Review into PIP process welcomed by Armstrong

Alliance MLA Kellie Armstrong has welcomed a review of the personal independence payment (PIP) process.

PIP was introduced in Northern Ireland in June 2016, initially replacing disability living allowance (DLA) for new claims and a limited number of DLA recipients. In December 2016, the Department for Communities began reassessing all remaining DLA recipients for PIP.

The independent review will look at how the PIP assessment process is working, including a call for evidence from those affected. It is open until March 16 and people can respond via the Department website.

“Throughout the entire PIP process, there has been no consideration of people with mental health conditions or learning disabilities to have their issues considered,” said Ms Armstrong.

“To date, the process has been concerned more with how a disability or illness have impacted a person’s physical ability to live but has not considered their mental health and wellbeing. It is time the Department took a person-centred approach to the matter.

“As Chair of the All-Party Group on Disability, I have asked Capita, which carries out PIP assessments, to attend a group meeting to discuss the process. Myself and colleagues have continually heard first-hand how the system has been creating stress and undue pressure on people with disabilities, many of whom have had to use the appeals mechanism to have their disability finally recognised.

“I would encourage them and everyone who has been through the process transferring DLA to PIP to take part in this review, and hopefully the Department will finally listen to people’s concerns.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *