Some important news with regard to Personal Independence Payments (PIP) and proposed changes

Following recent news about proposed changes to the PIP scheme, we thought it was important that we shared an update that our colleagues at Mind national have sent through, alongside a FAQ document that may be helpful. 

Personal Independence Payments (known as PIPs), were introduced as a replacement for Disability Living Allowance and are currently being 'rolled out' across the country. They are intended to be an additional sum of money to support people aged between 16-64 to help with the extra costs of disability or long-term health conditions. It is a non-means tested benefit. So getting it doesn’t depend on how much you earn, or whether you have savings or capital.

The following statement came to us from Mind national:

"At the moment the law says that people are entitled to financial support through PIP to help them with the additional costs of living with a disability. The amount someone is entitled to is based on a person’s ability to undertake certain activities, rather than on their diagnosis or condition. 

People can be awarded two different components according to their needs. The daily living component is awarded if someone is found to face extra barriers in their day-to-day life as a result of their disability. The types of activities it covers are: preparing food, managing therapy, bathing, managing toilet needs, communicating verbally and face-to-face, and making budgeting decisions. The mobility component is awarded specifically for barriers to planning and following journeys, and moving around. Each can be paid at either a 'standard' rate (meaning they receive less) or an 'enhanced' rate (meaning they receive more).

Few people with mental health problems currently get the 'enhanced' rate because of the guidance that the Government has given benefit assessors about how they should conduct assessments. But the principle of what people should be entitled to, as set out in law through primary and secondary legislation, is clear: people should be entitled to the enhanced rate whether they have a physical or mental health problem, if they meet the need. And late last year a court backed this position. 

However, the Government now want to change the law so that new claimants of PIP who are claiming because of a mental health problem won’t be able to receive the enhanced rate. They argue that they are just making the changes to clarify things and that nothing will change. However, we disagree and think that this change is against the spirit of the law and flies in the face of their commitment to parity of esteem.

If implemented the Government’s own analysis shows that 160,000 people who might otherwise be entitled to a higher rate would be affected." 

There is a Frequently Asked Questions document that may also be useful - you can find that HERE.

Mind and many other disability organisations are campaigning to try and make sure that people who need the support that a Personal Independence Payment can offer, continue to be entitled to it. You can see the statements from Mind by clicking HERE.