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12 April 2011

The DWP have published their response to the consultation on the replacement of disability living allowance with personal independence payment, making it clear that there are to be no concessions to objectors over the proposals.

The report confirms that under PIP there will be:

  • two components with two rates for each component, instead of the current three components for the care rate;
  • a six month qualifying period instead of the current  three months;
  • an end to indefinite awards;
  • face-to-face medical assessments for the majority of applicants, based on the work capability assessment model now being used for employment and support allowance.

Eligibility for the daily living component will be based on the difficulties experienced with the following activities:

  • planning and buying food
  • preparing and cooking food
  • feeding and drinking
  • managing medication and monitoring health conditions
  • managing prescribed treatment other than medication
  • washing and grooming
  • toileting and managing incontinence
  • dressing and undressing
  • communicating with others

And the following activities for the mobility component:

  • planning and following a journey
  • moving around

The fine details of PIP continue to be worked on by yet another shadowy committee of secretly appointed  ‘experts,’ some of whom may well work for companies which have a financial interest in the outcome, if past experience is anything to go by.

One item of good news, however, is that the DWP confirm in the report that PIP will continue to be payable to people over pensionable age, as long as they qualified before they reached that age and  continue to meet the criteria.  This remains at odds with what the legislation actually says, however, and no information has yet been given on how this is to be achieved.

The DWP has also ruled out including children in PIP for the present, although making it clear that they intend to do so in the long run.

Over 500 organisations responded to the consultation, all of whom are listed in the report.  There were also 5,000 responses from individuals, although the report notes dismissively that ‘Around half  of responses from individuals were standard responses’ which it defines as ‘two or more emails or letters that contained the same text, but were signed by different individuals’.

It is hard to see any way in which the consultation was a genuine attempt to gather and consider views:  PIP is going ahead exactly as was planned from the outset in spite of what was undoubtedly an overwhelmingly hostile response to many of the proposed changes.

You can download the full report from this link.