A new study reveals that many individuals with multiple sclerosis (MS) required to undergo assessments to claim disability benefits are having their health damaged as a result.
The MS Society , UK, found that 48% of people with MS who had an assessment for Employment Support Allowance (ESA) felt the process caused their condition to deteriorate or relapse.
AdvertisementJust over a third who had a face-to-face assessment for Personal Independence Payment (PIP) said the same.
The society says the disability benefits system fails to take adequate account of the fluctuating and hidden symptoms of MS, or the extent of their impact.
The charity's chief executive, Michelle Mitchell, said that having MS is enough; it should not be made harder by a welfare system that doesn't make sense for people living with the condition.
"Lack of understanding of the condition and the failure to use information from medical professionals is causing stress or contributing to relapses and deteriorating health. This is counter intuitive to a system designed to support people with disabilities," Mitchell said.
The society's online survey was completed by 1,780 UK adults with MS, of whom 242 had an assessment for ESA and 269 had a face-to-face assessment for PIP.