The Government is reforming Disability Living Allowance (DLA). DLA is an extra costs benefit, which helps disabled people to meet the extra costs they face because of their disability.
The recent Welfare Reform Act 2012 legislates for a new Personal Independence Payment (PIP) to replace DLA for those of working age from April 2013. Current DLA claimants will start to be reassessed for PIP from October 2013 to March 2016.
There will be a new assessment for PIP and most people will be expected to go to a face-to-face assessment with a healthcare practitioner to see if they are eligible for PIP.
Mencap has been campaigning to make sure that PIP and the assessment process takes into account the support needs of people with a learning disability.
Take a survey about PIP
The Government have now finalised the new assessment for PIP. We are running a survey in partnership with Disability Rights UK to look at how PIP will affect disabled people.
Mencap's version of the survey is aimed at people with a learning disability or someone completing it on behalf of someone with a learning disability. Take the survey now.
Mencap is a member of the Disability Benefits Consortium (DBC). The DBC has concerns about the new assessment for PIP. The assessment will be delivered by different companies in different areas, with the contracts split between Atos Healthcare, and Capita.
The DBC presented both providers with a list of ten pledges for a fair and effective assessment. Both companies have detailed how they will try to meet each pledge, revealing very different approaches to the assessment process. The different approaches have been outlined in a report by the DBC. The report also includes a number of recommendations for both providers and the government to try and ensure a fairer and more effective assessment.
The DBC recommendations include:
- that the Government make clear how they will monitor and compare the performance of both the companies carrying out the assessments
- that the Government ensure that the companies delivering the assessment are held to account if their recommendations are inappropriate due to poor assessment
- that both ATOS and Capita give their assessors high quality training on different conditions and disabilities
- that disabled claimants are provided with a copy of the assessor's report and given the opportunity to flag up anything they believe to be inaccurate.
Mencap, as part of the DBC, are calling on people to highlight key concerns to their MP, and ask for support for the DBC recommendations. Take action and send your MP an email.
- Download Mencap's response to the consultation on the proposed assessment
- Download Mencap's response to the reform of DLA consultation
- Download Mencap's response to a consultation on PIP and eligibility for a Blue Badge