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U-turn on PIP for over 65’s?

10 March 2011

The coalition may have done a very quick u-turn on threats in the welfare reform bill to end personal independence payment ( PIP), the replacement for disability living allowance (DLA), for claimants once they reach pensionable age.

Last week Benefits and Work warned that there was considerable uncertainty about whether PIP would continue to be payable once claimants reached pensionable age.  Indeed, the welfare reform bill clearly states that PIP cannot be paid beyond pensionable age,  even though that would mean that most claimants would then have to rely on making a claim for attendance allowance, which has no mobility component.  (See:  Mobility to stop at pension age and DLA for children to be axed under PIP plans?)

However, in a debate on the proposed changes to DLA on 9th March,  Maria Miller, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Disabled People, told Plaid Cymru MP Hywel Williams that:

“He raised a number of other issues, including, in particular, eligibility after 65, and I assure him that the personal independence payment will continue past retirement, as long as an individual continues to be entitled to it.”

This appears to be a clear undertaking that PIP will continue to be paid after pensionable age.  It also appears to be clear evidence that the coalition is already as confused as the rest of us about its plans for welfare reform.

You can read the full text of the debate here.