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PIP regulations announced
Thursday 13 December 2012
Mencap is concerned about people who have lower level needs as the government announces new PIP regulations
The government has today (Thursday 13 December) presented parliament with the Personal Independence Payment (PIP) regulations.
Under the Welfare Reform Act, PIP will replace Disability Living Allowance (DLA) next year. The regulations set out that, by May 2018, 600,000 fewer people will be in receipt of PIP than would have been the case under DLA – 450,000 of these are of working age.
Disabled people's minister Esther McVey told the House of Commons: "By reforming the system, ensuring it is fit for the 21st century, we can use the money we spend on disabled people more efficiently and effectively to help those most in need."
She added: "By October 2015 we will have reassessed 560,000 claimants. Of those, 160,000 will get a reduced award and 170,000 will get no award. However, 230,000 will get the same or more support."
The reassessment timetable will also be slower than anticipated. New claims will be assessed for PIP from April 2013 (in controlled areas), with a national roll out for new claims taking place from June 2013. October 2013 will see the start of reassessment, but the peak period of reassessments will be October 2015. There will be an increase in numbers getting both the enhanced rates of mobility/daily living components, compared to high rate care/mobility for DLA.
Mencap welcomes some changes to the regulations, but remains concerned that the assessment criteria do not allow for the subtleties of someone’s learning disability and the impact it has on the different aspects of their lives.
“While we welcome the fact that there will be an increase in the numbers of people getting both the enhanced rate of PIP for mobility and daily living, we are hugely concerned about those people who have lower level needs, but who will miss out on support altogether,” says Jane Alltimes, Mencap’s senior campaigns and policy officer.
“Looking at the assessment criteria, we believe that some people with a learning disability will struggle to accumulate enough points to reach the threshold for eligibility. We remain disappointed that there has been no work carried out by the government to look at the impact the loss of this benefit will have on disabled individuals, or the knock-on impact to other services like the NHS.”
The announcement on PIP follows the presentation of the draft regulations to support the introduction of Universal Credit, earlier in the week.