Letter to Editor: Government in court over disability benefit changes

Dear Sir,

As charities representing millions of disabled people across the UK, we are extremely concerned about the life shattering changes the government is making to disability benefits.

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is intended to financially support people with the increased cost of having a disability, but changes to the eligibility criteria mean that if people can walk more than just 20 metres with a stick they will no longer receive the highest rate of the benefit. Many of those that need this benefit the most will no longer qualify for the support they desperately need.

Over half a million people are set to lose out – and even more in years to come. Thousands will be forced to give up their car or other essential mobility equipment, thus potentially leaving work or education, or missing medical appointments.

Today court proceedings will begin to determine whether the government’s decision to make this change was unlawful. We believe it was, and we hope the court rules in favour of our view. Perhaps only then will the Government be inclined to reconsider.

Signed,

Michelle Mitchell, MS Society

Steve Ford, Parkinson’s UK

Richard Hawkes, Scope

Liz Sayce OBE, Disability Rights UK

Susie Parsons, National AIDS Trust

Sonya Chowdhury, Action for M.E.

Dave Webber, Livability

Faryal Velmi , Transport for all

Judi Rhys, Arthritis Care

Ailsa Bosworth, National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society

Peter Corbett, Thomas Pocklington Trust

Teresa Catto-Smith, Autism in Scotland

Jeff Skipp, Deafblind UK

Andy Kerr, Sense Scotland

Ian Welsh, Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland (the ALLIANCE)

Michael Kerin, St Josephs Hospice Hackney