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Amber Rudd’s announcement that PIP claimants of state pension age will no longer have regular reviews has turned out to be both not entirely true and old news, Benefits and Work can reveal.

If Rudd had said that claimants of pensionable age would be reviewed less often and not usually have to have a face-to-face assessment, that would have been broadly accurate. If she had added that this change had already been largely in place since last summer, she would have been even closer to the truth.

In a written statement issued this morning and widely reported in the media, Rudd announced:

“We will improve and simplify the customer experience by no longer undertaking regular reviews of Personal Independence Payment (PIP) awards for claimants at or above State Pension age unless they tell us their needs have changed.”

However, a DWP press release on the .Gov website tells a slightly different story:

“Around 270,000 people receiving Personal Independence Payment (PIP) who have reached State Pension age will no longer have their awards regularly reviewed, instead moving to a light touch review every 10 years.”

Every ten years may not be frequent, but it does appear to be regular.

What is more, the 10 year “light touch” review process was announced by Minister for Disabled People, Sarah Newton as long ago as last June, before Rudd became work and pensions secretary.

And back in January of this year we published guidance for decision makers which has been in place since last August. The guidance makes it clear that most claimants of pensionable age should be subject to the 10 year light touch review:

“On-going awards for claimants can be reached in one of two ways:

“following advice from the AP that no review is required and the claimant’s restrictions on Daily Living/ and or Mobility are stable and unlikely to change significantly or they have very high levels of needs which will only deteriorate.

“and where the claimant is awarded enhanced/enhanced and their needs are not going to improve or would only deteriorate.

“Note: You may also consider an enhanced daily living award alone where the claimant is State Pension Age or over and has either not been awarded the mobility component or has been awarded the mobility component at the standard rate and their mobility needs are not going to improve.”

In other words, most pensioners who get an enhanced award of the daily living component or whose needs are stable were already covered by the light touch review system.

So, it’s a little surprising that Rudd claimed all the credit today when she announced:

“I want to change the landscape for disabled people in Britain.

“Progress has been made, but we need to do more to close the gap between our intentions and disabled people’s experiences.

“The changes I am setting out today, including stopping unnecessary reassessments for disabled pensioners, are a step forward in improving quality of life for the UK’s 14 million disabled people.”


0 #7 NigelM 2020-02-15 09:07
I am over 65 have permanent disabilities that effect my daily living very badly
These include osteoarthritis of the spine. That is a very painful regressive condition.
I also suffer from severe depression and anxiety
I am on the highest levels of medication allowed for both my mental health and the pain caused by my osteoarthritis.
I was very surprised that I received a review form at.
I filled it in with all these details and other evidence
Expected a quick decision without any further need for information and a renewal of my higher rate on both.
Instead Capita sent me a letter requesting a face to face assessment at one of their offices.
As they did a home assessment at my home 2 years ago that lead to my current award.none of this makes any sense at all.
My conditions are stable or getting worse.
Why are they doing this. Scared and frightened as well as feeling suicidal. Any help out there Please.
0 #6 ROSAMARIA 2019-05-15 17:56
Has anyone yet been affected by Amber Rudd's statement of March 5th 2019, that 270,000 people receiving PIP who have reached State Pension age, will no longer have their awards regularly reviewed, instead moving to a light touch review every 10 years?
Her speech said that this change was imminent, but has it yet come into effect?
0 #5 peter 2019-03-17 19:35
im 70 on higher rate of mobility and have to have a face to face review on march 26, so its not true and i put no change on all questions of review form
0 #4 tweedy 2019-03-14 23:13
It's about time the pip system really reflected our needs , why are we constantly reassessed ? I will be a pensioner in a few weeks but will be reassessed no doubt after having a lifetime award for DLA since 1994 , after my transfer to pip I got the same amount of money but should be reassessed in 2 years unless they realise I will be a pensioner ! The only folk who think I will improve are the DWP as my husband has a life limiting condition we had 9 MTHS of hell fighting for pip for him who also had a lifetime award for DLA , just getting on with life is hard enough.
0 #3 annken 2019-03-07 12:22
I became a pensioner at the age of 64 two years ago and have lost my mobility car because my mental health was so bad I decided not to go to court and put myself back in a dark place. little did I realise I would loose the car for good at 65.
I was awarded lower rate mobility and lower rate care for four years. I am 65 and have had a review again including a home visit.
Im Afraid I don't believe a word and W& P minister says.
0 #2 lesley 2019-03-07 00:34
It does not make any sense to me. My friend who reached pension age two years ago, was on an indefinite award for DLA, then failed her PIP assessment when transferring last year. On appeal and following a tribunal she finally had success, but her DWP letters say that she will be reviewed again for PIP in two years. She will be 68.
+1 #1 MrFibro 2019-03-05 17:32
What about improving the life of non pensionable age group claimants. Who will have to keep jumping through the endless DWP loops to get or continue to get an award via frequent continuation of re-assessments.

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