Disability benefits

We believe that the government's harsh policies on accessing disability benefits are preventing disabled and unwell people from getting the disability payments they are entitled to.

Hundreds of thousands of claimants for Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and Personal Independence Payment (PIP) are being wrongly turned down.

Without this vital income, many are pushed into debt, face rent arrears and have to rely on foodbanks to survive.

In order to get their payments reinstated, they have to go through a long, draining ordeal of Mandatory Reconsideration and appeal, putting them under severe financial and emotional pressure for sometimes over a year.

Our key recommendations are:

  1. The Government must urgently improve the way existing assessments are carried out.  In particular that decisions are made on detailed medical evidence, collected from health professionals who know the client and the condition well.
  2. That there is fundamental change to the Mandatory Reconsideration (MR) process which was previously introduced to review and correct flawed assessments. MR decision makers must have sufficient training and expertise to be able to conduct a full case review.  If this cannot be achieved, then the MR stage should be abolished as it is not working.
  3. In the absence of fundamental reform of the system, the Government should ensure that funding is available to advice agencies to take cases to appeal and ensure representation for clients who otherwise feel unable to attend tribunal.

To speak to us about this campaign, email jenniferdurrant@z2k.org

To learn more about the experiences of our clients, download our full recommendations below.

Access Denied - Barriers to justice in the disability benefits system

Download (796.9KB pdf)