DWP PIP claimants expected to see ‘big changes’ as Labour government settles in

Person checking their benefits
-Credit: (Image: GETTY)

Personal Independence Payments, or PIP, is the country’s leading disability benefit but could be facing some major reforms under the new Labour government. Following the landslide victory for Labour on Thursday, offering the party a staggering Parliamentary majority, they are expected to start enacting their manifesto pledges.

Although the party remained tight-lipped on the specifics around its welfare reforms in the lead-up to the general election, PIP and Universal Credit are seemingly among the party’s priorities to address. Labour MP Alison McGovern previously told i that the welfare system requires “big changes” and that the PIP-specific changes need to support more accurate assessment decisions while tackling the backlog of applicants.

The manifesto notes: “Our system will be underpinned by rights and responsibilities – people who can work, should work – and there will be consequences for those who do not fulfil their obligations. Long waits for treatment of health conditions, particularly mental health, are contributing to the rise in economic inactivity. Labour will reform employment support so it drives growth and opportunity.”

The changes around PIP and other benefits will focus on moving recipients into work where appropriate and Labour pledged to “work with local areas” to better support people through this change. One of the biggest aims highlighted in the manifesto is: “We will tackle the backlog of Access to Work claims and give disabled people the confidence to start working without the fear of an immediate benefit reassessment if it does not work out.

“We believe the Work Capability Assessment is not working and needs to be reformed or replaced, alongside a proper plan to support disabled people to work.”

While no plans have been cemented on how these changes will look for recipients directly, the Conservatives outlined their exact plans for PIP ahead of the election more focused on tackling the spending behind the benefit. Plans to replace the cash transfer of the benefit with vouchers, treatments and shopping schemes drew intense criticism just weeks before the election.