People with HIV have been failed by the government’s new disability benefit, according to new research.
The research by the National AIDS Trust (NAT) found that only three-fifths of people living with HIV were found eligible for the new personal independence payment (PIP) after being reassessed.
NAT says its research has confirmed long-standing fears that people with HIV would not receive the support they needed under PIP, which is supposed to help cover people’s extra disability-related costs.
Its report shows that only three-fifths (63 per cent) of the 1,000 people with HIV who were previously receiving disability living allowance (DLA) and had been reassessed for PIP were awarded the new benefit.
This compares with 73 per cent of all DLA claimants who had been reassessed and were awarded PIP, according to the figures, published by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) last December.
One charity that works with NAT, River House, described yesterday (Wednesday) how a 57-year-old man who was diagnosed last October with HIV and also had chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, had been awarded zero points after a PIP assessment in April.
An appeal to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) – the so-called mandatory reconsideration stage – was refused in late June.
By this time, his health had deteriorated even further and he was admitted to hospital, where he was diagnosed with untreatable lung cancer.
He was due to receive DWP’s decision on a fresh PIP application this week, but died on Monday morning.
More from John Pring at the Disability news service