DWP announces further consultation on PIP

Reblogged from http://wearespartacus.org.uk/dwp-announces-further-consultation-on-pip/

Note: Guardian article now also available: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/jun/18/fight-for-disabled-people-mobility

Graphic depicting someone walking with a crutchThis is the press release I’ve put out today on the DWP’s announcement of a new consultation on the mobility component of PIP:

Disability campaigners welcome today’s announcement that the Government will re-consult on the mobility component of Personal Independence Payment, which replaces Disability Living Allowance for working age disabled adults. Organisations and individuals have been campaigning vigorously on this issue since we were shocked to hear, in December last year, that the walking distance criteria for the mobility component, and therefore for assistance from the Motability scheme, had been tightened from 50 metres to 20 metres.

A disabled man, Steven Sumpter, issued legal proceedings in March arguing that the consultation process on the new benefit was flawed because the Secretary of State did not consult on the proposal to introduce the new benchmark distance of 20 metres. This was only introduced after all the consultation stages had passed. Consultees were therefore denied the opportunity to comment on the proposal or to explain to the Secretary of State how such a restriction to the benefit will affect them and their independence.

For many years the distance of 50 metres has been accepted as an appropriate distance criteria to determine limited walking ability – including for eligibility for the blue badge, for guidance to achieve an accessible built environment, in relation to other benefits such as Employment and Support Allowance and, through legal precedent and practice, for determining whether a claimant is ‘virtually unable to walk’ for the purposes of Disability Living Allowance.

Jane Young, an independent campaigner working with the We are Spartacus network, says:

“We are relieved that the DWP is to reconsider. Our concern in relation to the 20-metre distance is that disabled people with limited walking ability, who are dependent on their Motability car or other independent mobility solution funded by their allowance, would lose their eligibility and be unable to make essential journeys – to work, to visit their GP, to hospital appointments or to social activities. We fear many would effectively become isolated in their own homes, with all the implications of that for their mental and physical health.”

Whilst the Government’s announcement is extremely positive, we remain cautious. We need to make sure that the views of disabled people and their organisations are taken seriously and that the ultimate decision focuses on meeting the needs of disabled people rather than being narrowly focused on cutting the cost of the benefit. The ability of disabled people to participate in society depends on support for independent mobility; this should be the focus of this fresh consultation.

Watch this space, and the We are Spartacus site, for further developments. We will do our best to ensure that DWP takes account of what we say this time!

13 thoughts on “DWP announces further consultation on PIP

  1. Thank you seems inadequate response for all your hard work on our behalf, the worry and stress caused from the changes in the benefit system is immense,

  2. Thank you for all the thanks, guys. We’re not there yet; we now need to recommence campaigning in earnest, to get the best we can out of this further consultation. We know DWP don’t have a good record of listening, but it’s never good to give up 🙂

  3. I am already confined to my home 6 1/2 day out of 7, and if it wasn’t for the kindnesses & caring of the local mobility shop & the care of the Dial a Ride drivers I wouldn’t be able to go out at all.

  4. I don’t think this is good! This is only being done because they know they will lose the Judicial review it won’t change the fact that they still keep the 20mtrs but they wont be able to be stopped after they’ve consulted and their decision will seem to have been made on a fair basis. This is bad, we wont be able to do anything about it after this! Mark my words! Sorry to be negative!

    Regards Sharon root

    From Sharon, Sent from my iPhone

  5. Hi Jane, thank you so much for this, yes we should be cautious do not trust them at all, but thank you. I h ope you are keeping well and all else is going okay. Karen Ashton called me a month or so ago, she was very nice and invited me to the hearing, but it is such a long way to go to Birmingham, but obviously I thanked her for that. She was very kind and said to call her at any time with any concerns.

    All the best Gill

  6. Thank you for all your hard work Jane. I have just been looking at April 13 http://www.dwp.gov.uk/supplying-dwp/transparency-in-procurement/what-we-spend/ for April as I wanted to see what Atos get paid. I was staggered at the sums involved. (i’m sure you have this info but thought other peeps might like a peek)
    I’m ESA support group migrated from IB. I can’t claim PIP as it has a residency and presence test and the DLA case law won’t apply. When ex-pats are not in support group and CB-ESA ends so does health cover on the old E121 system. I fear a lot of people under retirement age are due for a nightmare time. Personally I have another 26 years of outright terror when anything arrives in brown DWP envelope. I would love to be back at my nice managerial job rather than a bendy, fibro depressed ‘trailing spouse’ dependant on my husbands generosity! It was only by following you, Sue Marsh and Bendygirl that I kept my sanity when my ESA-50 arrived. So thank you again from the bottom of my Tachycardiac heart 🙂

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