Since the Coalition Government first announced their intention to reform Disability Living Allowance and replace it with a new welfare benefit called ‘Personal Independence Payment’, there has been growing disquiet among Disabled People and Disabled People’s Organisations.
Despite an overwhelmingly negative response from over 5000 Disabled People, Charities and other interested organisations, the Government have currently shown no indication of changing their plans.
Disability Alliance are so concerned about this reform that they are considering taking legal action against the Government as they contend that the Department of Work and Pensions have failed to pay due regard to the Disability Equality Duty under the Disability Discrimination Act or their responsibilities under the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities.
The Work and Pensions Select Committee have also just announced their intention to hold an inquiry into the reform of Disability Living Allowance and issued a Call for Evidence.
The Government believes that the introduction of PIP will lead to an increased focus on those with the greatest needs; and a reduction in caseload and expenditure, achieved by revising the eligibility criteria and introducing an objective assessment for eligibility. Other key changes include: ending automatic entitlement for certain conditions and impairments; regular review of all awards; two rates in the “daily living” component (rather than three in the “care” component of DLA); and extending the qualifying period to six months.
SCIL will be submitting evidence to the inquiry and would encourage Disabled People who are interested to also submit their views. The closing date is 2 September 2011.