THE SNP have called on the UK Government to release a long-delayed disability reforms report in light of new research showing 70% of disabled people feel assessors do not understand their conditions.

The poverty charity Z2K asked 1420 people in April about their experience of the assessment process for disability benefits.

It found that 89% of people were either “not at all confident” (67%) or “not so confident” (21%) that the changes they would like to see to the assessment process will be considered in the upcoming Health & Disability Green Paper.

READ MORE: Scots charities urge political parties to bring in National Care Service

Similarly, 88% of people are either “not at all confident” (67%) or “not so confident” (21%) that the Government will use feedback to make changes to the assessment process for benefits.

There were 16 key changes that respondents to the survey wanted to see the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) make to the assessment process including reinstating indefinite awards for people whose condition will sadly not improve, provide assessors with training to ensure they do not discriminate against individuals and treat everyone with dignity and respect, and ensuring assessors are properly trained in the condition they are assessing. 

Almost three quarters (74%) of respondents think the UK Government won’t even bother to listen to the experiences of those who have been through the assessment process themselves.

The National: Marion Fellows is last of the SNPÂ’s 56 MPs to give maiden speech

The SNP's disabilities spokesperson Marion Fellows MP (above) said this new report means the Tory government must now publish their Health & Disability Green Paper "without delay".

Fellows said: “This Tory government has been failing claimants with a disability or long-term health condition in Scotland and the rest of the UK for years - from refusing to increase legacy benefits in line with Universal Credit to the Work and Pensions Secretary ignoring the higher costs they have faced throughout the pandemic.

“The Tories promised this Green Paper years ago and have delayed much-needed reforms to disability assessments. They must now publish it without delay given the findings of this report.

READ MORE: SNP unveil manifesto to help people with disabilities across Scotland

“While the Tories at Westminster plough ahead with callous policies based on nothing more than ideology, the SNP Scottish Government has set out plans to use our existing powers to make life better for disabled people in Scotland under a social security system based on fairness, dignity and respect.

“However, as long as the majority of welfare and employment powers remain reserved to Westminster, the Scottish Government will always be trying to build a fairer society with one hand tied behind its back. That’s why Scotland’s future must be in Scotland’s hands.”

The Z2K report titled The State of disability benefit assessments and the urgent need for reform can be viewed HERE