DWP plan could cut PIP payments for thousands of people - what we know so far

A couple looking at bills
A couple looking at bills -Credit:AndreyPopov

Proposed changes to the welfare system may result in thousands of individuals losing their Personal Independence Payments (PIP), a crucial source of income. New details around government proposals aiming to cut welfare expenses and offer fewer PIP cash payments have recently been unveiled.

Recently, ministers have voiced concerns over increasing costs related to PIP, arguing that the model, introduced ten years ago, is outdated. Major amendments proposed could mean people with mental health issues like anxiety no longer qualify for assistance.

Rather than providing cash to people with specific conditions, the government aims to enhance "access to treatment". The introduction of one-off grants to help with expenses such as home adaptations is also being examined as a way to control costs.

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This forms part of an overall strategy to move towards tailored support catering to individual needs instead of blanket payments. This extensive revamp of the PIP system will usher in major changes for millions presently receiving weekly payments of up to £184.

The proposal, currently undergoing a 12-week consultation period, has drawn criticism from disability activists. Now people are delving deeper into what the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has announced, reports Birmingham Live.

In an update on the future of payments, it was stated: "We are considering options including one-off grants to better help people with significant costs such as home adaptations or expensive equipment, as well as giving vouchers to contribute towards specific costs, or reimbursing claimants who provide receipts for purchases of aids, appliances or services. This reflects the fact that some claimants will have significant extra costs related to their disability, and others will have minimal or specific costs."

The statement further added: "While these alternative models help people with the extra costs of their disability or health condition, we know other forms of support including health care, social services care provision and respite are also important to help people to realise their full potential and live independently." It continued: "We are also considering whether some people receiving PIP who have lower, or no extra costs, may have better outcomes from improved access to treatment and support than from a cash payment."

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has acknowledged the shortcomings of the current disability benefits system, stating: "It's clear that our disability benefits system isn't working in the way it was intended, and we're determined to reform it to ensure it's sustainable for the future, so we can continue delivering support to those who genuinely need it most. Today's Green Paper marks the next chapter of our welfare reforms and is part of our plan to make the benefits system fairer to the taxpayer, better targeted to individual needs and harder to exploit by those who are trying to game the system."

He also added: "We're inviting views from across society to ensure everyone has a chance to make their voices heard and shape our welfare reforms."

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