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DWP's treatment of ill & disabled people investigated

DWP's treatment of ill & disabled people investigated

May 22, 2024

Britain’s human rights watchdog is formally investigating the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) over its treatment of chronically ill and disabled people.

The inquiry will focus on health checks that assess individuals’ eligibility for disability benefits such as Personal Independence Payment (PIP) and ‘fit for work’ tests that qualify claimants for the disability elements of universal credit and will mainly cover the period from January 2021 to the present.

Labour MP, Debbie Abrahams, a long-term campaigner on the issue, has shown her support for the EHRC's investigation, with the EHRC's Chair, Kishwer Falkner, saying "

"We are extremely worried about the treatment of some disabled benefits claimants by the DWP. We suspect the department may have broken equality law. We have decided we need to take the strongest possible action and that's why we've launched this investigation."

James Taylor, Executive Director of Strategy, Impact and Social Change at Scope, said:

"Our welfare system should be a safety net, built on kindness and trust, where disabled people can access support. Instead, many disabled people have to fight for even basic support."

Campaigners have long argued that benefit assessments are poorly designed and can lead to already-vulnerable claimants being at risk of unfairly losing benefit entitlements.

The inquiry comes soon after the DWP announced its Green Paper, exploring the review and reform of PIP, to which Action for M.E. will be providing an organisational response.

Read the full article, here.