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Government announces cuts to PIP

  • 14/03/2016
  • Author:MartinKitara

Cuts to Personal Independence Payments due to come in April 2017

Ian Duncan Smith

The government has announced that it will be restricting Personal Independence Payments for people that need support due to an illness or disability. Claimants can currently receive between £21.80 and £139.75 a week, paid every four weeks, and are assessed on a points based system that takes into account their ability to carry out everyday tasks. The changes will see certain activities, such as the ability to get dressed or use the bathroom unaided, technically re-evaluated so that they now will only accrue one point as opposed to two. It is thought that the move will see 640,000 losing some, or in a minority of cases all, of their PIP support.

The changes will see a saving of £1.2billion a year by 2010/21 and comes as the Chancellor prepares to give his budget speech this Wednesday, where he is likely to reaffirm his commitment to a self-imposed benefits cap. Last November the government scrapped plans to make cuts to tax credits but has promised reform the welfare benefits system to bring spending within the threshold.

Turn2us provides information on Personal Independence Payments including details about eligibility and how you can apply. You can also find out what support you might be entitled to by visiting our Benefits Calculator which provides an independent and accurate calculation of what welfare benefits you may be able to claim.

Announcing the changes Disabilities Minister Justin Tomlinson commented, “The introduction of Personal Independence Payments to replace the outdated Disability Living Allowance for working-age claimants has been a hugely positive reform.

“But it is clear that the assessment criteria for aids and appliances are not working as planned. Many people are eligible for a weekly award despite having minimal to no extra costs and judicial decisions have expanded the criteria for aids and appliances to include items we would expect people to have in their homes already.

“We consulted widely to find the best approach. And this new change will ensure that PIP is fairer and targets support at those who need it most.”

Turn2us Chief Executive Simon Hopkins commented: “The logical implication is that there are 640,000 people living with an illness or disability who are currently receiving too much financial support; as a charity that supports those living in poverty that is concerning. It may well be the case that the purchase of a handrail for instance shouldn’t of itself warrant a weekly allowance, but the criteria used to assess PIP gives insight into an individual’s overall need and the opportunity to afford a basic standard of living. There are numerous extra costs associated with living with a disability or illness and it is concerning that a number of those affected by these challenges will now be under an increased burden to afford these costs. ”

The changes are due to come into effect in January 2017.

 

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