Government’s response to the Personal Independence Payment assessment
The Government’s response to the consultation on the PIP assessment Moving around activity was published on Monday.
Personal Independence Payment (PIP) has been introduced to support disabled people to lead independent lives, as it reflects the needs of the individual rather than the overall condition. PIP provides a contribution to the extra costs caused by long-term ill-health or a disability if you’re aged 16 to 64.
The consultation on the PIP assessment Moving around activity was set up following concern from disabled people and their organisations about the 20 and 50 metre distances used within the PIP criteria. There were four main themes which raised concern-
1. Respondents felt that there was no evidence to support the use of 20 metres as the distance for determining entitlement to the enhanced rate of the Mobility component.
2. Respondents were concerned that the current 20 metres distance used in the criteria would have negative consequences for individuals. Many respondents were concerned about the impact on people moving from the higher rate of DLA to the standard rate of PIP who would lose access to a Motability scheme car. They felt this could increase isolation and reduce independence, have significant financial impact, and cause deterioration in their physical and mental health.
3. Respondents felt the criteria would increase individuals’ need for support from other public services and that this would have an increased cost for the Government.
4. Respondents welcomed the inclusion in Regulations of the reliability criteria, which are used to measure a person’s ability to complete an activity safely, to an acceptable standard, repeatedly and within reasonable time period. However, they wanted to ensure that these were delivered appropriately and consistently in the PIP assessment.
In the response to this, the Government have said whilst the 50 metre distance is used to measure mobility in other Government policies, it does not mean that it is the right distance for use in determining entitlement to the enhanced rate of the Mobility component. Government is entitled to use different criteria for different purposes and it is important that decisions on PIP criteria are based on an objective consideration of the policy intent for the benefit.
The Government will not be making any changes to the assessment criteria. They believe that the use of 20 metres is the best way of identifying those whose physical mobility is most limited. It is justified to focus support in this way, given the policy intent to target support on those with the greatest need and create a more financially sustainable benefit which considers needs arising from all impairment types equally, and where awards are determined more objectively and consistently.
The Government has carefully considered all of the representations made during the consultation, including the suggestions for alternative approaches. They have noted respondents’ concerns that the barriers and costs faced by all people who cannot walk more than 50 metres are significant and the impact these criteria may have on individuals and an equality analysis has been produced. Due regard has been paid to the information therein.
The full report is available here.
To find out more about Personal Independence Payment you can visit https://www.gov.uk/pip.