Despite hundreds of consultation responses explaining the devastating impact on people with significant walking difficulties of using 20 metres as the benchmark distance for eligibility for the enhanced mobility component of PIP* and therefore the Motability scheme, the Government has decided, as we suspected they would, to keep the assessment criteria the same. Whilst this is obviously a disappointment, there are several interesting features of the Government’s response to the consultation worth highlighting (although it’s impossible to unpack the whole document in one article). Continue reading
Note: Guardian article now also available: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/jun/18/fight-for-disabled-people-mobility
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. Continue reading
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.
The Spartacus movement has a dedicated site and a forum for all those who are affected by or concerned about the government’s proposals on welfare reform, especially the proposal to replace Disability Living Allowance (DLA) with Personal Independent Payment.
The We Are Spartacus website at http://wearespartacus.org.uk has been set up to provide an information hub for the Spartacus campaign on welfare reform. It contains all the Spartacus publications, including the original Spartacus Report and the Spartacus unofficial simplified versions of key consultation documents.
The Spartacus Forum, at www.spartacusforum.org.uk provides a dedicated place for disabled people to exchange ideas on welfare issues and has dedicated areas to help people understand and respond to the key consultations on Personal Independence Payment, which is set to replace DLA from 2013.
The government’s current draft proposals for Personal Independence Payment (PIP), the proposed replacement for Disability Living Allowance (DLA), are likely to lead to thousands of disabled people with significant mobility difficulties having their cars repossessed, leaving them unable to go out.
I have now had a chance to read most of the DWP’s draft document ‘PIP: Assessment Thresholds and Consultation’, published on 16 January 2012 (only one day before the Lords vote on DLA/PIP!), which should be read in conjunction with ‘PIP: Second Draft of Assessment Criteria’ published in November 2011. These documents have been published to pave the way for implementation of the Welfare Reform Bill. Continue reading