We’re already hearing from lots of readers wanting to know if the announcement of the election date will make any difference to the proposed changes to PIP or the new date for employment and support allowance to universal credit migration.

We’ve set out our thoughts below, but do make sure you’re getting our free, fortnightly newsletter to be kept informed, as we hopefully learn more.

PIP proposals

The Health and Disability Green Paper, published last month, suggested a range of alternatives to paying PIP as a cash benefit, including:

  •  A catalogue/shop scheme
  • A voucher scheme
  • A receipt based system
  • One-off grants
  • Therapy instead of cash

If the Conservatives win a working majority, then it’s likely that the Green Paper will be followed by a White Paper which will set out which of the proposals the government plans to take forward.  This will be followed by legislation.

If Labour win then that’s probably the last we will hear of the Green Paper.

However, that doesn’t mean it’s the last we will hear of some of the ideas it contains.  It’s entirely possible that Labour will also be looking to reduce the current rapidly increasing cost of PIP.

Or they may be aiming to bend it more towards encouraging at least some recipients into work – even though PIP is not supposed to have any connection with whether or not a claimant is employed.

Alison McGovern, standing in for DWP shadow secretary of state Liz Kendall and responding on Labour’s behalf to the publication of the Green Paper, said:

“Labour will carefully review the detail of the Green Paper, because the country that we want is one where disabled people have the same right to a good job and help to get it as anyone else. We will judge any measure that the Government bring forward on its merits and against that principle, because the costs of failure in this area are unsustainable.  The autonomy and routine of work is good for us all, for our mental and physical health—and more than that, for women, work is freedom, too.”

McGovern went on to disown PIP to some extent, pointing out that:

“PIP was the creation of a Conservative Government, so where is the analysis of what has gone wrong? PIP replaced DLA, and now we are hearing that PIP is the problem. How many more times will we go around this same roundabout?”

 So, whilst there is a strong chance the Green Paper will go no further, many readers may conclude that it is still worth taking part in the consultation to send a strong message to whoever forms the next government.

ESA to UC forced migration

Earlier this month, the government announced that it is now going to begin moving income-related ESA claimants onto UC from September 2024, with everyone being notified to make the move by December 2025.

This is much earlier than the previous plan, which had seen the move for ESA claimants put off until 2028.

The Treasury has provided additional money to fund the accelerated move and the DWP are now working on the details.  The DWP is known to favour an early transfer, as they would prefer to complete the whole process in one go, rather than taking a break of several years and then starting again in 2028.

The move from ESA to UC was originally delayed as a cost saving measure, because the government thought that they would be paying out more under UC than under ESA. But the unexpectedly high proportion of claimants who fail to make the transfer from legacy benefits to UC means that this may no longer be the case.

The only real question mark is whether the department has the capacity to move this many claimants on schedule – very little to do with UC so far has happened on time.

But if the Conservatives win a majority at the election, there is no doubt the transfer will begin this year.

If Labour win and take no action then the transfer will still begin this year, as it requires no legislation of any sort.

Only if Labour choose to actively intervene and put the move on hold, will the process be stopped.

We know, from statements like the one above from Alison McGovern, that Labour’s social security policy is likely to focus on moving more claimants into work.  If they see transferring claimants from ESA onto UC as increasing the probability of getting more people into work, then there’s a strong chance they will let the process continue.

However, there is no doubt that many disability and advice charities will be lobbying hard for the transfer to be put on hold.

At this point we can’t know which way Labour will jump and, we suspect, they will remain tight-lipped on the subject throughout the election campaign.

But if there’s any news we’ll let you know.

Comments

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  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Gary Bowman · 21 hours ago
    I was claiming ESA and PIP, the DWP regime is so vile that I stopped claiming ESA, it's a long story, but now I survive on higher rate PIP for both components and £295 disability pension. So,  I am of course, living the life of luxury that we all do, apparently! 
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    Sara · 4 days ago
    Apologies, Michael, I see you are Silvester.
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    Sara · 4 days ago
    Michael Sylvester (and Tb) Pip is not affected by moving, your income or any other benefit you claim. You get pip when you qualify for pip, that's it. 

    If you are claiming housing benefit and move you would have to make a claim for universal credit because you can't make a new claim for hb in a new local authority. Your esa (unless it's contribution related) would be swept up into the uc claim. The issue for you is that if you transfer to uc before managed migration, you will be considered to have naturally migrated and lose the transitional protection which would keep your uc at the rate you were getting for esa and hb combined. 

    You need to get advice, but perhaps delay your move until you are migrated, and/or weigh up what you might lose against your gains in all ways. But your pip is safe where uc is concerned.
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    Michael Silvester · 6 days ago
    Im on ESA. & PIP the enhanced rate.  The living component. What I need to know is I want to move out of London but was told if I made a new housing benefit claim in a different part of the country I will be moved to universal credit. Can anyone advise me? I have been claiming housing benefit for 20 years and disability, benefit. I will not be able to move if they move me over to universal credit and cut my PIp money. Also, is that correct when they move you to universal credit? You lose some of your pip money?  
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      R · 3 days ago
      @Michael Silvester Universal credit. And. New style. ESA. And housing benefits are one and the same. That means they will give you a monthly payment. So you will get housing benefit and ESA As universal credit has rolled these 2 benefits into one. Monthly payment. But your PIP. Is not part of universal credit. You will get paid as normal. From pip.
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Tb · 5 days ago
      @Michael Silvester I'd also like to know if moving to uc will reduce my pip allowance, why can't they leave well alone. 
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    Frances · 9 days ago
    There is something on Rightsnet, but you need to subscribe to read the full article.. Maybe the details are there.
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    Frances · 9 days ago
    Thanks guys, those links work fine, but I'm still not seeing any reference to areas for an early trial of managed migration of esa and esa with hb.
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    The dogmother. · 9 days ago
    Waters, T. (2024). A response to the Conservatives’ proposals to reduce growth in the health-related benefits bill [Comment] Institute for Fiscal Studies. Available at: https://ifs.org.uk/articles/response-conservatives-proposals-reduce-growth-health-related-benefits-bill (accessed: 10 June 2024).

    I Hope this link is working OK.
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Frances · 9 days ago
    M shirker, The dogmother - link to article, please. I'm not finding anything about regional esa migration trials. Thanks.
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      The dogmother. · 9 days ago
      @Frances @Frances, it's on Rightsnet.
      A friend posted it on Facebook.
      But she didn't add the link. 
      She just posted verbatim. 
      Sorry.
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      M shirker · 9 days ago
      @Frances Don’t know how to do the link but go to www.cambridge-news.co.uk then search for esa trial this is where i seen it but the dog mother i think has seen a different one referring to the numbers 
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    Holly · 10 days ago
    I have recieved a text from dwp saying my pip is been reviewed feel sick already another fight on my hands  last time I had review was five years ago Ithey had to send an ambulance out because my anxiety
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Nina Jaques · 3 days ago
      @Holly Bless you I know that feeling I suffer from MS, OCD with severe anxiety disorder and every time I have to get citizens Advice to do my forms it gives me vertigo and I’m bedridden for 9 months after… they just won’t leave me alone either…
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    Vanessa bramley · 11 days ago
    I claim pip and because of my condition  my husband gad to finish work so this is the only income we have coming in.Its causing me great stress where I think I'm at fault and sometimes think ofending it all.If they stop my payments  then I know my anxiety will be out of control and I'm sure I speak for alot of other people.I just hope and pray the tories don't get in again and the same system will still be running for a little longer and  the government will change their mind
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    M shirker · 11 days ago
    I’ve read the article this morning says Dwp are going to send out some esa to uc migration letters to “test things out”first hope I’m not one of the unlucky ones?just another worry on top of the other worries I’m clutching at straws now with it but hope I’m not one of the test cases then labour pauses and delays it for a further 6-12 months 
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      Cst · 9 days ago
      @M shirker I hear you god I cant take the constant worry not knowing what will happen this is not living 
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      M shirker · 9 days ago
      @The dogmother. The Dog Mother ive read it says Ipswich and Wolverhampton so far Blackpool been at the end of things I’m still esa wrag group since 2018 so bet they can’t wait till see me although I think labour is gonna scrap the wca anyway 
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      The dogmother. · 10 days ago
      @M shirker @M shirker Look at my comment from three days ago ,below. It tells the areas and how many. I get it because I'm dreading it too. 
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    psgaines · 12 days ago
    Im an expat in France, and get my PIP care compant as its an exportable benefit. Obviously no mor
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    Marion · 13 days ago
    Thanks to the Tories' sneaky change in law (I know lots of old and sick Labour voters who cannot afford the voter ID or can not manage to get it due to illness) we might lose 8 million left-orientated voters for the next general election. If the Tories win again, the ballot box will disappear altogether, because thanks to Brexit we lost our Human Rights. Voting for a small party NOW keeps the Tories in power. Labour (hate Starmer or not) will lower the voting age AND give voting rights to the resident EU-citizens, so if Labour wins only ONCE, we will get millions more democracy-orientated voters for the future, which will then finally give small parties more chances for the future. But we need those extra voters FIRST. The alternative: a fast Tory-slide into a full-blown dictated Police State of dystopian fascism❗💀
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    Marion · 13 days ago
    None of my comments have ever appeared here. Even my likes ("ups") are disappeared when I come back here. Is the comment section only for people who can afford to pay or what is going on?
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    Angela Power · 13 days ago
    I cant understand why the government is trying to get people with mental health into work. 
    This is causing me extreme stress and unnecessary worry to the point I wish I was dead. I did'nt ask to have mental health problems  and I believe being bullied is not the answer .Please leave us be as this is going to cause more suicides .  This has to be stopped and human rights should be involved.
    the government should hang their heads in shame .
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      Velma Dublin · 5 days ago
      @Angela Power I,ve been feeling that way for a couple of weeks now it,s just terrible not knowing how your going to survive if they take away your PIP
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    Alice Walker · 14 days ago
    Rightsnet have a headline that suggests that the DWP are starting a trial of moving some ESA claimants this month, presumably to see if any of us have problems. Well if they come for me I'm going to stick my heels in, I cannot go to thw jobcentre and I can't use the phone. I have no-one to help me with my claim, I have always had all my ESA assessments as paper based. They have not made any plans for people like me, I will make sure I document everything and send all the evidence to my MP and possibly the press of they fail to migrate me successfully. I won't be the only one with thia issue and if it's my destiny to be the canary then so be it...
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      The Dog Mother · 12 days ago
      @robbie @robbie Extreme sympathy for them. The situation is dire, UC needs abolished. I am beyond terrified of the entire process.
      I'd say this even if I wasn't involved in the current migration They should have left it until 2028.
      Was bad enough knowing it was coming up. But I always had an a hunch it was never going to be 2028. They saw how many dropped off claiming in the other UC groups and how much they saved.  We are next. 
      But I cannot see they'll save any where near as much this time round on the sick and disabled who can't work.
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      robbie · 13 days ago
      @The dogmother. Sympathy for the chosen claimants, but here's hoping dwp find out just how difficult it's going to be to do this, and 'learn' they can't accelerate the process.
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      The dogmother. · 13 days ago
      @Alice Walker Wolverhampton and East Suffolk local authority areas. 500 split over those areas. As a "learning" exercise.
      Absolute hell. I don't know what they think they'll learn by this stage in UC, that they don't already know,that it can ruin people's lives. Esp those with health problems. 
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    Leslie · 14 days ago
    The last 13 years of the conservative government have made more people poorer there is more food banks than money banks more charity shops than general stores on the high street. Their policys have bought the NHS to collapsing hospital are falling down waiting list are getting longer every week. The crime rate is up. There is 200.000 jobs available 3 million people out of work. And what is the government going to do about it ???. Blaming the disabled people of this country it's their fault so we are going to take their money away and give them a voucher I hope the people of this wakes up in July and vote these useless people out of government before it's to late before we get past the point of no return. 
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Gee · 13 days ago
      @Leslie You're right, it's become a toxic blame culture and they wonder why MH problems are increasing.  Care has followed it too. This USA style blame culture needs to go.
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      Gee · 13 days ago
      @Ani Sometimes Ani, a tactical vote has to be contemplated no matter how unclear or unpalatable it seems.  Labour voters need to get behind the party and then do any bickering about who is to lead them after the election.  If not, chaos, infighting will just be splitting the voting public, which is what the Tories want to happen as this will let them straight back in.  I just wish Labour would offer to say they will sort out the collapsed care system (not collapsing, it has long collapsed into making people fit a given budget and not the budget fitting the person, complete shortages of carers of all kinds, home care, care homes, nursing homes leaving many frustrated clients and relatives who've never been in the position before of needing care for themselves or a relative, because care they were expecting to be there to be put in place simply gets a sorry there's nobody to pick up your call from care managers, and nothing further leaving them to care or go without.) So yes, we need Labour to say not only that they will put a heck of a lot more money into the care sector, and properly over seen so that it does fulfill needs and choices and encourage the right workers in, not just fills managers and share holders profits.  Also that they will at the least, stop the blame culture in the DWP sector in order to save money too. 
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Aw · 13 days ago
      @Ani We don't know that for certain, they could just be looking to get more swing voters. We DO know what the Tories have planned for benefits, and it's catastrophic. Vote to keep the Tory out will always be my choice. If you google tactical vote uk there is a website that will tell you which party beats the Tory in your area.
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Ani · 14 days ago
      @Leslie But whom should we vote for? Labour are just Tory "lite". They want to keep most of the Conservatives' policies in place. 
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    Graham Stewart · 14 days ago
    Alison Ms Govern is quoted as saying "The autonomy and routine of work is good for us all, for our mental and physical health—and more than that, for women, work is freedom, too.”... 
    Over the gates of Auschitch were the words "Arbeit Macht Frei can be translated as “Work sets one free“. It was meant to encourage prisoners to work harder and gave them hope of being free again. However, after a few months, every person inside the Camp knew, that getting freedom back is not an option.... (Discovercracow.com). 
    Those statement are worryingly similar... 
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      Marion · 12 days ago
      @Graham Stewart I was thinking that! I am from East Germany. Fascist brainwashing! But let's hope she is just trying to catch pending (ex Tory) voters. After all Labour have about 50% psychopaths, but the Tories are 99% psychopaths! So with Labour there will be infighting and U-turns aplenty, but that slows the destruction process down compared to giving the Tories ANOTHER green light for it!
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Mary · 13 days ago
      @Graham Stewart That's spine chilling. Work sets one free. What bad times we're living through. 
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Gee · 13 days ago
      @Graham Stewart Graham, "And then they came for me ..."
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      The dogmother. · 14 days ago
      @Graham Stewart Many people with mental health problems and physical conditions are incapable of work so it's a bit of a moot point where they are concerned.
      I love their one size fits all approach. The fact they think they know more than medical professionals, who incidentally don't lie to get-keep their patients on benefits. 
      The entire fuzzy logic is pathetic and  dangerous.
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Ani · 14 days ago
    Both PIP and UC, in the first yeas they were rolled out, were found to violate international law. That was according to two separate United Nations reports. MPs railed against disability cuts that denied us help and equipment and begged the government to stop withholding the first two months' UC pay which left thousands unable to pay rent. (Cue the homelessness crisis!)

    Amid the cries and chaos, if we had been more organised, my fellow claimants, and if a legal team had been high-minded enough to do it, we could have collectively sued the government over these illegal and unethical policies. But our supporters in the legal field offered instead to guide us through the new processes. 

    In other words, we didn't fight, we adapted! We remained divided, each trying to claw our own share back of the old benefits. It was a sink-or-swim moment, totally understandable given our limitations (that's why they pick on us, after all). 

    If we could just remain united, refuse to cooperate, sue the criminals now before they leave office, we could put a stop to this continuing violation of human rights. 


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