The new figures were released hours after Boris Johnson’s majority was announced
More than 650,000 disabled people living on benefits had their payments cut or stopped totally after moving to a new Tory system.
Official figures – released hours after the election result on Friday – show 46 per cent of all those who have moved from old system DLA to Personal Independence Payments (PIP) lost out financially.
Some 351,000 former DLA claimants had payments stopped altogether since PIP launched in 2013. A further 306,000 had payments decreased.
Just 200,000 people had their award unchanged and 556,000 saw it rise after moving from DLA to PIP.
Geoff Firmister of the Disability Benefits Consortium, which represents more than 100 groups, said: “These figures are very worrying and we suspect many of the decisions are wrong.
“We would urge the new Government both to commission research to determine the extent of incorrect decisions and step up its efforts to get things right in the first place.
“The criteria for PIP should also be reviewed, in full consultation with disabled people.
“These are often life-changing amounts of money being withdrawn from people with disabilities and long-term health conditions.”
MS Society spokeswoman Georgina Carr said 100,000 people live with multiple sclerosis and “the PIP process is failing many of them at every stage”.
She said: “Over the course of the election more than 21,000 of us called on the new PM to fix PIP once and for all.
“The fact nearly half of those relying on the benefit have had their award reduced or stopped when moving from DLA to PIP shows just how desperately this needs to happen.
“We need a system that recognises what life with a fluctuating condition is like, without arbitrary and unfair measures like the PIP 20m rule, and we need it soon. People with MS can’t wait any longer.”
James Taylor of disability equality charity Scope said the figures were “extremely worrying”. He added: “Consistently high levels of PIP decisions are being overturned, which demonstrates the assessment is not fit for purpose.
“The new government urgently needs to set out how it will overhaul the PIP assessment to make sure it works for disabled people, not against them.”
Marc Francis of the welfare advice charity Z2K Trust added: “These statistics lay bare the devastating impact of ‘welfare reform’ on hundreds of thousands of disabled people.
“The new Government must make it an absolute priority to reform the discredited assessment processes for both PIP and ESA.”
Everything you need to know about the changes
The change from DLA to PIP has hit hundreds of thousands of people with physical and mental disabilities across the UK.
The worst-hit were people with psychosis, 87,824 of whom either failed a PIP assessment entirely or had their money cut since 2013. By comparison, 63,395 saw their payment rise.
Some 86,042 arthritis sufferers had their PIP cut or stopped when they moved from DLA – while 68,256 saw it go up.
Epilepsy sufferers were also badly hit, with 23,640 losing some or all of their benefits compared to 12,344 who received more.
And 10,247 people with MS, 2,188 with AIDS and 960 with cystic fibrosis saw their money either cut or stopped.
Since 2013, even 69 double amputees have had their money cut when moving from DLA to PIP – while 161 saw their award go up.
Some groups were better off on average. 6,533 blind people saw payments cut or stopped but 23,098 saw them rise. Likewise 39,020 people with learning difficulties lost out but 86,567 were better off.
These figures only relate to claimants who were already on the old DLA system when they claimed PIP. And they do not include people who lost their benefits before an assessment, failed to attend an appointment, or withdrew their claim.
In total, of the 1.424million DLA claimants reassessed by October 2019, 306,000 (22%) had their benefit cut, 293,000 (21%) had it stopped after an assessment, 58,000 (4%) had it stopped before assessment and 9,000 (1%) withdrew their claim. 556,000 (39%) saw their award rise and 200,000 (14%) had it unchanged.
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has been contacted for comment.
With many thanks to: Bristol Live and Emma Grimshaw for the original story