Hundreds of thousands of disabled pensioners will no longer have to go through unnecessary reassessments for disability benefits, Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd has said today (5 March 2019).
Around 270,000 people receiving Personal Independence Payment (PIP) who have reached State Pension age will no longer have their awards regularly reviewed, instead moving to a light touch review every 10 years.
The changes are part of a wider package of measures announced by Amber Rudd, signalling a shift in the government’s support for disabled people.
Amber Rudd, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, said:
I want to change the landscape for disabled people in Britain.
Progress has been made, but we need to do more to close the gap between our intentions and disabled people’s experiences.
The changes I am setting out today, including stopping unnecessary reassessments for disabled pensioners, are a step forward in improving quality of life for the UK’s 14 million disabled people.
But we can’t achieve change alone, and I will be guided by disabled people as we work together to provide the opportunities and support they deserve and expect.
The Work and Pensions Secretary revealed that she will review the government’s goal to see one million more disabled people in work by 2027 with a view to making it more ambitious.
Other improvements include combining the separate assessment processes for PIP, Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and Universal Credit into one integrated service from 2021.
The integrated service will simplify the assessment process for millions of people claiming health related benefits, reducing the need to submit information multiple times and for some people reducing the number of face-to-face assessments.
A small-scale test to explore the viability of a single assessment for Work Capability Assessments (WCA) and PIP assessments will also be undertaken.
The government will also work with stakeholders to understand how to help people submit the right evidence with their claim at the outset so that fewer people have to take their case to tribunal.
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