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Introduction of nationwide PIP assessments begins

30th June 2013

This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.

The government's controversial Personal Independence Payments (PIPs) system of assessing disability has come into force across England following the completion of a trial that was carried out in the northern part of the country.

Introduced against the backdrop of widespread dissent from some disability groups and charities, PIP is replacing the Disability Living Allowance (DLA) payments which were brought in during the 1990s. Whilst products such as affordable curved stairlifts can be purchased to improve convenience of movement around the home for people with mobility issues, campaigners against the rolling out of the new system claim that the disabled could be deprived of more basic provision if the current guidelines remain in place.

This BBC article goes into detail about what the changes involve and a full timeline for them courtesy of the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP), which shows that the full switchover from DLA to PIP will be concluded by May 2018. The article also features an interview with the MP responsible for overseeing the transition, minister for disabled people Ester McVey, and a representative of the disability charity Scope.

Amid warnings that as many as 600,000 people living with limited mobility in the UK could lose benefits as a result of the more vigorous PIP tests, McVey reemphasised what the government's official position has been since the changes were first proposed, acknowledging that 'what we've got to ensure is that the right people are getting the right support'.

The chances of this happening, however, have been brought into question by many, including the chief executive of Scope, Richard Hawkes, who noted that 'it doesn't help that the minister is able to predict exactly how many disabled people will receive support before they have even been tested'.

Growing older, as well as being born with or developing a life-changing disability, is something which almost inevitably results in it being a challenge to experience complete comfort every day. Items such as reclining chairs, however, can dramatically improve the lifestyle of those who need them, and it is vital that people deserving of financial assistance to cope with their disability are awarded it in full, regardless of political or economic concerns.

Image credit: Ricahrd Drdul (flickr.com)