UK Government refuses majority of disability benefit claims

Tens of thousands of people have completely lost their disability benefits since 2013 as the UK Government continues to refuse the majority of disability benefit claims, new analysis by the Scottish Government has found.

UK Government refuses majority of disability benefit claims

Shirley-Anne Somerville, social security secretary

Since the UK Government replaced Disability Living Allowance (DLA) with Personal Independence Payment (PIP) in 2013, 167,000 new claims in Scotland have been unsuccessful, equal to 54% of all applications.

The analysis shows that the share of new claimants awarded PIP has decreased since the benefit was introduced, from 74% in 2013/14 to 56% in 2018/19, an 18 percentage point reduction.

In addition, 39,000 people in Scotland have lost their disability benefits completely (costing them between £1,200 and £7,740 per year) after losing their DLA entitlement when they were reassessed and refused PIP.

Since PIP was introduced, 30,000 people have had to undergo a stressful appeals process, with 21,000 of those having to go to court in order to receive their correct PIP entitlement.

Shirley-Anne Somerville, social security secretary, said: “For disabled people, the stress and anxiety of the application process and face to face assessment process are already hallmarks of the UK Government’s welfare reforms.

“Now this latest analysis shows that those most in need in our society are less likely to get help or have to fight through the courts to get what they are entitled to.

“While tens of thousands of disabled people are facing greater hardship because they have completely lost their benefits.”

She added: “We will do things differently as we start delivery of disability benefits over the next 18 months.

“Social security is an investment in the people of Scotland and we want people to receive all the support they are entitled to.

“That is why we are building a new social security system from scratch - with fairness, respect and dignity at its heart.”

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