Monday 6 December 2010
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has today launched a consultation about its proposals to replace Disability Living Allowance (DLA) with a new benefit, Personal Independence Payment, in 2013/14.
The DWP website says: “The Personal Independence Payment will continue to be a non-means tested, extra costs benefit.”
Proposals include a new objective assessment, no automatic entitlements to benefit except for the terminally ill and a six-month qualifying period (where there is the expectation of a further six months’ illness) - before an award can be made.
The document says: “As well as providing cash support, DLA currently entitles or ‘passports’ the individual to other help and support. We recognise the importance of this feature and will take it into account in developing our reforms.
“In addition, we will consider how the benefit interacts with other forms of support, for example adult social care, and explore whether it is possible to share information at the assessment stage and eliminate areas of overlap.”
A summary extract from the consultation paper is given below. Proposals relate to England, Wales and Scotland.
Action for M.E. will start to consult with people with M.E. as soon as possible after reviewing the document in more detail.
The Government consultation will be open until 14 February 2011.
Extracts from the executive summary
The consultation document says Personal Independence Payment will:
- be easier to understand and more efficient
- prioritise support those individuals who face the greatest day-to-day challenges and who are therefore likely to experience higher costs
- require individuals to qualify for the benefit for a period of six months and be expected to continue to qualify for a further six months before an award can be made
- have two components: (1) ‘Mobility’ component, based on the individual’s ability to get around; (2) ‘Daily Living’ component, based on their ability to carry out other key activities necessary to participate in everyday life
- only be available to people with a long-term health condition or impairment
- carry no automatic entitlements, other for people who are terminally ill, but look at each case individually
- involve an objective in-depth assessment of individual need which gathers information from the individual and professionals who support them, including a face-to-face meeting with an independent healthcare professional
- take greater account of aids and adaptations in the assessment
- require periodic review of all awards, with penalties if an individual knowingly fails to report a change that would have resulted in a reduction in benefit.
- signpost claimants to sources of support or give them the opportunity to discuss their health condition or impairment with an appropriate professional.
- be introduced in 2013/14, when Government begins reassessing the working age (16-64 year olds) caseload. (Government is also considering whether to reassess children and people aged over 65).