PIP Assessments

Stephen Hepburn, MP for the Jarrow Constituency has slammed Personal Independence Payment (PIP) assessments after he uncovered figures showing that 56% of people appealing them at a tribunal in Jarrow and South Tyneside and 59% in the North East now win their case. 

Mr Hepburn wrote to the Secretary of State for Justice, asking what proportion of tribunal appeals against Personal Independence Payment (PIP) and Employment Support Allowance (ESA) assessments were successful in Jarrow, South Tyneside, and North East in the last 12 months.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice, Lucy Frazer MP, responded informing Stephen Hepburn MP that between October 2016 and September 2017, 56% of appeals ended in victory for the person appealing in Jarrow and South Tyneside. For the North East, the figure was even higher at 59%. 

Personal Independence Payments known as PIP were introduced by the Government in 2013 to replace the old Disability Living Allowance. It is designed to help people living with a long-term health condition or disability with the extra costs of living.

As part of the application process, people must undergo an assessment that is provided by private firms Atos and Capita.

 

However, campaigners say that instead of supporting people, the process is often dehumanising, inaccurate and worsens existing health conditions. The fact that the number of successful appeals against the original assessment decision suggests that the system isn’t working. 

 

Stephen Hepburn MP said: “"It is clear the assessment process is a total failure and not fit for purpose.

“The widespread distrust of the assessment process by sick and disabled people isn’t a surprise, with 56 per cent of decisions taken to tribunal in Jarrow and South Tyneside being overturned by judges.

“Under private contractors the assessment process is getting worse, not better, yet the Government refuses to act.

“I’m calling on the Government to scrap the current PIP and ESA assessments, bringing an end to the Tory failure of these privatised assessment systems.”

Meet your MP

 Stephen-Hepburn-MP

Stephen Hepburn has served the Jarrow Constituency as MP since 1997.

He was last elected to serve in June 2017 and won the seat with a conclusive 17,263 majority.

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