The Canterbury Hub

Latest news from CCCU's Journalism course


New Report Shows Decline In Disability Claimants

The Government has been criticised after a report showed that only 1.9% of people with disabilities received Personal Independent Payment.

This is a significant decrease from the previous scheme, where 24% of people received Disability Living Allowance.

The new scheme has been described as harsh as it has been said to stop people who are physically disabled from being independent.

David Flahavan, a leg amputee, has had his mobility car taken away from him after his recent PIP assessment, “Unfortunately, my experiences with the Department for Work and Pensions have been a real issue…because I have the ability to walk 20 metres, they have decided I am no longer eligible for the scheme and have taken my car from me.

To be honest, It did upset me because it’s supposed to be a Personal Independent Payment, and it actually feels like they’re taking away my independence.”

The adapted car that is being taken away from David

His wife Fiona Flahavan, 52, was disappointed by the lack of support given to her husband, “The assessors don’t seem to realise that he works in The City and without that car, he can’t get to work as he is unable to use the trains.”

David is not alone in thinking the PIP system is flawed, there have been hundreds of complaints. The National Deaf Children’s Society took the Department for Work and Pensions to court and won on the basis that they did not understand the disability well enough.

After this backlash, the DWP have pledged to make recordings of the assessments a standard, Frank Field, MP, has said: “Audio recording face-to-face PIP and ESA assessments would go far towards increasing transparency and restoring trust it beggars belief that this is not already a routine element of the process.”

Personal Independent payment is a benefit for people who have extra care or mobility needs as a result of a disability.

Watch the full interview with David here.