Disability News Service has reported a sharp rise in the deaths of PIP claimants since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. But the DWP say they won’t pay to look at the figures for other benefits.
The figures, obtained by Labour MP Debbie Abrahams, show a rise of 15% in the deaths of PIP claimants in April this year compared to last year.
The statistics for March show an 8% increase.
Abrahams also asked for the figures for universal credit, income support, jobseeker’s allowance, and employment and support allowance.
However, the DWP have refused to make these available as they “could only be provided at disproportionate cost”.
Abrahams told DNS:
“It’s just not good enough that DWP ministers dismiss my request for these data – they should know about the deaths of claimants in all circumstances to understand what this means for the social security system that is meant to be there to support them. I’m not letting this go.”
The figures for PIP claimants come after Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures showed disabled females aged between nine and 64 were 11.3 times more likely to have died due to COVID-19 than non-disabled females in the same age group, while disabled males between nine and 64 were 6.5 times more likely to have died than non-disabled males.