Whoa! Averaging 66,000 Unique Weekly Readers! 

Local News

SDLP Councillor Angela Mulholland Has Hit Out At The Department For Communities Criticising Its Treatment Of PIP Claimants

1 Mins read

SDLP Councillor Angela Mulholland has hit out at the Department for Communities criticising its treatment of PIP claimants, particularly those with mental ill health. Councillor Mulholland has described the application process as unsupportive, degrading and exhausting.

She said:

“As confirmed by last month’s High Court ruling, the British Government’s PIP changes ‘blatantly discriminated’ against people with mental health problems. This once again highlights the callous nature of welfare reform.

I know first-hand from dealing with constituents that the application process for PIP is having a detrimental impact on already vulnerable people’s lives.

She continued:

“The process doesn’t accurately assess mental health and wellbeing. It is a ‘functionality’ test that demonstrates a total misunderstanding of the nuances and fluctuations of mental health. The system relies upon antiquated indicators of mental ill health, for example, was the person rocking, were they trembling, what were they wearing, can they make eye contact, have they washed?

I would stress that the fact that you don’t present with these indicators on the day does not negate the presence of a mental health condition.

I also fail to see how the current system caters for people with fluctuating conditions, such as, bipolar. There seems to be a lack of understanding that although people with bipolar can sometimes present as well, they can also become very rapidly unwell and experience unimaginable days.

It is also clear to me that the process actually exacerbates mental health problems. I know of deserving applicants who have dropped out of the system or who have been put off applying in the first place because of the stress involved.

I know of a significant number of cases that have been overturned at mandatory reconsideration or the gruelling tribunal stage which also points to an obvious flaw in the system.

She concluded:

I, along with my SDLP colleagues, continue to impress upon the Department of Communities the need for parity of esteem between mental and physical health and a complete revision of the assessment process. We have written to the Department of Communities asking how many people in Northern Ireland will be affected by the recent High Court judgment and how quickly those with mental health problems will be afforded the support they need.

Digital Editorial Team
11918 posts

About author
An article that is attributed to the Causeway Coast Community Team has either involved multiple authors, written by a contributor or the main body of content is from a press release. Got a news-related tip you’d like to see covered on Causeway Coast Community? Email us - [email protected]
Related posts
Local News

Saturday : Treacherous conditions on NI roads

1 Mins read
FacebookTwitterPinterestWhatsAppTemperatures plummeted overnight across the Borough with the mercury dropping to below minus 1C. Snow and wintry showers may make it ‘a…
Local NewsSport

Coleraine and District league season cancelled following latest covid-19 restrictions

1 Mins read
FacebookTwitterPinterestWhatsAppThe Coleraine and District League Management Committee has decided to call a halt to the 2020-21 season. Already suffering from last season’s…
Local News

Coleraine man (90) banned from roads after being detected drink driving

1 Mins read
FacebookTwitterPinterestWhatsAppA 90-year-old man from Coleraine caught drink driving has been banned from the roads for a year and fined £250. John Devenney,…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *