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Action for M.E. submits evidence to PIP review

April 05, 2017

The Second Independent Review of the Personal Independence Payment (PIP) Assessment was published last week after Action for M.E. submitted evidence to the review, based on survey responses from more than 300 people with M.E. 

Some of the issues we mentioned include the barriers people with M.E. face in obtaining appropriate further evidence and that many people had to appeal their decision because of inaccurate assessments.

The Second Independent Review makes a number of recommendations for the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) to improve the PIP assessment process. These include:

  • communications with claimants should be improved so that it’s clear what the purpose of further evidence is, and what kind of evidence is relevant
  • more weight should be attached to evidence of the claimant’s functionality on a daily basis, such as that supplied by a carer or family member
  • there should be extensive checks and balances on the health professional conducting the assessment, for example, Case Managers having a broader remit to challenge the poor quality of assessment reports.

This review has been published amid further criticism of PIP as the Government adjusted the activity descriptors to restrict the number of points available to some claimants.

The Work and Pensions Committee has opened an inquiry into PIP, and has invited Action for M.E. to submit written evidence on the assessment process for the benefit and how delays in receiving the benefit has affected people with M.E.

We will tell the Committee that the assessment fails to capture fluctuating and cumulative symptoms and that assessors do not accurately represent the impact of M.E. on the capability of claimants in their reports. We will also highlight how better practice can improve outcomes for people with M.E.