DWP considers changes to PIP system in cost-cutting drive

A disability charity said: "Being offered vouchers is more than an insult"
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The DWP is looking at moving away from the blanket PIP payment for all in favour of a system more tailored to individuals. There is concern that these changes could disadvantage many disabled people.

Proposals on the table include replacing cash payments with vouchers and requiring claimants to initially use their own funds before being reimbursed, ensuring the DWP can track how much claimants spend to meet their needs, reports Birmingham Live.

Disability Rights UK said in response to the vouchers proposal: "Being offered vouchers is more than an insult; it is dangerous. We all want the right support when needed, and vouchers will not improve our lives.

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"Instead, they will shut us off from our communities, leaving thousands without access to crucial services and support. This never-ending focus on tackling the myth of individual fraud costs billions – which everyone but this government would rather spend on providing a proper social safety net."

The 'Modernising support for independent living: the health and disability Green Paper' released by the DWP states: "PIP was designed to help disabled people and people with long-term health conditions by making a cash contribution towards their extra costs. It does not require any calculation of these costs, nor does it require recipients to spend their award in a particular way.

"Some people on PIP may have relatively small one-off or ongoing additional costs related to their disability or health condition that are fully covered by their award while others may find the current system does not provide enough support to meet their needs. We want to consider whether supporting people through direct, regular cash payments is still the best approach, or whether other approaches would better target our resources, delivering the right support to the people who need it most.

"We want to know whether there are potentially groups of people who might need more than the current system provides, and what kinds of support they need. Different models are used in other countries.

"For instance, in New Zealand, people submit supporting medical evidence verifying their health condition and also provide estimates of their additional costs, which are then approved for an ongoing award. In Denmark, awards for extra costs are determined on a case-by-case basis and issued by local government."

The plans are currently under review during a 12-week public consultation period.