Letter: End disability reassessment for Parkinson’s patients

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Sir,

More than 1,500 people, with Parkinson’s across Scotland, are facing unnecessary distress and financial uncertainty because of the UK Government’s insistence on reassessing them for a disability benefit even though their health will not improve.

As well as causing needless anguish, reassessing everyone with Parkinson’s will cost UK taxpayers more than £3 million.

These pointless reassessments are being rolled out across Scotland despite the fact that people with Parkinson’s won’t get better.

The support is meant to help people to manage the extra costs of living with a condition, but the reassessments have seen a quarter of people with Parkinson’s losing some, or all, of their award – despite previously being told they’d have their award for life

That’s why Parkinson’s UK is calling on the UK Government to move people with Parkinson’s, who have already been assessed as needing the highest rate of care, to the new benefit without any reassessment.

By 2020 these disability benefits will be controlled by the Scottish government and we want Holyrood to learn from Westminster’s mistakes.

We’ve been promised a compassionate approach to the new Scottish social security system.

What better way to put that approach into action than by honouring existing awards for people whose condition will not improve.

More than 2,300 people from Scotland have already signed our petition for change and we hope your readers will join us by signing it here: www.parkinsons.org.uk/ pippetition

Tanith Muller,

Parliamentary and campaigns manager,

Parkinson’s UK in Scotland.