Proposal to replace DLA with Personal Independence Payment
The Government set out its proposals to replace Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for working-age claimants with a new benefit: the Personal Independence Payment (PIP) in a Green Paper, Disability Living Allowance reform, published in December 2010.
The Government stated that the purpose of the proposed benefit will remain the same — to “contribute to the extra costs of overcoming the barriers faced by disabled people to lead full and active lives”. The benefit will also remain non-means tested and non-taxable, payment will not be dependent on claimants having paid sufficient National Insurance contributions, it will be payable regardless of employment status and it will continue to act as a gateway to other benefits such as Carers Allowance and the Motability Scheme.
The Government believes that the introduction of PIP will lead to an increased focus on those with the greatest needs; and a reduction in caseload and expenditure, achieved by revising the eligibility criteria and introducing an objective assessment for eligibility. Other key changes include: ending automatic entitlement for certain conditions and impairments; regular review of all awards; two rates in the “daily living” component (rather than three in the “care” component of DLA); and extending the qualifying period to six months.
The Government published its response to the consultation on the Green Paper proposals in April 2011. PIP will be introduced for all working-age claimants from 2013 (subject to the passage of the Welfare Reform Bill currently going through its parliamentary stages).
The Work and Pensions Committee has decided to conduct an inquiry into the PIP proposals which will focus on the following issues:
- The need for DLA reform, including: how well understood DLA is; why the DLA caseload and expenditure has increased; the effectiveness of the decision-making and review process for DLA.
- The implications of a reduction in expenditure, including: the implications of focusing on those with the greatest needs; the likely impact of having only two rates of PIP in the ‘daily living’ component; the number of current DLA recipients who would not be eligible for PIP.
- The extent to which overlaps in funding exist, particularly with local authority and NHS funding, and including for people in residential care or hospital.
- Whether automatic entitlement should apply to people with some conditions or impairments and whether some people should receive awards for indefinite periods.
- The implications of a six month qualifying period.
- The extent to which PIP will act as a gateway to other benefits, including Carers Allowance and the Motability Scheme.
- The design of the PIP assessment, including: the assessment criteria and design; whether the assessment can objectively assess those with mental, intellectual and cognitive conditions and with fluctuating conditions; and the extent to which aids and appliances should be taken into account in the assessment.
- The delivery of the PIP assessment, including: who should carry it out; the approach to tendering for the assessment contract; who should make the award decisions; whether there are lessons to be learned from the Harrington Review of the Work Capability Assessment; and interaction with other eligibility assessments.
- How DLA/PIP should apply to children and people over the state pension age
- The steps DWP needs to take to ensure that its reform proposals are clearly and effectively communicated to claimants and the general public.
- Transitional arrangements
Short submissions (no more than 3,000 words) are invited from interested organisations and individuals.
The deadline for written evidence is Friday 2 September 2011.