Ministerial Meeting at DWP to discuss problems with benefits: Share your experiences | 11 June 2019

June 11, 2019

Dr Charles Shepherd, Hon. Medical Adviser, ME Association

Following the House of Commons chamber debate in January, Carol Monaghan MP has now secured a meeting with Justin Tomlinson – Minister for Disabled People, Health and Work – to discuss problems relating to all aspects of claims and medical assessments for state benefits. I will also be attending this meeting, along with the Countess of Mar.

Justin Tomlinson, Minister of State for Disabled People, Health and Work.

The ME Association already has a large amount of evidence from our members and supporters that relate to individual benefit problems and we are therefore well aware of all the key issues that need to be raised.

What would be helpful at this point is to hear of any specific problems (i.e. within the past year or so) that you have had with a claim for employment support allowance (ESA) or personal independence payment (PIP).

This needs to be in the form of a very short, one or two sentence statement, that can be used during the meeting. The deadline for your comments is Friday, 14th June.

I’ve included some examples below – all of which are problems that we are regularly contacted about:

  • My GP said he would charge a fee to provide supportive medical evidence
  • I no longer have any contact with doctors – so cannot provide supportive medical evidence
  • My request for an assessment at home was refused – I have severe ME and am largely housebound
  • The assessment procedure did not ask about several symptoms that would affect my ability to work – e.g. constant pain and flu like feelings
  • The small number of points that I scored do not reflect the severity of my condition

You can leave your comments/experiences here on the ME Association website and/or Facebook page, or contact us directly via email ( Please respond no later than Friday 14th June and let us know if you are happy for your name to be included.

  • If you require help with benefits information, completing applications or preparing for reconsiderations and appeals, then please visit the website shop and review the leaflets that are available

There will not be time unfortunately to raise complex individual problems relating to DWP assessments and appeals at this meeting – so I just need very short, bullet point examples of problems that have been experienced recently.

Thank you.

The ME Association

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