Disabled people in Renfrewshire have successfully appealed against a decision to deny them benefits 1030 times, while 310 successful appeals have been made in East Renfrewshire – prompting calls for a fresh review of the DWP assessment and appeals process.
Figures obtained under freedom of information laws show 1030 assessments for Personal Independence Payments (PIP) have been successfully challenged by people in Renfrewshire since April 2013, while 310 assessments have been successfully challenged in East Renfrewshire.
There were a total of 1650 appeals in Renfrewshire and 470 in East Renfrewshire during this period – meaning the success rate for appeals was a shocking 63 per cent and 65 per cent respectively.
PIP is being rolled-out across the UK to replace Living Allowance (DLA) as the main benefit for disabled or ill people. To receive this benefit, claimants have to endure controversial assessments, conducted by private companies on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).
SNP MSP Tom Arthur MSP said:
“Disabled people in Renfrewshire and East Renfrewshire rely on these financial lifelines to live independently and be part of their community.
“For the DWP to get these cases so consistently wrong suggests a systematic hostility towards people in need.
“The Tory government’s punitive approach to the system simply isn’t working. It’s failing vulnerable people, withdrawing support from those who need it most, and leaving people out of pocket and unable to afford the basic essentials.
“The UK government’s disastrous record on welfare shows why Scotland should have the power to take our own approach – rather than leaving these powers at Westminster.
“In the meantime, it’s vital that these fundamental flaws in the current assessment appeals process are urgently addressed.”