The SIBF has a keen interest in the availability of benefits to those affected by contaminated blood, especially now in this period of uncertainty with changes to the benefits regime and the added complication of the Scottish Government taking on responsibility for these changed benefits.
After recent discussions, we have secured representation on this group and panel, with one of the Forum’s members now participating and attending on this issue, namely:
the Working Group with the Department for Work and Pensions, to discuss social security for people affected by the scandal; and
This came about from a parliamentary question last year by Contamintaed Blood campaigner Diana Johnson MP, where she asked:
“Should not those people who were damaged in the contaminated blood scandal by the NHS be passported on to the new PIP regime if they are already in receipt of DLA?”
The Minister for Disabled People, Health and Work, Penny Mordaunt MP, subsequently met with Diana Johnson to discuss this issue and at that meeting, it was proposed that a Working Group be set up to discuss how people affected by the scandal could be better supported through the welfare system.
However, the DWP have made it known they do not favour nor will they consider blanket ‘passporting’ into Personal independence Payments. Requests have been made to the DWP to broaden the remit of discussions and to have several meetings to discuss the issues comprehensively.
We need your feedback on your experience of the DWP and the benefits system and PIP in particular. We can then give a voice to your experience and advocate on your behalf at the DWP group.
The Scottish Government’s Social Security Research team are also requesting information from people about their experiences relating to Personal Independence Payments. We know that this has posed some serious issues to many of our members. We recognise discussing this may be a highly emotive experience for some people but we would be grateful if all members who have applied, been successful or been rejected, do get in touch with us about your experiences. We can then relay your feelings and thoughts direct to the Scottish Government to help shape their thinking on the new Scottish system proposals and hopefully build and refine a better system north of the border.
Please get in touch by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.