The culmination of forum discussions, facebook help-a-thons, website comments and the Spartacus PIP survey is an evidence-based, high quality, forensically detailed response to the consultation on the proposed assessment for Personal Independence Payment (PIP). The document, which includes a foreword by Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, was submitted to the DWP yesterday afternoon. The WeareSpartacus community has published it so all those who are concerned about the Government’s proposals can use it to fight for a benefit that works for disabled and sick people.
The document includes a huge number of recommendations, some major and overarching and some detailed and technical. It’s hard to identify our ‘key’ recommendations, but here’s a taste:
- The addition of a new activity based on the need for general supervision
- That the activity of bathing incorporate the cleaning of the entire body, including limbs and extremities
- That significant changes should be made to recognise the difficulty and expense surrounding the management of incontinence
- That the difficulties associated with being unable to handle paperwork and write be taken into account in relation to communication and managing finances
- That points awarded take account of the high cost of some aids and appliances such as voice synthesisers
- That the benchmark for considering wheelchair use be increased from 50m to 200m
- That more account be taken of the need for walking aids (other than wheelchairs), especially those that need both hands to be used
- That, in addition to asking whether the claimant can undertake an activity safely, reliably, repeatedly and in a timely fashion, the assessment should also ask what the claimant can do without severe discomfort.
- That the Government ‘take every regulatory, contractual and advisory opportunity to ensure that problems reported with the WCA… do not occur in the PIP assessment’.
For details of all the recommendations, take a look at the document!
In the response, the WeareSpartacus community also urged the Government to give careful consideration to some overarching issues we’re all concerned about – for example, the danger that the introduction of PIP will seriously compromise disabled people’s independence and will increase costs for other public services such as the NHS and local councils.