‘No-one will lose out in PIP reassessments’

Mark H Durkan.
Mark H Durkan.

SDLP Foyle MLA Mark H. Durkan said his party has secured a “cast iron commitment” that no one will lose out from new PIP review.

Mr. Durkan was speaking after representatives from his party met with Department for Communities officials to discuss concerns over what the review will mean for claimants. The review follows a High Court Ruling that people with mental health difficulties were discriminated against.

Mr. Durkan said: “We also received assurances that no claimants will have to undergo reassessment, instead the review will be a paper exercise. This will bring relief to the thousands of vulnerable people here who rely on PIP and have already gone through the anxiety and stress of an assessment.”

Mr. Durkan also claimed: “The PIP system is fundamentally flawed. It is not about supporting disabled people to live as independently as possible. It is an ideologically driven assault on the disabled to balance the books. We have written to the Secretary of State urging that legislation is brought forward immediately so that the review can begin here as quickly as possible.

“Those people who were unfairly and unlawfully discriminated against because of their mental ill health deserve to receive their entitlement in full, backdated and with immediate effect.

“If this tory government continues to dogmatically plough on with this system, I have no doubt there will be more successful High Court and Supreme Court cases taken against other aspects.”