Disabled people in Southampton who took the Department for Work and Pensions to court after being refused benefits have won three-quarters of cases, figures reveal.

The disability equality charity Scope says people have been let down for too long by the assessment process for disability benefits, and is calling on the Government to create a fairer system.

Personal Independence Payments – worth up to £148.85 a week – are meant to help with some of the extra costs of living with a disability or long-term health problem.

Those denied PIP, or who are awarded less than they expected, can ask for an internal review by the Department for Work and Pensions – a process that takes 51 days on average across Britain.

If someone is still unhappy with the result of the reconsideration, they can appeal it at a tribunal.

New DWP data shows that 750 decisions made about people in Southampton have been overturned in court between the launch of PIP in 2013 and the end of last year – 74% of completed appeals.

This was higher than the 66% of appeals completed at a tribunal that went the claimant's way across Britain.

Across the South East, the figure stood at 74%.

Ceri Smith, head of policy, public affairs and campaigns at Scope, said PIP is vital to levelling the playing field for those who need it.

“But for too long disabled people have been let down by assessments for this crucial lifeline,” she added.

“The fact that the number of appeals finding in favour of claimants remains so high year after year shows that major problems continue with the assessment process.

“Government needs to overhaul PIP to create a modern and fair system where everyone can get the support they need.”

Anna Stevenson, welfare benefits specialist at anti-poverty charity Turn2us, said problems with PIP can lead to considerable stress for those trying to get help.

She added: “What is most worrying is that there will be many claimants who are unable to navigate the appeals process and could lose out on what they are rightly entitled to as a result.

“The DWP urgently needs to reform its decision-making processes to ensure that no one slips through the welfare safety net.”

​For claimants in Southampton, the DWP also changed its decision in their favour after an appeal was lodged but before it reached a hearing on 110 occasions.

​This happened 2,980 times across the South East, and more than 30,000 times across Britain.

A DWP spokeswoman said: “We want everyone to get the support they are entitled to. More than 3.6 million decisions have been made following a PIP assessment with just 5% being overturned at appeal.”