Review of PIP and work capability (ESA) assessments

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Fiz

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Disabled pensioners freed from 'unnecessary' benefits checks

Disabled pensioners will no longer face "unnecessary" repeat assessments to continue receiving benefits, the work and pensions secretary will announce.

From this spring, about 270,000 people will not have personal independence payments (PIPs) regularly reviewed.

But a disability group said millions of younger people would "still be stuck in a failing system".

Amber Rudd is also due to increase a government target for getting a million more disabled people into work by 2027.

In a speech on Tuesday to the disability charity Scope, Ms Rudd is expected to say her blind father's experience influenced her plans to "level the terrain" for disabled people.

"My father became blind in 1981. For 36 years his blindness was a normal part of my family's life. Of my life," she plans to say.

"Disabled pensioners have paid into our system for their whole lives and deserve the full support of the state when they need it most."

Work and pensions secretary Amber Rudd will say her father's experience of blindness informed her decision

Under the current system, disabled people's benefits under the PIP system require regular reviews, annually or every few years, with less severe or temporary disabilities checked more frequently.

The result of the assessment determines the payments people receive to cope with the extra costs of living with a disability, such as mobility aids or adaptations in the home.

Pensioners will face fewer checks and may be able to fill in a form rather than seeing an assessor in person under the new system.

'Ally of disabled people'

Disabled campaigners have criticised the PIP reviews for failing to take proper account of mental health conditions and for putting disabled people's independence at risk by cutting support.

Ms Rudd is expected to say that she wants to "significantly improve" the support for disabled people from the Department for Work and Pensions.

"The benefits system should be the ally of disabled people. It should protect them and ensure that the assistance the government provides arrives in the right place to those who need it most," she plans to say.

She is also due to announce that she will merge the work capability assessment and the PIP assessment to create a more "joined-up" approach.

The work capability assessment determines what benefits people receive if their disabilities or illnesses affect their ability to work.

And Ms Rudd will also say she plans to review the government's target to get one million more disabled people in work by 2027 to make it "more ambitious".

'Stuck in a failing system'

Genevieve Edwards, director of external affairs at the MS Society, said 83% of people with multiple sclerosis who appeal against their PIP assessments are successful - and that demonstrates "how bad the current assessment process is".

"While it's good news that older disabled people will no longer have to go through unnecessary and stressful reassessments, millions of others will still be stuck in a failing system," she said.

Ms Edwards said that merging the two forms of assessment without fixing their flaws would be like "harnessing two donkeys to a farm cart and expecting it to transform into a race chariot".

Mark Hodgkinson, chief executive at disability equality charity Scope, said he welcomed the change to PIP assessments but said a "more radical overhaul" to the benefits system for disabled people was needed.

"Disabled people also want to see action taken to scrap counterproductive benefit sanctions. They make it harder for disabled people to get into work."

Fiz

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Offworld

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 >erm<
But wasn't ESA (except for the "new" type) supposedly going to be replaced with UC?
And what of people in areas of the country that have been fully switched to UC already?

** Rudd will also say she plans to review the government's target to get one million more disabled people in work by 2027 to make it "more ambitious". **

One dreads to think what that might really mean....

Fiz

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As far as I understand it, switching to UC won't stop the assessments, people will still need to have assessments which decide on which elements you are entitled to within the one payment.

KizzyKazaer

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"Disabled pensioners have paid into our system for their whole lives and deserve the full support of the state when they need it most."

Am I the only one who feels distinctly uneasy - and yes, irritable as well - at this statement?  Because the logical opposite of it, and the unsaid implication, is that younger disabled people haven't 'paid in all their lives' and therefore are somehow less deserving of support.  Already it feels like working-age claimants of any benefit are the 'undeserving poor', treated as if they are just plain old workshy, so IMO this sort of comment is only going to deepen the division I feel already exists between them and pension-age claimants.  Not clever, Amber Rudd!

SteveX

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"Disabled pensioners have paid into our system for their whole lives and deserve the full support of the state when they need it most."

Am I the only one who feels distinctly uneasy - and yes, irritable as well - at this statement?  Because the logical opposite of it, and the unsaid implication, is that younger disabled people haven't 'paid in all their lives' and therefore are somehow less deserving of support.  Already it feels like working-age claimants of any benefit are the 'undeserving poor', treated as if they are just plain old workshy, so IMO this sort of comment is only going to deepen the division I feel already exists between them and pension-age claimants.  Not clever, Amber Rudd!

I totally agree and feel the same way, however it's what I fully expect of that evil and despicable person.
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ally

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From the benefit and works site.

Amber Rudd’s announcement that claimants of state pension age will no longer have regular reviews has turned out to be both not entirely true

If Rudd had said that claimants of pensionable age would be reviewed less often and not usually have to have a face-to-face assessment, that would have been broadly accurate. If she had added that this change had already been largely in place since last summer, she would have been even closer to the truth.

In a written statement issued this morning and widely reported in the media, Rudd announced:

“We will improve and simplify the customer experience by no longer undertaking regular reviews of Personal Independence Payment (PIP) awards for claimants at or above State Pension age unless they tell us their needs have changed.”

However, a DWP press release on the .Gov website tells a slightly different story:

“Around 270,000 people receiving Personal Independence Payment (PIP) who have reached State Pension age will no longer have their awards regularly reviewed, instead moving to a light touch review every 10 years.”

Every ten years may not be frequent, but it does appear to be regular.

What is more, the 10 year “light touch” review process was announced by Minister for Disabled People, Sarah Newton as long ago as last June, before Rudd became work and pensions secretary.

And back in January of this year we published guidance for decision makers which has been in place since last August. The guidance makes it clear that most claimants of pensionable age should be subject to the 10 year light touch review:

“On-going awards for claimants can be reached in one of two ways:

“following advice from the AP that no review is required and the claimant’s restrictions on Daily Living/ and or Mobility are stable and unlikely to change significantly or they have very high levels of needs which will only deteriorate.

“and where the claimant is awarded enhanced/enhanced and their needs are not going to improve or would only deteriorate.

“Note: You may also consider an enhanced daily living award alone where the claimant is State Pension Age or over and has either not been awarded the mobility component or has been awarded the mobility component at the standard rate and their mobility needs are not going to improve.”

In other words, most pensioners who get an enhanced award of the daily living component or whose needs are stable were already covered by the light touch review system.

So, it’s a little surprising that Rudd claimed all the credit today when she announced:

“I want to change the landscape for disabled people in Britain

Monic1511

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“I want to change the landscape for disabled people in Britain"   the ultimate cynic in me says that landscape will be six feet under  >erm<
While a 10 year review is better than a 3 year review its also a lot of hassle.  Also consider that the definition of pensioner is changing as is the qualifying age for PIP. 

As for ESA being replaced with UC - everyone is being dragged over to UC eventually BUT because there are no disability premiums in UC they dont want to migrate anyone with a current ESA award, they want to find you fit, end your award and force you to make a new claim to ESA because then you wont have any transitional protections.

Remember the bottom line for the tories is that everyone is capable of some type of work. 
They have targetted the disabled and next up its the pensioners - mixed age couples after 15/05/19 are being told they will have to claim UC where they could be as much as £579/month worse off than a couple on pension credit on 14/05/19.

my heid is wasted with all this - I'm away to visit my parents 250 miles away so might not log in here for the next few days.  >dove<

Fiz

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I hope you have a restful time with your family manic