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Majority of disability benefit claims refused by UK Government, Scottish Government analysis finds

Philip Toscano/PA Archive/PA Images

Majority of disability benefit claims refused by UK Government, Scottish Government analysis finds

The analysis also found that 39,000 people who received the previous benefit lost out entirely when they attempted to move on to the newer PIP system

More than half of all claims for disability benefits in Scotland have been refused by the UK Government, a Scottish Government report has found.

Nearly 170,000 new claims have been unsuccessful since 2013, when the Personal Independence Payment (PIP) was introduced to replace the previous Disability Living Allowance.

The figure is equivalent to 54 per cent of all applications.

Citizens Advice Scotland also says that disability benefits are the “single biggest issue” that people need help with.

The analysis also found that 39,000 people who received the previous benefit lost out entirely when they attempted to move on to the newer PIP system.

Since PIP was introduced, the report says, 30,000 people have gone through the appeals process after being rejected, with 21,000 of those having to go to court to resolve their cases.

The Scottish Government also found that the rate of applicants being rejected has increased over time from 2013-14 to 2018-19.

Social Security Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville said: “For disabled people, the stress and anxiety of the application process and face to face assessment process are already hallmarks of the UK Government’s welfare reforms.

“Now this latest analysis shows that those most in need in our society are less likely to get help or have to fight through the courts to get what they are entitled to.

“While tens of thousands of disabled people are facing greater hardship because they have completely lost their benefits.

“We will do things differently as we start delivery of disability benefits over the next 18 months.

“Social security is an investment in the people of Scotland and we want people to receive all the support they are entitled to.

“That is why we are building a new social security system from scratch – with fairness, respect and dignity at its heart.”

Citizens Advice Scotland’s Social Justice spokesperson Mhoraig Green said: “These figures are not a surprise – in 2018-19 the Citizens Advice network in Scotland gave advice on over 130,000 issues related to the disability benefits due to be devolved to Scotland.

“Disability benefits are the single biggest issue that people seek help with across the network, so reform is needed.

“We welcome the Scottish Government’s ambition to develop a new rights-based social security system and encourage them to set out plans for longer-term changes to disability assistance alongside delivering the initial transition over the next eighteen months.”

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Employment

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