The Personal Independence Payment – a new benefit being introduced for disabled people from today (Monday 8 April) – will give more targeted support to those who need it most, according to Minister for Disabled People, Esther McVey.
The benefit is designed to support disabled people to live independent lives and will include a new face-to-face assessment. It replaces Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for working-age claimants, which was introduced in 1992.
Esther McVey, Minister for Disabled People said:
Disability Living Allowance is an outdated benefit introduced over twenty years ago and needs reform to better reflect today’s understanding of disability.
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 the billions we spend give more targeted support to those who need it most.
It is a phased introduction of PIP starting with the Bootle benefit centre which will process just a few thousand claims a month to begin with. It will handle claims from areas including Merseyside, North West England, Cumbria, Cheshire and North-East England. People in these locations will be the first to claim PIP.
From June new claims will begin in the rest of the country. Current DLA claimants will start to be re-assessed from October, but only if there is a change in circumstance or an existing award ends.
This means most existing claimants won’t be reassessed until 2015, after DWP has considered the findings of the first independent review in 2014.
Claimants can also see if they will be affected by the changes using the online ‘PIP checker’: https://www.gov.uk/pip-checker
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