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PIP rules, along with potentially other state benefits such as Universal Credit, are on the verge of being upended as the Government released details on a new National Disability Strategy. Both Boris Johnson and Thérèse Coffey, the Work and Pensions Secretary of State, welcomed the developments.
The Government confirmed the National Disability Strategy will allow:
- Disabled people to benefit from plans to upgrade job support and opportunities, housing and transport
- The improving accessibility of homes, with £300million investment in support for children with special educational needs and disabilities in schools and an online work passport to help disabled students move seamlessly from education to work
- Plans to consult on disability workforce reporting for businesses with more than 250 staff to emerge
Boris Johnson welcomed the news (Image: PA IMAGES/GETTY)
The strategy, according to the Government, sets out 100 immediate commitments supported by £1.6billion of funding alongside an “ambitious” agenda for future reform.
Mr Johnson commented: “Just as our talented Paralympians are set to take the stage in Tokyo next month, at home we are harnessing that same ambition and spirit, to build a better and fairer life for all disabled people living in the UK.
“Our new National Disability Strategy is a clear plan – from giving disabled people the best start in school to unlocking equal job opportunities, this strategy sets us on a path to improve their everyday lives.”
Ms Coffey also said: “The result of an unprecedented endeavour across Government, this national strategy will help level up opportunity and improve the everyday experience of disabled people, whether that is at home; travelling on public transport; using the local high street or going online; enjoying culture, the arts or the great outdoors; and exercising civic roles like jury service and voting.
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“It sets out the practical actions we will take now, alongside clear accountability for delivering them, as well as renewing our ambition to do even more as we build back fairer.”
Within the official strategy presented to Parliament, the DWP highlighted potential changes coming for PIP claimants.
It was detailed within the report: “DWP is also exploring options to reduce the frequency of repeat Work Capability Assessments (WCA) and Personal Independence Payment (PIP) assessments, to avoid assessments where a change of award is unlikely.”
PIP can be claimed by those who have a physical or mental health condition(s) where they have had difficulties with daily living or getting around (or both) for three months and expect these difficulties to continue for at least nine months.
PIP assessment rules may change (Image: EXPRESS)
Where PIP is claimed, which can be done over the phone, through textphone or through the post, the following assessment process will likely be followed:
- Claimants will receive a letter asking them to fill in a form called “Award review – how your disability affects you”
- Claimants will need to fill in the form using provided explanatory notes
- The form and any supporting information will need to be sent back to the DWP within one month. A PIP enquiry line can be contacted if more time is needed
- The DWP will review the form. If more information is needed, an independent health professional may phone the claimant to ask some questions, or a letter will be sent inviting the claimants to an assessment. These assessments can be in person, over the phone or by video call
- Following this, claimants will be sent a letter telling them what will happen with their PIP payments
Continued assessments may also be utilised to ensure PIP claimants receive appropriate payments.
PIP payments themselves are split into two elements, a daily living part and a mobility part.
Claimants may get income from both of these elements and the daily living part will pay either £60 or £89.60 per week.
Mobility payments will pay either £23.70 or £62.55.