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Letter: Ask your MP to fix this broken benefits system

Date published: 11 December 2017


Dear Editor,

MPs will debate how the Work Capability Assessments affect people on 13 December. Will you please join Rethink Mental Illness campaigners and email our MP and ask them to attend the debate next week?

Rethink Mental Illness has just published the report, ‘It’s broken her’, which looks at the impact of Work Capability Assessments (WCA) and Personal Independence Payment (PIP) assessments on people with mental illness. It found that 38% of claimants felt that delays in decisions led to deterioration in their mental health, and 19% had to take higher doses of medication in order to cope with the increased stress as a result.

Further analysis by Rethink Mental Illness found that delays in the system mean that 15,000 people with a mental illness (and 31,500 people overall) will spend this Christmas waiting for an ESA tribunal, 68% of whom can expect to be found entitled to the benefits they had been denied.

Rethink Mental Illness is calling on the government to take action and fix the broken assessment system, specifically:

  • Major reform of the PIP assessment and the WCA is needed.
  • Where clear medical evidence exists, that claimants have severe forms of mental illness, they should be exempt from face-to-face assessments.
  • All assessors and DWP decision-makers should be appropriately trained in mental health.

Readers can also ask their MP to attend this vital debate and call for reform at the Rethink Mental Illness website at:

https://www.rethink.org/wcadebate

Thank you.

Yours,

Andrew Wastling

The views expressed are those of the author of the letter and not those of Rochdale Online.


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