I recently met in parliament with people living with multiple sclerosis (MS) to hear about the impact of the disability benefit, Personal Independence Payment (PIP).
It was shocking to hear about the devastating consequences PIP’s 20 metre rule is having on people with MS.
According to new research by the MS Society, the 20 metre rule is causing people with MS lose support at an alarming rate. The charity has calculated benefit cuts to people with MS are also costing the NHS at least an additional £7.7 million a year in GP and A&E services.
Under the previous benefit, Disability Living Allowance (DLA), people who couldn’t walk more than 50 metres were eligible for the higher rate of mobility support. But under PIP that measure has been reduced to 20 metres. 94% of people with MS who were receiving DLA were getting the higher rate of mobility support, but under PIP this has fallen to just 66%.
The 20 metre rule has been strongly opposed by charities, people with MS and medical professionals since it was first introduced, and the Government have never provided any sort of evidence for how it actually helps those who need support the most.
Enough is enough; PIP needs to change, starting with the Government scrapping the 20 metre rule.