The Government’s plans to replace Disability Living Allowance (DLA) with Personal Independence Payment (PIP) will remove tens of millions of pounds from blind and partially sighted people.
The criteria for the new benefit fail to recognise that sight loss is a serious disability and that you face extensive extra costs if you can’t see.
One of the main assessments for Personal Independence Payment will be a new, “objective assessment” that focuses on the ability of an individual to carry out a range of key activities necessary for everyday life. This will be used to re-assess working age claimants and will take evidence from healthcare professionals in to account.
The proposals mean PIP will continue to be paid as a non-means-tested cash benefit contributing to the extra costs of disability. The main focus will be an individual’s ability to get around independently (the mobility component) and their ability to carry out other key activities necessary to be able to participate in daily life (the daily living component).
This of course is an area that blind and partially sighted people have become experts at, but does not mean that they are any less disabled that they were before!
Act now to challenge this benefits shake-up that will hit blind and partially sighted people particularly hard.
There is still work to do before the Bill becomes an Act and is implemented, specifically regarding the assessment criteria and how the changes will affect blind and partially sighted people and Guide Dogs will work with other organisations to ensure that the rights of blind and partially sighted people are not unduly affected by these changes.
Visit Guidedogs.org.uk for help, advice and information on how to contact your MP.
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