Inclusion London opposes the introduction of PIP assessment

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Inclusion London opposes the introduction of PIP assessment

The government intends to abolish Disability Living Allowance and replace it with PIP for those of working age from 2013.

01/09/2011

Inclusion London totally opposes the introduction of the rigid, tick box Personal Independence Payment (PIP) eligibility assessment, proposed by the government.

The government intends to abolish Disability Living Allowance and replace it with PIP for those of working age from 2013. It also plans to cut the cost of the benefit and the number of claimants by 20%. Inclusion London believes this will increase the poverty of disabled people. The government’s proposals are contained in the Welfare Reform Bill, which is through its final stages in parliament.

Personal Independence Payment has daily living and mobility components, which can be received either at a standard or enhanced rate. PIP will involve a new eligibility assessment, which will cover a prescribed list of daily living and/or mobility living activities.

Inclusion London has responded to the government’s request for views of the initial draft criteria for the PIP assessment, highlighting a series of concerns including the composition of the ‘Assessment Development Group’, which designed the assessment. The majority of the group consisted of health and social care professionals and government officials and only had one person representing disabled people and their organisations. This has resulted in an assessment which looks at what a person can and cannot do, following the medical model of disability.

The assessment is crude and rigid and appears to be going down a similar road as the Work Capability Assessment, which has resulted in many faulty decisions overturned on appeal.

The assessment categories do not take sufficient account of various issues such as the increase in pain and fatigue when a task is repeated over the course of a day, conditions that fluctuate, or other factors such as steps.

We recommend that the current assessment for DLA is retained. Alternatively we would support an assessment which examines the actual financial cost to disabled people of overcoming the barriers to independence and equality, which would follow the social model of disability.

For more information read Inclusion London’s response to the government’s request for views of the initial draft criteria for the PIP assessment, (available to download from the right hand column)

The Welfare Reform Bill is available at: http://services.parliament.uk/bills/2010-11/welfarereform.html

Inclusion London’s response to the Welfare Reform Bill consultation on the Bill is available at: www.inclusionlondon.co.uk/Welfare-Reform-Bill-info-paper