From 2013, the Government is proposing to introduce a new benefit called Personal Independence Payment for people aged 16 to 64, to replace Disability Living Allowance (DLA). The Department for Work and Pensions is seeking views on proposals on the detailed rules that will underpin Personal Independence Payment. Closing date is 30 June 2012. Read and respond to the consultation here.
A number of concerns have been raised about the proposals in relation to young people with disabilities:
-> There is an undertaking that no disabled young person will lose their DLA prior to the completion of their PIP assessment, but they will have to request that assessment.
-> The descriptors attached to the 11 activities (9 for personal care and 2 for mobility) and the guidance for assessors are hard to follow and don’t carry appropriate values (there is a threshold of 8 points for basic and 12 points for enhanced payments, replacing lower, middle and higher rates).
-> Some things which were factors in assessing for DLA are absent from the new assessment, for example, night-watching, falls.
-> Some concern around the support young people will need during their assessments, for example the likelihood of their underplaying the impact of their impairments, the effect on their self esteem etc. (It’s unclear who will be exempt from a face to face assessment)
-> The suggestion that school / college provide assistance with the assessment – could be embarassing for the young person to go into intimate details in that environment.
-> The mobility element has only 2 activities attached to it – one is about planning a journey, but also includes “overwhelming psychological distress” associated with journeys, and the other one about physical disability with (fairly arbitary distances; 50 and 200 metres). No reference to the need for a social life, choices etc.
Every Disabled Child Matters (EDCM) have published a detailed response, which you can read here.