Whoever forms the next Government must acknowledge and tackle the many barriers people with mental health problems face in finding and retaining a job. The benefits system is very complex and we often hear how people struggle to navigate it, so we also need to ensure such individuals can access advice and support to help them.
PIP has been available to new claimants since June 2013. Most of those who are currently on DLA will not go through the reassessment process until October 2015. However those whose award runs out before that date or whose circumstances change will still be called in, potentially piling delay upon delay.
When it's their word against yours, medical evidence is what proves you're not the one lying. Medical evidence is what says that you are in pain, or you are blind, or you are mentally ill. It's what confirms that you aren't making things up or exaggerating. It's what tells the decision maker to believe your evidence over what the Atos assessor said, or simply to believe your evidence at all.
You'd have been forgiven for thinking The Sun had taken over the national press this week what with all the column inches devoted to British women's breasts... As thousands of women counted down the days and hours to discover the official line on the potential ticking time-bombs sitting within their bodies, arguments raged over whether it was fair the tax payer foot the bill for the removal of the PIP implants and in amongst it all we appeared to gloss over the more important issue at hand: why so many thousands of women, year after year, feel compelled to have surgery in the first place.