DWP says it will 'safeguard' certain PIP claimants in benefits crackdown

The government has broken its silence amid claims its Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) PIP reforms and crackdown could result in "serious harm". The government issued a response through the House of Lords amid reports of a PIP crackdown.

The DWP has introduced a new consultation and green paper on planned PIP reforms, including the axing of cash payments, introduction of a voucher or catalogue system, different criteria and changes to eligibility.

Labour peer Baroness Margaret Ritchie asked the Government in the House of Lords "what steps they plan to take to ensure that people are safeguarded from serious harm as a result of the new policies currently under consultation in relation to Personal Independence Payments (PIP)".

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Viscount James Younger said in response: "The purpose of the consultation is to open a conversation on Personal Independence Payment. The consultation is guided by three priorities: providing the right support to the people who need it most; targeting our resources most effectively; and supporting disabled people and people with long-term health conditions to live independently and reach their full potential. As we develop any proposals, we will carefully consider the impacts of any potential changes.

"We recognise that as a Department we come into contact with some claimants who are potentially very vulnerable. We have a range of policies and procedures in place to help those individuals with difficult personal circumstances and/or life events to access benefits and use our services and will continue to provide this support should any changes be taken forward as a result of the consultation."

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is responsible for welfare, pensions and child maintenance policy. As the UK’s biggest public service department it administers the State Pension and a range of working age, disability and ill health benefits to around 20 million claimants and customers.