Epilepsy Action is a member of the Disability Benefits Consortium (DBC) and Who Benefits? We joined both of these groups as our key campaign messages on disability benefits matched those of both groups and the individual charities represented.
More than 50 charities and organisations are members of the DBC including Diabetes UK, Epilepsy Society and Age UK. Around 100 organisations are members of Who Benefits? The size of these groups, and the number of conditions represented, is a key campaigns factor. It makes the groups harder to ignore. This means that as part of the DBC and Who Benefits? we can put more pressure on the Department for Work and Pensions to make sure that the benefits system is fair.
However to achieve success we need you, our members, to support our campaigns work through both of these groups. We will keep you updated on our work in this area and the ways you can support us.
DBC campaign: PIP Pledges
A campaign connected to the personal independence payment (PIP)
During April 2013 the Personal Independence Payment (PIP) was launched in the North West and North East of England. Eventually, PIP will replace Disability Living Allowance (DLA).
People who have claimed PIP could be asked to attend a face-to-face assessment. The way in which these assessments are carried out is really important. Poorly carried out assessments can lead to the wrong decision being made. A person might be incorrectly denied access to financial help that they need.
Two companies have been given the contract to carry out the face-to-face assessment. These are Atos and Capita. Atos have been criticised in the past for the way that it has run work capability assessments (WCA). Which is why some people were concerned when they were awarded the PIP contract.
The DBC has launched a new report that compares Atos and Capita. It looks at the differences in how Atos and Capita work. It also shows how these differences could reduce the quality of the assessments.
The DBC wants an opportunity to improve the quality of the assessments. For this reason, the report also makes recommendations for improving the assessment process.
Epilepsy Action now need your help. We need as many people as possible to contact their MP to tell them about this new DBC report. You can also tell your MP about the impact of living with epilepsy, or how well you think that benefit assessors understand epilepsy.
We hope that this action will encourage MPs to put pressure on Capita and Atos to work with DBC members. This will enable us to make sure that benefits staff better understand disability and can make the right decision about a person’s claim.
- Updated January 2014To be reviewed January 2016