More than half of disabled people in receipt of Disability Living Allowance (DLA) mobility component have their payments slashed or stopped completely when transferred to Personal Independence Payment (PIP).
PIP is replacing DLA for all adult claimants as part of widespread changes to the welfare system, and has been widely condemned by charities and disability rights campaigners who say the new system is cruel and unfair.
In reponse to a Parliamentary question earlier this month, the Minister for Disabled People Justin Tomlinson admitted that 52% of the 1.1 million people who have been reassessed for PIP saw their mobility component payments reduced or stopped.
Figures show that 13% of DLA claimants saw their mobility component reduced when moved to PIP, while 39% had the payment stopped entirely.
Campaigners argue that much of this is due to the introduction of the harsh 20-metre rule, which can see PIP payments cut if sick and/or disabled people are able to walk further. The distance used to be more than double this under DLA (50 metres).
According to the same official data, only 12% of DLA claimants were ‘better off’ in terms of their mobility award on moving to PIP.
Ken Butler, Welfare Rights and Policty Adviser at Disability Rights UK, said: “While the DWP does publish some PIP statistics it does not publish information that shows the actual effect of PIP 20 metre rule.
“It should not take a concerned MP to ask a parliamentary question for this information to be made public.”
He added: “The rule that confines higher PIP mobility awards only to those who can walk up to 20 metres must be scrapped.
“Instead, those awards must, as with DLA, include those disabled people who can only walk up to 50 metres who are likely to have exactly the same extra costs.
“The effect of reducing or removing disabled people’s mobility awards – on their independence, health or employment – has never been researched by the DWP. After 5 years of PIP its more than about time that it was.”