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Benefits evidence put ...

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Benefits evidence put to parliament

Wed 29 Nov 2017

Headway’s comprehensive evidence on the failings of the current assessment processes for vital welfare benefits has been published by an influential parliamentary committee.

The Work and Pensions Committee is holding an inquiry into whether assessments for Employment Support Allowance (ESA) and Personal Independence Payments (PIP) are working well. As soon as the inquiry was announced, Headway’s team began gathering evidence from people with ABI, their families, carers and professionals, about their interaction with the welfare benefits system.

Dr Clare Mills, Headway’s Public Affairs Manager, said: “We heard from over 550 people in just a couple of weeks. The strength of their feelings about the failings of the current process came through powerfully. In their responses, people felt the effects of their brain injury were often ignored, not recognised, or misunderstood – and that they felt they were not believed by assessors and decision makers.

“Although many people had included medical evidence with their claims, this was often ignored or even rejected. There is a widespread lack of trust in the system and little understanding of people’s needs and what their lives are really like.”

Headway’s submission to the Work and Pensions Committee concentrates on three key calls:

The next step is for the Work and Pensions Committee to consider all the evidence it has received and issue a report. The Department for Work and Pensions then has to respond to the findings. Headway will continue to push for changes to the assessment system and keep speaking to Parliament on behalf of people affected by ABI.

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Our survey is still open and we're keen to hear your experiences of the benefits system. If you've claimed or applied for PIP or ESA in the last two years, click here to complete our survey.

Your feedback will be used to campaign for a fairer benefits system that takes the needs of people with brain injury into account.

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Headway - the brain injury association is registered with the Charity Commission for England and Wales (Charity no. 1025852) and the Office of the Scottish Regulator (Charity no. SC 039992). Headway is a company limited by guarantee, registered in England no. 2346893.

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