THE devastating impact the benefits system is having on people with multiple sclerosis has been highlighted by a local MP.

Former shadow health spokesperson Justin Madders, MP for Ellesmere Port and Neston, attended a Parliamentary event to learn more about the effect of the Personal Independence Payment (PIP) assessment process on men and women living with MS.

At the #10yearsofPIP event, hosted by the MS Society, Mr Madders was told about the charity’s new report ‘PIP and MS: A Decade of Failure’ which reveals two-thirds (65%) of people with MS said going through the process had a negative or very negative impact on their physical and mental health.

More than 130,000 people in the UK live with MS – a condition where the immune system attacks the coating which protects our nerves – with 130 diagnosed each week.

Symptoms are different for everybody, but they can often be invisible and can fluctuate from day-to-day. However, the rigid PIP assessment criteria fails to take this into account.

Mr Madders said: “The MS Society’s #10yearsofPIP campaign highlights the impact people with MS in my constituency and elsewhere are facing due to the assessment. I was pleased to be able to help their campaign.”

Anastasia Berry, policy manager at the MS Society, said: “Ten years of a broken PIP system has meant a decade of stress, indignity and humiliation for people with MS and our latest report ‘PIP and MS: A Decade of Failure’ reveals the devastating impact it can have on both physical and mental health.

“The Government must fix PIP now and stop failing people with MS.”

After the event, the MS Society delivered a petition containing 22,254 names intended for Mel Stride MP, Secretary of State at the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP), calling on the Government to review and overhaul the PIP process, ensuring it more accurately reflects how people are impacted by living with MS.