Disabled pensioners relieved from “unnecessary” repeat PIP assessments in new Government announcement
In a speech delivered by the Work and Pensions Secretary Rt Hon Amber Rudd MP to national disability charity Scope, disabled pensioners will no longer have to endure repeat assessments to continue receiving PIP.
Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is a financial benefit designed to support people with the associated extra costs as a result of their long-term health conditions or disabilities.
However, from spring onwards, 270,000 people in Britain will be free from having their PIP regularly reviewed.
Amber Rudd MP commented: “This government intends to change the landscape for disabled people: to level the terrain and smooth their path.
“The Department for Work and Pensions holds many of the levers to enable disabled people to achieve their potential, and lead positive, fulfilling lives.”
Currently, people receiving PIP are required to be reassessed and reviewed annually or every few years, depending on the severity of their condition. This review process is designed to ensure people are receiving fair payments to cope with their disability or condition.
However, the new change means that pensioners will only be reviewed every decade and that they may be able to fill in a form rather than seeing an assessor in person.
As well as the latest PIP change, Amber Rudd MP also said: “I will be reviewing our goal to get one million more disabled people in work by 2027. We can do more, and I want to set a new and more ambitious goal.
“We want to remove barriers and create more opportunities. We want to enable people to achieve their goals.”
Despite the positive news, disabled campaigners have criticised PIP for still leaving many other claimants in a “failing system.”
Genevieve Edwards, Director of External Affairs at the MS Society, commented: “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.
“The fact 83% of people with MS who appeal their PIP cases win shows how bad the current assessment process is.”
This is not the first time PIP has been criticised.
At the start of January, almost one-quarter of Sunderland claimants receiving disability benefits had their payments stopped due to the PIP scheme, which Scope labelled “deeply worrying.”