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Disability Rights Ministers agree to simplify benefits assessments

MINISTERS have bowed to pressure over a widely criticised disability benefits assessment and agreed to make it simpler.

The government has accepted, partially or in full, all 14 recommendations made in Paul Gray’s independent review of personal independence payment (PIP), which was published in March.

Delays in the introduction of hated replacement for disability living allowance (DLA) have left thousands of vulnerable people out of pocket.

Many have been refused PIP outright after going through the assessment process run by private contractors, with a large proportion of the decisions overturned on appeal.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) said it would make the PIP application process “as simple as possible” and ensure evidence was collected and reviewed effectively.

Shadow work and pensions secretary Debbie Abrahams said: “It is clear the personal independence payment assessment process is not fit for purpose.

“Instead of supporting people, the process leaves individuals and their families’ lives in tatters.

“The recommendations from Paul Gray’s second review regarding improving trust and transparency, timely reporting and quality assurance have not been accepted in full.

“There remains an evident distrust of the assessment process by sick and disabled people.”


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