CAS has responded to the Independent Review of Personal Independence Payment.
The response, based on case evidence and a survey of advisers in bureaux across Scotland, highlights the severe impact huge delays in PIP assessments are having on claimants.
Bureaux are seeing delays of over a year while sick and disabled clients wait for their claims to be processed. In the meantime, claimants are facing severe hardship, unable to meet the costs of living, getting into debt. They are unable to pay for care for their condition, access transport to medical appointments, or get access to the other forms of support and benefits associated with being on a disability benefit. Many face worsening health, stress and anxiety as a result.
Many claimants are affected by severe delays to both PIP and also to Employment and Support Allowance, the benefit for people who are too ill to work.
The response recommends a number of changes to be made to the PIP claim process, and in particular calls for the wider roll-out of PIP reassessment to be halted until the current problems are resolved, and for an urgent review of the detrimental impact of benefits delays on sick and disabled benefit claimants.
PIP is being introduced to replace Disability Living Allowance for adults.