APPG co-chairs champion disability benefit reforms in Westminster

Published 13 October 2023

Our APPG co-chairs Sarah Green MP and Hannah Bardell MP were in Parliament on 4 September raising the issues with Personal Independence Payment (PIP) assessments that matter to you. 

We know that for many of you, fatigue is often the most disabling symptom. That’s why Sarah Green asked how it can be better represented in PIP assessments at Department for Work and Pensions questions. The minister agreed to a meeting and we will keep you posted.   

Both Sarah and Hannah also made speeches in the Westminster Hall debate on Assessments for Disability Benefits, championing for the reforms needed to make PIP fit for purpose for people with Crohn’s and Colitis. They urged minister Tom Pursglove to: 

  1. Scrap the 50% rule which overlooks the fluctuating nature of many long-term conditions, including Crohn’s and Colitis   
  2. Refine the descriptors to reflect the very real and debilitating impact of Crohn’s and Colitis on people’s lives   
  3. End the use of informal observations    
  4. Ensure that the assessors receive high quality condition-specific training which has been coproduced with patient charities and clinicians, and quality assured by DWP.  

You can watch Sarah’s speech here, and Hannah’s here. 

The support available through the current benefits system is built on the concept of a disabled person with a permanent and substantial impairment, or a person with a long-term health condition that is likely to degenerate. There is little recognition in the system of a person who has a long-term fluctuating health condition, and the adverse effects on their ability to work, undertake education and maintain their physical and mental health.

Hannah Bardell MP

I know that formal observations form part of the suite of evidence used by case managers, but those informal observations are reliant on an assessor’s knowledge of various conditions. There are too many examples of assessors failing to consider or understand the fluctuating and non-visible nature of some conditions

Sarah Green MP

We will continue to campaign to make sure that benefits work for people with Crohn’s and Colitis. If you would like to share your experience of applying to PIP, please or share your story 


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