Press release

Personal Independence Payment rolls out to existing claimants in northern England

Personal Independence Payment roll out is extended to cover 5 new areas of the country.

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

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The reassessment of existing claimants of Disability Living Allowance (DLA) continues as the roll out of a replacement benefit fit for the 21st Century – Personal Independence Payment (PIP) – is extended to cover 5 new areas of the country.

PIP includes a new face-to-face assessment and regular reviews as part of the government’s long-term economic plan to ensure support is better targeted towards those who need it most.

From today existing DLA claimants in and around Carlisle, Lancaster, Darlington, Harrogate, and York will be invited to claim PIP if:

  • we receive information about a change in their care or mobility needs
  • their fixed term award is due to expire
  • the claimant turns 16

The majority of 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.

Minister of State for Disabled People, Mike Penning, said:

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 continue to spend around £50 billion a year on disabled people and their services.

Our reforms – as part of our long-term economic plan – will ensure this support is better targeted at those who need it most.

Under the current system of DLA, 71% of claimants get indefinite awards without systematic reassessments. And more than 50% of decisions on entitlement are made on the basis of the claim form alone, without any additional corroborating medical evidence.

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.

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 cannot plan and follow a familiar journey unassisted.

Personal Independence Payment – fact sheet

What is Personal Independence Payment?

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is a benefit that provides a cash contribution towards the extra costs associated with a long-term health condition or disability. It provides support for those disabled people with the greatest needs to overcome barriers and live independent lives.

Like the benefit it replaces – Disability Living Allowance (DLA) – 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?

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 ensure people are getting the right levels of support.

When do the changes come in?

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

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

October 2013 – The re-assessment of some current DLA claimants started. The first areas to see the roll out were Wales, east Midlands, west Midlands and East Anglia.

January 2014 – Reassessment for some existing DLA claimants began in Scotland starting with those living in the Edinburgh (EH), Motherwell (ML), Galashiels (TD), and Dumfries and Galloway (DG) postcodes.

February 2014 – Reassessment for some existing DLA claimants is rolled out in areas with Carlisle (CA), Lancaster (LA), Darlington (DL), Harrogate (HG), and York (YO) postcodes.

What is the cost and how many claimants?

When DLA was introduced in 1992 there were around 1 million people claiming and we were spending around £3 billion. We now spend £14 billion a year on DLA. In 11 years, the number of people claiming DLA has risen by more than 36% (from 2.4 million to more than 3.3 million).

If the government was not introducing PIP, then total DLA claims would rise to 3.6 million by 2018. That’s around 1 in every 17 people who would be claiming disability benefits, more than 5% of the population.

More than 11 million people in the UK report having an impairment or long-term health condition, and about a third report not having it a year later.

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

More information

Read our Personal Independence Payment web page for more information.

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Published 3 February 2014