Response from Service Users regarding removal of support for benefit claims

The benefits system is especially difficult for people who have invisible illnesses which can fluctuate and are often poorly understood such as ME and CFS. Last year, the Provider of our local service, East Coast Community Health decided to withdraw the provision of supportive letters for benefits purposes.  These letters described diagnosis, management, symptoms and function and were very much valued by patients.  

The DWP state:
"When deciding benefit entitlement, it is essential that the right decision is reached.  Up to date and relevant information is central to this process."

The PIP form itself encourages submission of evidence from Occupational Therapists. As previously posted East Coast Community Health made their decision, which is likely to disproportionately affect severely affected patients, without consultation. 

We have collated comments from patients regarding this decision.  The comments were made via social media, through local support groups and via this website.  The comments have been shared with local Commissioners and East Coast Community Health.  A link to the comments can be found here

Unfortunately, to date, despite the distress of patients, East Coast Community Health appear to be reluctant to reconsider their decision.

6 February 2018