DWP issues update on PIP payments and assessments after reforms announcement

Minister for Disabled People, Health and Work, Mims Davies said there will be no immediate changes to PIP, or to health assessments.
Mims Davies Mp Minister For Disabled, Health And Work -Credit:Copyright Unknown

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has provided an update on the current status of PIP (Personal Independence Payment) payments and assessments.

It comes after an announcement about proposed reforms to the disability benefit. The DWP confirmed that there will be "no immediate changes to PIP, or to health assessments".

Mims Davies MP, Minister for Disabled People, Health and Work, said: "All scheduled PIP assessments and payments will proceed as normal, and claimants should continue to engage as usual and provide any necessary information or updates regarding their circumstances."

Her remarks were made in a written response after Labour MP Imran Hussain asked whether the DWP has "made an assessment of the potential impact of proposed reforms to Personal Independence Payment on the mental wellbeing of people who become ineligible as a result of those changes".

The Bradford East MP also questioned if there have been discussions with the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care about the "adequacy of availability of Government-funded mental health services".

In reply, the DWP Minister stated: "Modernising Support for Independent Living: The Health and Disability Green Paper looks at different options to reshape the current welfare system so that we can provide better targeted support to those who need it most.

"We are considering these options through our 12-week consultation which was published on Monday 29 April and will close on Monday 22 July at 11:59pm. Further analysis of these options will consider potential impacts on claimants with different health conditions."

Ms Davies added: "There will be no immediate changes to PIP, or to health assessments. All scheduled PIP assessments and payments will proceed as normal, and claimants should continue to engage as usual and provide any necessary information or updates regarding their circumstances."

The DWP Minister's comments on NHS support pertain to NHS England, as health services are a devolved matter. She stated: "The Government is committed to continuing to expand and transform NHS mental health care so that more people can access the support they need.

"The NHS forecasts that, between 2018/19 and 2023/24, spending on mental health services has increased by £4.7 billion in cash terms, compared to the target of £3.4 billion set out at the time of the NHS Long Term Plan. Of the key mental health commitments for the first 5-year period of the Plan, over half have been met, are on track to be met, or have exceeded their original target."

Ms Davies also urged everyone to respond to the consultation - which can be found here - so that the DWP is "able to hear from as many disabled people, people with health conditions, their representatives, and local stakeholders as possible on these important issues".

Following the annual adjustment on April 8, a successful claim for PIP or Adult Disability Payment (ADP) for those residing in Scotland is now valued between £28.70 and £184.30 each week in additional financial aid. Given that the benefit is paid every four weeks, this equates to between £114.80 and £737.20 per payment period, as reported by the Daily Record.

However, proposed alternatives in the 'Modernising support for independent living: the health and disability Green Paper' suggest a shift away from a fixed monthly cash transfer system, encompassing vouchers, a receipts system, one-off grants and purchasing products or services through a catalogue scheme.

Alternatives to regular cash payments.

The Green Paper elaborates that if DWP were to explore other methods of supporting individuals with disabilities and long-term health conditions - aside from providing regular cash payments - it could persist in contributing to people's extra costs through alternative models.

These could include:

  • Catalogue/ shop scheme: in this kind of scheme, there would be an approved list from which disabled people could choose items at reduced or no cost. This would likely work better for equipment and aids rather than for services.

  • Voucher scheme: in this kind of scheme, disabled people could receive vouchers to contribute towards specific costs. It could work for both equipment/aids and for services.

  • A receipt-based system: this would involve claimants buying aids, appliances, or services themselves, and then providing proof of their purchase to claim back a contribution towards the cost. This could work in a similar way to Access to Work, which provides grants for equipment, adaptations, and other costs to help disabled people to start and stay in work.

  • One-off grants: these could contribute towards specific, significant costs such as for home adaptations or expensive equipment. It could involve a person supplying medical evidence of their condition to demonstrate the need for equipment or adaptations.

You can read the full Green Paper and complete the online consultation on GOV.UK here.

The consultation will be open until July 23, 2024.

Sign up to our main daily newsletter here and get all the latest news straight to your inbox for FREE