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DWP moves to slash number of PIP awards by 35% - vouchers may replace some payments

The DWP has today launched a consultation aimed at slashing the number of people eligible for the daily living component of personal independence payment (PIP) by up to 35%. The cuts will be aimed at claimants who qualify for PIP because of their use of aids and appliances and may include replacing awards with discretionary voucher payments.

The press release and consultation document published today claim that 35% of all daily living allowance awards are based solely on the claimant’s need to use aids and appliances.

In addition, the DWP points out that recent upper tribunal decisions have found that a bed, for example, can count as an aid or appliance if a claimant needs to sit on it in order to get dressed.

The DWP argues that the use of readily available or low cost items as aids or appliances isn’t a reliable guide as to whether a person has to meet additional costs because of their disability. As a result the department has launched a brief consultation, ending on 29 January 2016, to decide whether and how to change the system.

The five possible options
Five possible options for change are listed in the document:

1 A lump sum paid to claimants who score all their daily living points from aids and appliances. This could be discretionary and its use limited through the use of vouchers. The awards could be periodic, in order to cover the cost of replacing aids or appliances. It would not passport to other benefits or premiums and would not exempt claimants from the benefits cap. Claimants scoring at least some points from other descriptors would be paid at the relevant weekly rate, as now.

2 A lower monthly payment for claimants who score all their daily living points from aids and appliances. It would not passport to other benefits or premiums and would not exempt claimants from the benefits cap. Claimants scoring at least some points from other descriptors would be paid at the relevant weekly rate, as now.

3 A new condition of entitlement that claimants must score some points from a descriptor that does not relate to aids and appliances. Claimants scoring at least some points from other descriptors would be paid at the relevant weekly rate, as now.

4 A change to the definition of aids and appliances to exclude any that the DWP does not consider are a good indicator of additional cost and need. Claimants who use aids and appliances that are a good indicator of extra costs would be paid at the relevant weekly rate, as now.

5 Halving the number of points that can be scored for the use of aids or appliances from 2 to 1 for some or all daily living activities.

Current claimants
The current PIP eligibility rules will continue to apply until any changes are made.

The consultation document also states that current claimants will not be affected immediately. However, when their award comes up for review or a change of circumstances is reported, then they will be covered by any new rules.

In addition, the DWP have made it clear that they intend to regularly review and cut eligibility to PIP to ensure that it is ‘financially sustainable’ in the future.

How to take part
If you wish to take part in the consultation, you can send your response to:

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Or write to:

PIP Policy Team
Department for Work and Pensions
Ground floor, Caxton House
Tothill Street
London
SW1H 9NA

Your response needs to reach the DWP by 5pm on 29 January 2016.

You can read the PIP consultation press release here.

You can download the PIP consultation document here.

Comments  

+1 #23 tintack 2016-01-07 01:31
Quoting canttrusthesystem:
Thanks very much, tintack, you've been very helpful.


You're welcome, I hope these links come in handy the next time you find yourself trying to talk some sense into someone mouthing off about "scroungers". It has to be said that people who habitually speak out of the wrong orifice often find trivial things like facts and evidence rather confusing, but hopefully they will at least pause for thought.

It might be interesting if you ask them what they base their claims on. I'll be amazed if they don't mention at least one of the following:

(a) a right wing rag
(b) a Channel 5 "documentary"
(c) the Jeremy Kyle show

And let's not forget the old favourite:

(d) the neighbour that they "know" is faking it because, well, he doesn't look ill, so he can't be.
+1 #22 canttrusthesystem 2016-01-06 13:24
[quote name="tintack
Here's a link about the Unum connection:

http://voxpoliticalonline.com/2015/01/20/the-influence-of-private-insurance-on-uk-welfare-reforms-mo-stewart/

On the overall level of benefit fraud and its conflation with error:

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/ministers-urged-to-publish-more-accurate-figures-on-benefit-fraud-that-show-it-is-07-of-claims-9372335.html?origin=internalSearch

..... I did find this:

http://touchstoneblog.org.uk/2011/10/are-disabled-people-swinging-the-lead/

.

Thanks very much, tintack, you've been very helpful.
#21 MyelopathicMe 2015-12-31 17:16
Quelle surprise!

Despite your wonderful guidance, I have just received my DLA to PIP decision, dated 25 December, no less! Despite being on High rate mobility & medium rate care from DLA, I have been awarded a big fat zero from the decision maker for a condition I have had since 2011 & has not & will not improve despite surgery in 2012, based purely on my medical with a psychiatric nurse with no knowledge of neurological illness. It's like they haven't looked at my diary, testimonials or evidence at all! So here we go again - back to the ordeal of appeal. But in the meantime, I lose my motability car, my blue badge, my income & my son loses his Carers Allowance. So angry upset & frustrated!!! Not a happy start to the new year for me but I wish everyone in a similar plight lots of love & luck & justice for 2016 x
+2 #20 tintack 2015-12-26 00:10
Quoting canttrusthesystem:
It may be particularly helpful to me if you could point me in the direction of where I can go to find the source of things like the DWP statistics you mention, if it is possible for you to do so, so that I can keep an eye on such things, now and in the future, as points of reference for the 'harder' facts that people seem to require, alongside the other types of examples that you mention. Again, thanks for your help. :-)


Here's a link about the Unum connection:

http://voxpoliticalonline.com/2015/01/20/the-influence-of-private-insurance-on-uk-welfare-reforms-mo-stewart/

On the overall level of benefit fraud and its conflation with error:

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/ministers-urged-to-publish-more-accurate-figures-on-benefit-fraud-that-show-it-is-07-of-claims-9372335.html?origin=internalSearch

Re: the 0.5% figure. I've tried searching for this on the DWP site but the result is a barrage of articles and pdf files. It's further complicated by lumping fraud and error together, and whether or not references to fraud levels for incapacity benefit post-2008 (since when fewer and fewer people have been on IB as the ESA transfer has been rolled out) are purely for IB or intended as an overall IB/ESA figure. The 0.5% figure may well be in there somewhere, but it's like looking for the proverbial needle in a haystack. I did find this:

http://touchstoneblog.org.uk/2011/10/are-disabled-people-swinging-the-lead/

An older article, though still several years into the introduction of ESA. It gives the DLA fraud rate at 0.5% and IB at 0.3%.

For the most up to date fraud stats it's probably worth waiting until after Christmas and e-mailing B & W. This is the sort of topic that sometimes crops up in newsletters and articles in the news section, so they can probably give you the relevant info much faster than I could. I hope the above helps.
+1 #19 canttrusthesystem 2015-12-25 13:10
[quote name="tintack
Well, you could point out that even the DWP's own figures have shown time and time again that the level of fraud for sickness and disability benefits is about 0.5%. And given the DWP's attitude to sick and disabled claimants you can bet that if there were any evidence of widespread fraud they'd be shouting it from the rooftops. They can't, because there isn't....You could also point out that around 40% of appeals succeed, a figure which rises to about 70% when the claimant has representation at tribunal...Oh yes, and you could mention that the WCA is based on a US insurance test which was found to be a fraudulent stitch-up in the American courts.

Thanks for your input, Tintack. I have a general awareness of most of the issues you mention, from my own experience and the experience of my past working life (though that was now some time ago, and it gets increasingly harder to remember and particularize from it, and also its relevance diminishes), but these days, due to my condition, I have a hard time dealing with hard facts and figures in themselves and the whole sort of general 'world' they emerge from, as that now conceptualises to me (if you can see what I mean - that may not make sense!). It may be particularly helpful to me if you could point me in the direction of where I can go to find the source of things like the DWP statistics you mention, if it is possible for you to do so, so that I can keep an eye on such things, now and in the future, as points of reference for the 'harder' facts that people seem to require, alongside the other types of examples that you mention. Again, thanks for your help. :-)
+1 #18 tintack 2015-12-24 21:57
Quoting canttrusthesystem:
Most people around me are convinced such measures have to be brought in because the vast majority of claimants are 'criminal scroungers', and I have only anecdotal evidence to argue with against such views. Do we have access to any hard facts and figures to put a stop to this culture and propaganda being pumped out to the general public supporting such views and allowing this culture and cuts to continue?


Well, you could point out that even the DWP's own figures have shown time and time again that the level of fraud for sickness and disability benefits is about 0.5%. And given the DWP's attitude to sick and disabled claimants you can bet that if there were any evidence of widespread fraud they'd be shouting it from the rooftops. They can't, because there isn't.

People who think most claimants are scroungers invariably get that impression from two main sources: the right-wing press, and broadcasters who have jumped on the anti-claimant bandwagon, especially Channel 5 with their seemingly endless run of "documentaries" with the word "benefits" in the title. By only reporting cases of fraud and saying nothing about the 99.5% of genuine claimants it's very easy to make people think the fraudsters are everywhere even though the evidence proves otherwise.

If they mention cases of fraud that they've read about in these papers (or the likes of Channel 5), ask them how many cases these same papers have mentioned of claimants driven to suicide. You could also point out that around 40% of appeals succeed, a figure which rises to about 70% when the claimant has representation at tribunal, and ask them how much space these papers have devoted to the fact that so many people are wrongly subjected to poverty and misery as a result of these wrong decisions. Oh yes, and you could mention that the WCA is based on a US insurance test which was found to be a fraudulent stitch-up in the American courts.
+1 #17 canttrusthesystem 2015-12-24 15:40
Perhaps I shouldn't say this on a public forum - but it's no wonder people are commiting suicide - and no doubt some of us reading this have been almost there - the situation is truly beyond all rationality. We are all citizens and subjects of this country, who have ourselves, or via our families, contributed to this welfare system to pay for ourselves in our time of need, and are (very obviously) unwell and/or disabled through no fault or choice of our own. The pure immorality and seemingly unendingly low-ness of what these politicans and bureaucrats will stoop to is something I would never have imagined seeing in my lifetime. Most people around me are convinced such measures have to be brought in because the vast majority of claimants are 'criminal scroungers', and I have only anecdotal evidence to argue with against such views. Do we have access to any hard facts and figures to put a stop to this culture and propaganda being pumped out to the general public supporting such views and allowing this culture and cuts to continue?
+1 #16 canttrusthesystem 2015-12-24 15:21
Quoting Ctcelt:
The DWP are pure scum.
I wish someone could turn something like that into a seasonal - and beyond - song.
#15 canttrusthesystem 2015-12-24 15:17
Quoting darren griffiths:
I am both confused and worried. I became paralysed last year (i can stand move legs now and did start walking of sorts but fell numerous times) i am a permanent wheelchair user. I suffer spams and spasticity and need assistance to transfer into shower seat and assistance to shower anddress lower half. I have more personal issues (bbladder /bowels).
So does This affect me. Does my wheelchair and care needs class As aids?
I had full dla/care prior to becoming paralysed due to severe nerve damage. PTSD from military service. Severe manic depression/bi polar and very severe chronic fatigue which i find to be the worst of all my issues including my wheelchair need.

By my reading of it, it sounds to me that your issues are far, far more complex than your claim being 'based solely on the claimant's need to use aids and appliances'. Aids and applinaces are playing their part in your care - as in mine, for example - I use a wheelchair and things too - but when those are supplied and in place, do you still have other care needs? Sounds to me like the answer is yes - whereas, what it says at the top of the article here is about claims 'based solely on the claimant’s need to use aids and appliances' (my italics) And that sounds to me like - if those aids and appliances are supplied, then the whole of that person's care needs are met. (I know I'm interpreting here, but I've read it and read it, and that's how it looks...)
#14 darren griffiths 2015-12-17 14:09
I am both confused and worried. I became paralysed last year (i can stand move legs now and did start walking of sorts but fell numerous times) i am a permanent wheelchair user. I suffer spams and spasticity and need assistance to transfer into shower seat and assistance to shower anddress lower half. I have more personal issues (bbladder /bowels).
So does This affect me. Does my wheelchair and care needs class As aids?
I had full dla/care prior to becoming paralysed due to severe nerve damage. PTSD from military service. Severe manic depression/bi polar and very severe chronic fatigue which i find to be the worst of all my issues including my wheelchair need.
#13 kathy 2015-12-16 18:24
Quoting stevie mac:
surely before they start slashing dla/pip its got to go in front of a panel or commitee of mps like what happened with the working tax credits then maybe to the house of lords

The DWP change the rules as befits their cause to deprive disabled people of the money they need to pay for the assistance they need to live. They included the 20m mobility descriptor without consultation, and it was only after a campaign they included reliably, repeatedly etc in the regs. The retrospective 13 week consultation made no difference because they ignored the views of DPOs. Neither did the judicial review that followed challenging the 20 metre descriptor.
+1 #12 TraceZee 2015-12-16 13:12
Another consultation sneaking through when no bugger is taking notice. I had to raise a wry smile as another headline on this newsletter is highlighting the number of successful appeals... ahhh, explains this fresh attempt to move goalposts then.

Suggest everyone fills this in and shares it with as many people as you can. I got a bad feeling that this is a fresh attempt to screw as many people as possible.
+1 #11 stevie mac 2015-12-16 12:58
surely before they start slashing dla/pip its got to go in front of a panel or commitee of mps like what happened with the working tax credits then maybe to the house of lords
+2 #10 kathy 2015-12-13 07:48
Quoting Adam Law:
In some ways this does make sense. I always thought it was slightly odd you could qualify just by using Aids. I think their should be additional stipulations regarding Aids.

Maybe even separating Aids and Adaptions, as a fitted wet room says a lot more than an electric can opener.

However, it's how far the DWP want to move the goalposts that's the worrying part.

Agree with you here about fitted wet rooms. Mine was achieved with a local authority grant after 3 years on the waiting list. It was only after an accident getting out of the bath, and another OT assessment that my status was upgraded to danger. Even then it is not foolproof, and I have to choose my times carefully when I shower. What annoys me the most that mobility is only about legs. I have a neuromuscular condition that affects all muscle groups. The worst thing of all is that mobility in the home is not longer assessed, which has the greatest bearing on the ability to complete daily living activities. Neither is moving around in the kitchen, a dangerous place for me, or the collecting of ingredients to prepare and cook a meal.
+4 #9 tintack 2015-12-13 00:23
Quoting carruthers:
Someone else said, "This Government is out of control and needs to be stopped."

Don't expect that any time soon. No general election until 2020 - and I can't see anyone who's going to stop them then.


Nor can I, especially when you consider that:

1. First past the post currently massively favours the Tories.
2. Boundary changes will exacerbate that even further.
3. One of the aims of the Tories' trade union bill is to choke off union funding to the Labour party, while money from corporate donors and city hedge funds pouring into Tory coffers naturally faces no such restriction.
4. The Tories' new voter registration system is likely to purge nearly two million people from the electoral register, most of whom are likely to be Labour voters.

And finally the icing on the cake: about three quarters of our "free" press is rabidly pro-Tory and only too happy to churn out cheerleading propaganda of the sort you'd expect to see in a banana republic rather than a democracy. And sadly many people have swallowed it hook, line and sinker.

This makes it almost impossible for Labour to win under any leader, and even if they did, they'd have to promise to be no more than Tory-lite. What this all boils down to is that democracy in this country is a sham. The hard right have it all stitched up in their favour. We've become like the US, where millions of people are duped into voting against their own interests.
+2 #8 carruthers 2015-12-12 20:19
Quoting Adam Law:
However, it's how far the DWP want to move the goalposts that's the worrying part.

And how easily they can do it. We fought the 50m to 20m reduction. We lost - but we were able to fight.

I suspect that the DWP will be able to make the next change just by a simple declaration that IDS is going to do it. Parliament may have a chance to look at the proposed changes, but does anyone here think that this House of Commons is going to object?

Someone else said, "This Government is out of control and needs to be stopped."

Don't expect that any time soon. No general election until 2020 - and I can't see anyone who's going to stop them then. Half the alternative parties would stick to the DWP's plans anyway.
+1 #7 Adam Law 2015-12-12 07:10
In some ways this does make sense. I always thought it was slightly odd you could qualify just by using Aids. I think their should be additional stipulations regarding Aids.

Maybe even separating Aids and Adaptions, as a fitted wet room says a lot more than an electric can opener.

However, it's how far the DWP want to move the goalposts that's the worrying part.
+2 #6 Ctcelt 2015-12-11 20:55
Not Suprised by this. Expect them to lower the waking distance to get fewer people getting higher rate mobility. The DWP are pure scum.
+2 #5 tintack 2015-12-11 17:11
The DWP's "consultations" seem to follow a settled formula. Make sure people only have.about ten minutes to submit their responses, and just to be on the safe side, stipulate that all submissions must be sent by carrier pigeon to an address in Alaska. Job done!
+2 #4 GoingOffMyHeadWithThisGoverment 2015-12-11 11:31
I'am so glad I put money away to buy a car as it is my only means of life.

These crazy no good f*****s are at it again, I had a feeling a long time ago that this would happen, I have already thought I will loose my DLA altogether, Mmm, the rate this is going.

My main factor is keeping my ESA support group status.

This Goverment is out of control and needs to be stopped end off.
More depressed than ever, all we do is worry what S**T is coming next. :sad:

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