Press release

New benefit “better reflects today’s understanding of disability” says McVey

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) extends across the country from today and will better reflect today’s understanding of disability.

The Personal Independence Payment (PIP) – a new disability benefit being extended across the country today – will better reflect today’s understanding of disability, says Minister for Disabled People, Esther McVey.

It replaces Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for working-age claimants, which was introduced over 20 years ago. The new benefit is designed to support disabled people to live independent lives and includes a new face-to-face assessment and regular reviews.

Esther McVey, Minister for Disabled People said:

Disability Living Allowance is an outdated benefit introduced over 20 years ago and was very much a product of its time.

The Personal Independence Payment has been designed to better reflect today’s understanding of disability, particularly to update our thinking on mental health and fluctuating conditions.

We are introducing a new face-to-face assessment and regular reviews – something missing in the current system. This will ensure the billions we spend on the benefit give more targeted support to those who need it most.

The new assessment looks at an individual’s ability to carry out a broad range of everyday activities such as washing, dressing, cooking and getting around. It also looks at reading, verbal communication and how someone engages with other people, which is one reason why it better recognises mental health conditions.

Under the current system of DLA, 71% of claimants get indefinite awards without any systematic reassessments and around half of decisions on entitlement are made on the basis of the claim form alone - without any additional corroborating medical evidence.

In the past, higher rate mobility was focussed on individuals with a physical disability. Now claimants will be able to get the enhanced rate if their condition means they can’t plan and follow a familiar journey unassisted.

PIP started in April with a phased introduction in the North of England and is now being rolled out to the rest of England, Wales and Scotland. Some existing working age claimants will start to be re-assessed from October, but only if there is a change in circumstance, if an existing award ends or if someone reaches age 16.

This means most existing DLA claimants won’t be re-assessed until 2015 or later, after DWP has considered the findings of the first independent review in 2014.

DWP wrote to all DLA claimants earlier this year to explain if and when they might be affected. Claimants can also use the PIP checker online by entering some simple information.

Personal Independence Payment – fact sheet

What is the Personal Independence Payment (PIP)?

The Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is a benefit that provides a cash contribution towards the extra costs associated with an impairment or health condition. It provides support for those disabled people with the greatest needs in overcoming barriers to live independent lives.

Like the benefit it replaces – Disability Living Allowance - it is non-means tested, non-taxable and is paid to people who are in or out of work.

What is the difference with Disability Living Allowance (DLA)?

Entitlement to the new benefit is underpinned by a new assessment designed to better reflect today’s understanding of disability, particularly to update our thinking on mental health, and fluctuating conditions.

The assessment criteria are fairer because they give equal weight to needs arising from physical, mental and cognitive conditions

There will also be more regular reviews to make sure people are getting the right levels of support.

When do the changes come in?

8 April 2013 – New claims started in the North of England with a phased introduction of a few thousand claims a month.

10 June 2013 – New claims for PIP from the rest of the country (apart from Northern Ireland)

October 2013 – The re-assessment of some current DLA claimants will start from Oct 2013 – but now only if there is a change in circumstance, end of an existing award, or young people approaching 16.

This means the majority of existing claimants won’t be reassessed until 2015 or later.

What is the cost and how many claimants?

When DLA was introduced in 1992 there were 1.1m people claiming and we were spending around £3bn.

We currently spend more than £13bn a year on DLA.

In ten years, the number of people claiming DLA has risen by almost 32% (from 2.4 million to 3.3 million).

How will the assessment work?

The new assessment will look at someone’s ability to carry out a broad range of everyday activities such as washing, dressing, cooking and getting around.

What are the PIP benefit rates?

PIP Daily Living Component: Enhanced rate £79.15, Standard rate £53.00 a week Mobility Component: Enhanced rate £55.25, Standard rate £21.00 a week

How can I find out more?

Visit www.gov.uk/pip-checker. Claimants can also use the PIP checker to see if or when they may be affected.

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