Sophie Christiansen criticises new benefits system on Channel 4's Dispatches

Sophie Christiansen criticises new benefits system on Channel 4's Dispatches

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James Preston

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Sophie Christiansen criticises new benefits system on Channel 4's Dispatches

 

Sophie Christiansen appearing on Channel 4's Dispatches

Paralympic star Sophie Christiansen has labelled a new application process for disability benefits as 'ridiculous'.

The Maidenhead resident, who has cerebral palsy, appeared on Channel 4 current affairs programme Dispatches last night looking in to the impact on disabled people when the Disability Living Allowance (DLA) is replaced by the Personal Independence Payment (PIP) in April.

As part of Government spending the cuts, the new system is estimated to result in about half a million fewer claimants by 2015-16.

The PIP will mean disabled people will have their eligibility reassessed, with a new, points-based system introduced.

Claimants will be asked questions such as whether they can walk 200m, with or without walking aids, with those who can scoring zero points in that category.

Speaking to host Ade Adepitan, Sophie said: "Technically, I could walk 200m but I'd be tired. If I lost my mobility I would lose my car. The train station is more than 200m away. I can't walk to train station and I can't get my scooter on it. What am I going to do?"

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) say the reforms are 'designed to deliver a more sustainable benefit and ensure support continues to be focused on those who face the greatest challenges to taking part in everyday life'.

Watch Dispatches: Britain on Benefits here.

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