UK Government considers replacing £737 PIP payments with therapeutic support

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) claimants are set to lose £737 following the government's introduction of "skills bootcamps". DWP chief Mel Stride has confirmed the rollout of these bootcamps earlier this week, aimed at addressing job vacancies and providing a significant uplift for Brits out of work.

Stride also announced intentions to overhaul the welfare system, initiating a consultation to reform the Personal Independence Payment (PIP) scheme. This could result in a reduction of the current monthly PIP payments of £737.

Instead, claimants may receive therapeutic support and equipment designed to assist them in overcoming health barriers to employment.

"Therapy" is defined as treatment to be conducted at home that is prescribed or recommended by a registered medical professional such as a doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or a practitioner regulated by the Health Professions Council. It excludes the use of medication, whether taken orally, applied topically, or administered by any other means, and does not cover actions classified as "monitor a health condition", reports Birmingham Live.

The DWP has initiated a green paper this month with the aim to present proposals for 'modernising' PIP. The document states: "We would also like to know whether there are specific groups of people who have a need of a greater level of support than they currently receive, and whether this support should be financial or take a different form, such as improved access to healthcare (such as mental health provision or physiotherapy) or enhanced local authority support (such as care packages, respite or home adaptations). We will further explore ways of improving people's access to services in Chapter 4."

The green paper poses a question regarding the method of support provided: "Instead of cash payment, are there some people who would benefit more from improved access to support or treatment (for example, respite care, mental health provision or physiotherapy)? ".

In discussing the rationale behind the green paper, Mr Stride expressed his concerns: "I am concerned about the sustainability of the current model. Over the coming 5 years, PIP spending is expected to grow by 63% (£21.6bn to £35.3bn, 23/24 to 28/29). There are now over 33,000 new awards for PIP per month compared to 17,000 before the pandemic."

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