NEARLY 50,000 people on disability benefits in Scotland have had to undergo “reviews” of their entitlement in the past two years.
Figures obtained through a freedom of information request showed that a staggering 49,620 disabled people faced a review of their personal independence payment (PIP) since summer 2016.
Of this number, 33,800 have been referred to private-sector assessment providers for further questioning.
This ordeal has come just a few years after claimants were transferred from disability living allowance to PIP, a process that Scottish Labour described as a “humiliating transition” due to the intrusive medical assessments that were branded not fit for purpose.
Fewer than 3,000 people – less than 10 per cent of those reassessed – were allowed a paper-based review. This means the vast majority were “forced into callous and unnecessary tests to prove their entitlement,” the party added.
Scottish Labour social security spokesman Mark Griffin MSP called the figures “shocking,” and urged Holyrood politicians to treat people with disabilities and long-term illnesses with dignity.
“This revolving door of degrading assessments is scandalous, leaving disabled people living in fear. It has to stop,” he said.
“This is the shocking cost of Tory welfare reforms and these figures also show that it is disabled people who are hit hardest by the Tories.
“We have the power to halt the worst of the Tories’ welfare policies and the Scottish government must spell out how it will give disabled people the dignity and respect they deserve.”
Mr Griffin also highlighted Scottish Labour’s plans to give disabled people “certainty” in everyday life.
The party would introduce awards for those with non-improvable medical conditions and “rapidly end these callous assessments once and for all.”
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