Action for M.E. responds on PIP
21 February 2011
On Friday, Action for M.E. responded to the Government consultation on replacing Disability living Allowance (DLA) with the Personal Independence Payment (PIP).
Our response was based on a national survey of 100 respondents.
The key points which emerged were:
- DLA is a highly valued benefit which many people with M.E. cannot do without.
- Government should retain the features of DLA which have been so effective, including passported benefits and means testing.
- Improvements could be made in the availability of support and advice when completing the application form, the understanding of M.E. amongst DWP staff, and the weighting given to evidence supplied by applicants own GPs, specialists and carers who know the applicant from day to day.
- Additional costs faced by people with M.E. and for which they rely on DLA are as varied as the manifestations of the illness. They include, but are not limited to: meals on wheels, complementary therapies and supplements not provided by the NHS, additional heating costs, transport costs for them and possibly a carer, employment of staff to assist with household and gardening chores/ maintenance and personal care.
- Three rates of payment should be retained for the care component of DLA to avoid borderline cases being excluded.
- Assessors should be appropriately trained in fluctuating conditions, and that the system should better accommodate variability and difficulties in sustaining activity.