DLA Reforms : The Facts at a Glance
DLA Reforms :
The Facts at a Glance
If the proposed changes go though, DLA will cease to exist in 2013-14 and will be replaced by the Personal Independence Payment (PIP) for new claims in April 2013. The government also proposes that during 2013/14 it will start a programme of re-assessing pre-existing DLA claimants under the new PIP rules.
The plans are to cut 20% of the DLA caseload.
The reasons given for DLA reform are not robust, with little evidence to support the case for reform and, more importantly, no independent academic research. (Broken of
Nearly one in ten of those who took part in a recent survey – most of whom were disabled people or carers – said death or suicide were possible outcomes of disabled people losing their DLA.
Many people will lose money and quality of life as the aids and adaptations they use to enable them to live with some degree of independence with their impairment or long-term health condition are considered to negate the need for financial support under PIP.
Claimants may stand to lose a lot of money by exploring the aids and adaptations available to them – a perverse dilemma.
The current system allows for people with certain health conditions or impairments to have automatic entitlement to specified DLA components. The DWP proposes to end this, every case (except for people who are terminally ill) requiring separate assessment.
Private companies who have been offered incentives to remove people from the system will be contracted to run the assessment process, which will include meeting with an ‘independent’ healthcare professional (not necessarily a qualified doctor) employed by the assessors .
Disability Living Allowance (DLA) is currently one of the most effectively targeted benefits
Personal Independence Payment (PIP), the replacement for DLA, will have no automatic entitlements. The link between your medical record of disability and your benefit will be broken.
There will be two components: “mobility” and “daily living”, each with two rates. This seems to be a device to abolish the lowest rate of the current care component, pushing many claimants out of DLA entitlement.
Claimants “will have to qualify for the benefit for a period of six months and be expected to continue to qualify for a further six months before an award can be made”. This doubles the qualifying period before a claim can be made.
DLA is in a number of instances linked to qualification for premiums within means-tested benefits (as well as exemption from the proposed benefits “cap”). It also acts as a passport to other services and concessions, including the Blue Badge scheme; and there is a link between DLA (mobility component) and provision of a vehicle under the Motability scheme. These connections will be "taken into account" in designing PIP. These links need to be protected. (RNIB)
This new assessment will test the functional impact of a person’s disability. Yet the cost of living with a disability can not be accurately measured in this way. Rather, disability-costs are driven by a range of factors, including employment status, housing and transport. This means many disabled people with less complex needs but very high disability-costs will be left without vital support.
DLA reforms : Our Concerns
Federation of Disabled People
DLA reforms lead disabled people ‘to question value of their own lives’