Concern Over New Disability Benefit Allowance
- 10 Apr
Disability groups have voiced concern about the launch of a new benefit Personal Independence Payment (PIP), and the effect it will have on genuine disabilities.
Despite the government insisting it is a fairer method for giving out benefits and is not primarily intended to save money, campaigners say it will have a negative effect on the lives of disabled people.
The new benefit to replace Disability Living Allowance (DLA) is starting to be introduced this month in parts of northern England, and will gradually be rolled out nationally from June.
It has been introduced as part of an overall reform of the welfare budget, and concerns have been raised about the effect this will have on the quality of life for the people who have disabilities.
Combined with the other welfare cuts, such as council tax benefit cuts and the bedroom tax, and also the overall reductions to social care services, there will be a big change to the overall support people with disabilities receive.
Although it is expected to save money, the government say it is not intended as a cost cutting measure but a way to ensure the right people are receiving the money.
Disability Rights UK said it was concerned that the new benefit, alongside other changes such as the bedroom tax, council tax and the reduction in social care support from local authorities, will have a "major impact" on disabled people's quality of life and independent living.
Chief executive Liz Sayce said:
We are very concerned about the impact of PIP, which could see thousands of disabled people become institutionalised in their own homes.
For example, the Department for Work and Pensions expects that 428,000 disabled people who currently get the higher rate mobility component will lose it altogether or receive the lower amount. This means that many will lose their car under the Motability car scheme so they will no longer be able to get to work or get out and about.
If the purpose of PIP is to contribute to the extra costs of disability so that disabled people can maintain their independence, we doubt whether this will be achieved.
Under DLA, disabled people who are unable to cook a main meal for themselves and those disabled people who need continual support or supervision to ensure they are not in substantial danger will be made an award. This is not the case under PIP."
Mark Lever, chief executive of the National Autistic Society, said:
We have serious concerns about the face-to-face assessments people with autism will have to undergo in order to claim PIP.
The less visible difficulties of this complex disability can be hard to understand for assessors who are not specialists.
Minister for Disabled People, Esther McVey, defends the change and says it is intended to redirect current funding:
At the moment the vast majority of claimants get the benefit for life without any systematic reassessments and around 50% of decisions are made on the basis of the claim form alone, without any additional corroborating medical evidence.
The Personal Independence Payment will include a new face-to-face assessment and regular reviews - something missing in the current system. This will ensure that the billions we spend give more targeted support to those who need it most.
However, many people say that the government are manipulating the statistics as an excuse to scrap DLA, which has been shown by Disability News Service's analysed of the figures that the government are releasing and using as their evidence.
Anne McGuire, Labour's shadow minister for disabled people, said:
Although the DWP says that the minister did not use the words ‘closing down sale', she is obviously comfortable with the language, which is insulting to the many disabled people who were applying for the benefit out of need.
This government has shown no shame in the misleading use of statistics over past months as they sought to stoke up antagonism to disabled people who are claiming benefits.
Image source: http://www.morguefile.com/archive/display/71078
- 28 Aug
Figures find thousands of benefit claimants died after found fit for work
Over 80 people a month have died shortly after being declared “fit to work” prompting campaigners to call for an overhaul of the government’s welfare system, reports the Guardian.Figures from...
- 24 Aug
Disability campaigners concerned over benefit shakeups
The Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith is set to announce new reforms to sickness benefits in the hope to get more people into work, reports the Guardian.It is expected the Mr Duncan Smith...
- 07 Aug
Single parents are being hit by benefit cuts
Government statistics detailing who has been affected by the policy have found that in May 2015 49% were single parents with children under the age of five, reports the Guardian.It is being said that...
- 30 Jul
Government to review helping benefit claimants back into work
Led by Professor Dame Carol Black, the inquiry will consider the case for linking people who are entitled to benefits with accepting appropriate treatment or support, reports 24dash.The review's...
- 23 Jul
Call for review of benefits delivery
The inquiry will look at the problems that could occur when benefits are underpaid or delayed, reports 24dash. The Committee invites written evidence on: Frank Field MP, chair of the committee,...
- 15 May
11,400 tenants could be affected by new benefits cut
Inside Housing have analysed data from the government's Stat-Xplore website and has found that 11,449 social housing tenants are set to be affected by the governments plans to remove housing benefit...
- 24 Mar
Deaths due to benefit sanctions should have independent investigations
A report into benefit sanctions by the Work and Pensions Committee has said that suicides linked to sanctions should be scrutinised in a similar manner to deaths in police custody, reports Inside...
- 11 Mar
Charity finds benefit sanctions regime to be flawed
A report conducted for Crisis by the Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research at Sheffield Hallam University found that benefit claimants were subject to a ‘postcode lottery' on whether or...
- 30 Oct
Cuts to employment and support allowance benefits
With these cuts it could see new claimants being given just 50p more per week than people who are on job seekers allowance, reports the BBC. The Department for Work and Pensions have said the ESA...
- 10 Oct
Proposed benefit rule labelled ‘worse than poor law'
The Social Security Advisory Committee is currently cons ulting on the proposals which George Osborne first announced in June 2013, reports Inside Housing.The seven day wait would occur on top of the...
Responding to the DWP Consultation: Housing Benefit Reform - Supported Housing "It was well-run, in a good location, and very useful. I've only one suggestion; as the session went on it would perhaps have been useful for bullet points of general agreement about what should be in the sector response to be displayed and added to as the session went on, maybe on a flip chart. Regarding your response paper, I particularly like the answer you give to question 9. In fact the general: "if it ain't broke don't fix it" response could be pushed harder." M.P. - Adref Ltd