Learning Disability Today
Supporting professionals working in learning disability and autism services

Benefits applications forms to be made more accessible

Application forms for Personal Independence Payment (PIP) and Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) claims are to be redesigned following concerted pressure, the Government have confirmed.

Campaigners had called for an improvement in the accessibility of the forms to support people with complex communication needs avoid a lengthy and stressful application process.

The government’s benefit system is wrongly denying disabled people financial support at a higher rate than ever.

Decisions by the DWP not to award PIP have recently been overturned at 68 per cent of appeal hearings.


“We are pleased that the Government has said it will commission an independent review of the application forms and is looking to highlight the aspects of the form that cause distress,” said Richard Kramer, Deputy Chief Executive of Sense.

“The news is welcomed and we hope it will boost confidence and trust in the system.”

“Many of the people we support have deep rooted concerns about the application process for claiming ESA and PIP, and have been discouraged from applying.”

“They have difficulties in accessing forms in their preferred format in a timely manner, find the process time-consuming, and often, do not always understand the questions asked.”

“This causes unnecessary stress and anxiety and many claimants have lost faith in the process.”

However, ministers have rejected suggestions that claimants should receive their assessment reports without having to ask, and recommendations that the DWP should conduct an audit of arrangements for home visits including reasons for refusal.

“We are looking for a transformation of the application process for disabled people, not a tweak around the edges,” added Mr Kramer.


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