By Steve Topple in The Canary.
A panel of judges has backed the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) into a corner. So much so that it’s being forced to review the benefit claims of countless disabled people.
Another defeat for the DWP
On Wednesday 30 May, the legal firm Garden Court North Chambers announced that Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey had withdrawn three court appeals the DWP was making. These related to tribunal rulings that two claimants with “chronic conditions” were entitled to personal independence payment (PIP), when the DWP had previously denied them the benefit. As the chambers said, the chronic conditions were ones which needed “regular monitoring or medication, such as diabetes and epilepsy”.
But the devil is in the detail.
The DWP had denied the claimants PIP on the basis they did not meet certain criteria. This was over the rules about “managing therapy or monitoring a health condition”, part of the “Daily Living” component of PIP. One of the claimants was diabetic and needed support while they slept to monitor their insulin levels. But under DWP rules, this was only worth one point on the claimant’s PIP assessment. As the chambers reported, the department:
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