Today’s ruling by the High Court that a delay in paying welfare benefits to two disabled people was ‘unlawful’ and ‘unacceptable’ has been welcomed by RNIB (Royal National Institute of Blind People).
The two claimants waited nine months for Personal Independence Payments (PIP), which left them ‘dependent on loan sharks and food banks’.
RNIB played an important role in supporting this judicial review, providing witness statements and detailed briefs, while RNIB campaigners also made their voices heard outside the Court.
Steve Winyard, Head of Membership and Campaigns at the Royal National Institute of Blind People, said: “This is a great result and one that we have been fighting for.
“Since the introduction of PIP, we have heard from many blind and partially sighted people who have had to endure appalling delays before receiving this vital support.
“The Department for Work and Pensions must recognise that a decent standard of service delivery is not a vague aspiration – it must be a reality: delays can mean severe hardship.
“This decision is an important step forward in ensuring disabled people are able to access this essential benefit in a reasonable amount of time to enable them to live as independently as possible.”
RNIB is calling on the Department for Work and Pensions not to start the transfer of existing Disability Living Allowance claimants to PIP, due to start from October this year, until the backlog and delays have been eliminated.