Disabled People Win Higher Benefits After UK Government Defeated In Court

Thousands of disabled people in the UK will receive higher benefits after the government lost a high-profile court case.

The dispute had been over the rules around Personal Independence Payments (PIP) which the government will now be forced to revisit.

People will now get £70 ($92) to £90 ($118) a week extra, backdated to this past March. Around 10,000 people are expected to benefit from the changes by 2022.

Disabilities minister Penny Mordaunt. Credit: PA

Disabilities minister Penny Mordaunt accepted the ruling, saying: "These updates will help us continue to ensure people with the highest costs associated with their disability or health condition are receiving the most support."

Under the existing rules, people are seen as able to carry out tasks unsupervised if it's "unlikely" they will come to harm. This affects the amount of money that people eventually receive in their PIP.

This approach was judged to be wrong for certain disabled people such as people with epilepsy. Seizures are rare for epilepsy suffers but potentially fatal.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) must now base its decisions to award PIP based on how serious potential harm is, not how likely it is.

Epilepsy Action chief executive Philip Lee said he was "delighted" with the ruling, saying: "Many people with the condition could have a seizure at any time, often without warning.

"We know the current system is not working and is failing people with epilepsy. They are more likely to be refused PIP than those with any other health condition."

However, the DWP's decision to follow the ruling has led to confusion as it previously ignored another court judgment on PIP nine months ago.

Although the DWP has said that the cases were different, other groups representing disabled people have said that the whole system should be reviewed.

Credit: PA

"This leaves disabled people in a really confused position about what the Government might do next and what the change means for them," said Phil Reynolds of Parkinson's UK.

"Instead of chipping away at the issue, the government needs to undertake a thorough review of the entire assessment to ensure people get the support they need first time."

The change made to the PIP rules is also expected to benefit people with other health conditions when judging whether they should receive PIP benefits.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Chris Ogden

Chris Ogden is a journalist at LADbible. He graduated from the University of East Anglia with degrees in English Literature and Creative Writing before completing his NCTJ Diploma in Multimedia Journalism. Chris has previously written for the independent culture magazine The Skinny, among other publications.

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