Kate has promised to fight for fairer benefits assessments for people with epilepsy by signing an epilepsy PIP pledge.
The Epilepsy PIP Pledge, set up by national charity Epilepsy Action, calls on MPs to recognise that the current assessment process for Personal Independent Payments (PIP) is failing people with epilepsy.
Many people with epilepsy need Personal Independence Payments (PIP) to help them carry out daily tasks safely, from getting to work to bathing and cooking at home.
But figures show that epilepsy has the highest refusal rate for people claiming PIP – 20 per cent above the national average for other health conditions.
This means people with epilepsy are more likely to be denied the financial support they need to help with the extra costs of living with a hidden and unpredictable disability.
By signing the Epilepsy PIP Pledge, Kate is standing with people with epilepsy in Trafford to highlight that this has to change.
Kate said: “It is shocking to hear that so many people with epilepsy are being denied the financial support that they need to help them live full and independent lives.
“It is clear that the current assessment process for PIP is failing to recognise the needs of people with this fluctuating and complex medical condition. I pledge to do all I can to make PIP assessments fairer for people with epilepsy”.
Figures show almost two thirds of people with epilepsy who previously received Disability Living Allowance (DLA) had their award denied or downgraded following a reassessment for PIP.
Epilepsy Action says the assessment process does not accurately capture the specific needs of people with epilepsy. The charity also says assessors often show a lack of understanding and knowledge. This makes it harder for people to receive a fair and accurate assessment.
Epilepsy Action chief executive Philip Lee said: “Epilepsy is a complex neurological condition which can severely impact on all aspects of daily life. Yet the current system is failing to recognise the complex needs of people with epilepsy.
“We are hearing increasingly concerning stories from people who say the situation is having a negative impact, not just on their safety and day-to-day living, but also on their physical and mental health.
“We are delighted that Kate has committed to standing with people with epilepsy to highlight this issue. The current system needs to change. If it doesn’t, it will continue to have more devastating effects on people with epilepsy.”