Sunday, December 8, 2019
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DWP scraps repeat benefit assessments for 290k disabled pensioners

Hundreds of thousands of sick and disabled older people will no longer be required to attend regular assessments to prove their entitlement to Personal Independence Payment (PIP), the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has confirmed today.

Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd announced in March 2019 that people receiving PIP who have reached State Pension age will no longer have their awards regularly reviewed, instead moving to a “light touch” review at 10 years.

The changes have been applied to all new PIP claimants who reached State Pension age before their planned re-assessment and whose health and circumstances are unlikely to change.

From today (9 July 2019) it will start to be applied to all existing Personal Independce Payment (PIP) claimants over State Pension age.

Work and Pensions Secretary, Amber Rudd MP. Photo: Chris McAndrew [CC BY 3.0]

The DWP estimates that around 290,000 pensioners in receipt of PIP will benefit from the change announced today.

PIP was introduced in 2013 to replace Disability Living Allowance (DLA) system, and has been the target of strong critism from charities, campaigners, politicians, and disabled people themselves.

The DWP claim “PIP is a fairer benefit, which assesses the way an individual’s health condition or disability impacts them while completing daily activities, such as cooking or taking a shower”.

The DWP has also announced a trial of video recording for face-to-face PIP assessments, in a bid “to improve transparency and build trust in the process”.

Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd (pictured above) said: “I want the benefit system to be a source of support for disabled people, not a source of worry.

“That’s why we’re scrapping needless PIP reassessments for pensioners whose situation is unlikely to change.

“This underlines our commitment to ensuring that the most vulnerable get the support they’re entitled to.”

Minister for Disabled People Justin Tomlinson said: “I want to ensure we live in a fair and decent society in which all of us, whatever age or ability, have an equal chance to live a fulfilling life.

“We are committed to ensuring that everyone receives the support they’re entitled to, allowing them to live independently.”

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