Judging by all the topics on the forum talking about PIP at the moment, it certainly is a hot topic! I thought you all might be interested to know that there are two new consultation opportunities (on PIP and ESA) for working age people with Parkinson’s who have applied for benefits recently.
You can either feed into our response or go direct, all the information is below.
Employment and Support Allowance
If you have applied for Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) recently, after having to give up work due to your Parkinson’s, there is an opportunity to share your views and also let us have your experiences.
The independent review of the way in which people are assessed for this important benefit – called the Work Capability Assessment - is now taking evidence.
Last year the reviewer, Dr Paul Litchfield, recommended the government ceases frequent and face to face assessments of those with conditions like advanced Parkinson’s in the ESA Support Group, calling this neither “practical nor compassionate”. The government accepted this and are now looking at the reforms of the process, although this is taking time.
However, still to be addressed is why people affected by Parkinson’s can often be placed in the Work Related Activity Group and told they will “recover” enough to return to work, or even told they are fit to work, despite having worked for as long as they can already.
Dr Litchfield is looking at experiences not just of what people have been told, but also of the way the assessment took place and how people felt they were treated. You can share your story with him via his questionnaire which runs until 15 August 2014.
Or you can help us with the Parkinson’s UK response and contact Donna in the campaigns team on firstname.lastname@example.org or tel: 020 7963 9307
Personal Independence Payment
Some people affected by Parkinson’s have applied for this new benefit, that replaces Disability Living Allowance for those of working age, in recent months. We know the delays in getting a decision on the application have caused real hardship for many.
Now is your chance to have your say to an independent review of PIP, which is looking at how it was introduced and people’s current experiences. The government will get the report from the review at the end of the year and will have to respond to what the recommendations are.
We’ll be writing a response from Parkinson’s UK, so you can either share your views and experiences with us (email Donna in the campaigns team on email@example.com or tel: 020 7963 9307) or respond direct to the reviewer, Paul Gray, who is running an online survey. The consultation is open until 5 September 2014.