused PIP twice, despite being in bed on oxygen tank with COPD [chronic obstructive pulmonary disease] & pneumonia. They said she could access Facebook on her iPad and turn TV channels over so she could possibly work. I asked what work. And they suggested call centre work from home. She had been a chef."

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Anger was widespread: "It's disgusting how they are advertising that you can this amount of money for this illness but they are turning down genuine sufferers. Having to jump through hoops to get help is a disgrace."

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There are two types of PIP. The daily living part, for those who need help with everyday tasks, pays a lower rate of £61.85 a week and a higher rate of £92.40.

The mobility part, for those who need help getting around, pays either £24.45 or £64.50 a week.

The benefit is not means tested and is not based on National Insurance contributions.

Liz, who lives in Wolverhampton with husband Peter, says the sheer number of responses to her posting has been "overwhelming".

"People were turned down for PIP even though they were suffering from brain tumours, strokes, triple heart attacks, cancer, kidney issues, cerebral palsy, cystic fibrosis, chronic osteoarthritis and severe diabetes."

She called on the DWP to show compassion and understanding. "Woman who suffered bad health and lived on low pay are already struggling financially yet are being turned down by the DWP."

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She adds: "I just think about all these poor people who are being refused help and it makes me so upset. It's cruel and scandalous."

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Waspi-woman-Elizabeth-Latham © Getty Waspi-woman-Elizabeth-Latham

Express.co.uk contacted the DWP and a spokesperson said nearly three million have made a successful claim for PIP.

"We help millions of people each year with a supportive and compassionate service. Our priority is they get the benefits they are entitled to as soon as possible.

"PIP is available to people with long-term health conditions or disabilities and is assessed based on needs arising.

"We work hard to make the right decision when assessing eligibility for PIP. In the majority of cases that already happens; of the 4.9 million initial PIP decisions made following an assessment, as of March 2022 around 9 percent have been appealed."

The DWP says that PIP is available to people with long-term health conditions or disabilities if they have had daily living and/or mobility needs for three months and are expected to have needs for at least a further nine months.

It is assessed based on needs arising and not a diagnosis or condition.

If someone's conditions have changed, worsened or they have new health conditions, they can make a new claim or ask for a review if they are already receiving PIP.

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usr: 0
This is interesting!