Overview

We are a membership organisation and engage with our 700 disabled members on a variety of issues, to ensure that we are championing on their behalf.  Each week we send out a poll question to our members on a topical issue. 

For the week commencing 29 April 2019, we asked our members:

“Should the Scottish Government use a points-based system for assessing Disability Assistance for Working-Age People (DAWAP)?”

Results

  • Yes 52% – (16 respondents)
  • No 48% – (15 respondents)

Agreed with a points-based system

“Anything that makes the system more sensitive to variations and more person-centred should be considered. Any system will only work if people operating it have the right approach and proper training and supervision.”

“I have no objections to a points-based system – however, it needs to be a system which fully takes into account fluctuating conditions.  Also, the impact that chronic pain and fatigue can have on an activity -not just can you do the activity, but the increase in pain and having to rest etc afterwards, preventing you from doing other tasks and activities.”

“The most appropriate way to assess people is to use assessors who actually know about the relevant disability the claimant is living with.”

“A points system simplifies the assessment but there MUST be extra points able to be given for the specific personal difficulties.”

“In my opinion, no adjustments should be made to the social security system unless absolutely necessary”

“For those that have just had the stress of being reassessed from DLA to PIP by the DWP, I would like assurances that we won’t have to undergo another assessment. Lifetime awards should be reintroduced for some lifetime conditions.”

“Points system is something that can work and could do with this new benefit! However, it is the assessment process and the awarding of the points that are the issue. Assessor ie those doing the assessment need to give the correct number of points to make sure people get the benefits they are entitled to. Under the current PIP system, the problem is that people are not being treated right and assessor are not giving the right number of points.”

Disagreed with a points-based system

“I can understand why they would like to “quantify” a level of disability but it is not like an Olympic sport. With osteoarthritis I find that in the summer on a warm dry day with high pressure I can do tasks better than in the winter when it is cold and dreech. In fact a week ago I was happy preparing food in the kitchen without too much problem, today with the drop in air pressure, the wind, the damp etc I have been dropping the utensils and I am finding it difficult to hold anything well. I have decided to call the youngest bairn over to do the supper today. So how does a “point system” calculate your ability? It would depend on what day I was tested on as to how I would perform. So unless they would intend on observing each individual over a period of time to get a better idea of their abilities, which would be very costly, I can see a lot of errors and people loosing benefit because they were assessed on the “wrong” day!”

“I think that for some people a point-based system will be difficult due to fluctuating conditions and varying needs from day to day. I think being able to state how the condition and have medical evidence consider would be much better.”

“I do not want to go through the assessment process again!”

“I live my life within my impairments limits and would struggle to normalise my behaviour in comparison to how a non-disabled person conducts themselves.”

“It would be better to have a system based on the fact that some conditions are lifelong such as autism and therefore will not “get better.” Also, that acknowledges the difficulties with social communication, change and sensory issues, which can impact on day to day living. Mobility that only focuses on ability to physically walk a certain distance does not take account of how these can all affect a person with autism.”

“Using a points-based system results in those who’s disability varies being excluded from being able to get the benefits that they should rightly get. By its very nature a points-based system excludes people and drives disabled people into isolation that invariably leads to deterioration in mental health that causes for the disability.”