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Action for M.E. submits evidence to PIP inquiry

April 27, 2017

Action for M.E. has submitted evidence to the Work and Pensions Committee inquiry into Personal Independence Payment (PIP).

Frank Field MP, Chair of the Committee, wrote to Action for M.E.’s Chief Executive Sonya Chowdhury requesting that we submit evidence on the experiences of people with M.E. who have claimed PIP.

Our response is based on the findings from our 2016 survey on PIP, case studies provided by people with M.E., and the experiences of people who have contacted our Information and Support or Welfare Advice service.

We have highlighted some of the ways in which PIP fails to accurately assess people with fluctuating, neurological conditions such as M.E. For example, one person told us:

“They seem to fail to understand the exhaustion that comes with the activity. They just look at the fact we can do it so must be ok. The bone crushing concrete feeling that leaves me unable to do anything for the rest of the day, is not understood. I may be able to walk into town but after about 5 minutes my body is aching and telling me to turn around. By the time I get home, I cannot do anything else for the rest of the day.”

Our recommendations include that there should be:

  • An assessment process which is personalised to the claimant, so that it best captures how the person’s functionality is impacted by their condition
  • Adequate consideration given to the fluctuation of a person’s condition, when assessing their capability
  • Assessors who are sufficiently informed of the impact of the claimant’s condition so that they can understand how it impacts upon the claimant’s capability and produce an accurate assessment report

The Committee will now review all of the evidence submitted before publishing the findings of their inquiry.