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3 June 2019

Stevenson: Hundreds of Disabled People in Aberdeenshire Denied Benefits by UK Government

Hundreds of disabled people in the North-East have successfully appealed against a decision to deny them benefits.

Newly released figures have prompted calls for a fresh review of the DWP assessment and appeals process.

It comes after figures obtained under Freedom of Information (FOI) laws show 460 cases in Aberdeenshire were overturned between April 2013 and December 2018.

There were a total of 680 appeals during this period – meaning the success rate for appeals was a shocking 68% percent.

PIP is being rolled-out across the UK to replace Living Allowance (DLA) as the main benefit for disabled or ill people.

To receive this benefit, claimants have to endure controversial assessments, conducted by private companies on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

Commenting, Stewart Stevenson MSP, said:

“Disabled people in Aberdeenshire rely on these financial lifelines to live independently and be part of their community.

“For the DWP to get these cases so consistently wrong suggests a systematic hostility towards people in need.

“The Tory government’s punitive approach to the system simply isn’t working. It’s failing vulnerable people, withdrawing support from those who need it most, and leaving people out of pocket and unable to afford the basic essentials.

“The UK government’s disastrous record on welfare shows why Scotland should have the power to take our own approach – rather than leaving these powers at Westminster.

“In the meantime, it’s vital that these fundamental flaws in the current assessment appeals process are urgently addressed.”

Stewart Stevenson
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