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Applying for PIP and ESA is an exceptionally difficult and stressful thing to do, undertaken almost exclusively by those who are among the most vulnerable in our society. The fact that the forms for both benefits are exceptionally complicated, that expert help is not always available and that the assessment process following a claim is unduly stressful only add to the hardship for disabled people. It is almost as if this government wants to make claims unnecessarily complicated and difficult to process.

The Labour Party invented the welfare system to look after those with genuine need but, under this Conservative government, the system attacks disabled people and is not fit for purpose. I asked the Minister today to look at how the application form can be made simpler and how changes can be made to make sure that the large number of claimants who are eligible for both ESA and PIP don’t have to go through the same process twice. I will continue to press the government to make sure these changes are made and disabled people are put back at the centre of our welfare system.

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