Epilepsy charity says benefit assessment is ‘not fit for purpose’ as they back Becki Chalk case

AN EPILEPSY charity has said the benefits system is not ‘fit for purpose’.

Wednesday, 13th February 2019, 9:42 am
Updated Monday, 18th February 2019, 10:03 am
Nursing student Becki Chalk

Epilepsy Action have backed Becki Chalk’s family and their fight to overhaul the Personal Independence Payment system.

Chief executive Philip Lee said: ‘Unfortunately, Becki’s story is one that is repeated up and down the country. The current assessment process for Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is not fit for purpose and is failing people with epilepsy.

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Nursing student Becki Chalk

‘Epilepsy is an invisible and fluctuating condition. People with epilepsy often do not look unwell. For some people their seizures will be fully controlled so they will be able to work.

‘Even if they aren’t seizure free, they may have an understanding employer who makes reasonable adjustments to allow them to do their job.

But, as with Becki, the condition can have a huge impact on a person’s life.

‘We want to see a system where everyone who needs it gets the support they are entitled to. The current system needs to change. If it doesn’t, it will continue to have more devastating effects on people with epilepsy.’

Epilepsy Action offers a range of advice and information to people with epilepsy who may have any work-related concerns – visit epilepsy.org.uk/info/employment to find out more.

Latest figures from the government show in October 2018 nearly 23,000 people in the area applied for the personal independent payments which helps those with an illness, disability or mental health condition.

- Portsmouth: 5,673

- Fareham: 1,940

- Havant: 3,534

- Gosport: 2,405

- East Hampshire: 1,874

- Southampton: 7,397

The Citizens Advice Bureau also provides support to people having to apply for PIP and information is available at citizensadvice.org.uk/benefits/sick-or-disabled-people-and-carers/pip/