Personal Independence Payment (PIP) Assessment Consultation
In 2010 the Government told us they wanted to change Disability Living Allowance (DLA) and replace it with the Personal Independence Payment (PIP) for everyone aged 16-64. A big part of the change is to cut back on the growing amount they were spending on DLA.
The Government expect about half a million less people to qualify for the new benefit (PIP) than they would if they had kept DLA. They will do this by getting PIP to focus on people with more severe needs – as the Government says PIP is intended to provide financial support for people who face the greatest barriers to participating in everyday life because of their disabilities. They want to start introducing PIP from April 2013 but they will trial it first in certain parts of the country (not London and the Southeast – that will be later that year).
In early 2011 they asked for individuals and organisations what they thought of the proposals. They got a massive response to these but generally they have proceeded with the plan to replace DLA with PIP. After some testing on around 900 people, the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) have now changed their first assessment test for the new benefit.
Your Opinions about PIP and a PIP Assessment
The DWP are asking for disabled people’s opinions (and carers) about the new assessment test to see who will get PIP. We are using the term ‘disabled’ to cover people with a range of severe ill-health and disabilities including mental ill-health, learning disabilities, those who are deaf or are blind or partially sighted. This consultation closes on the 30th April.
What is PIP?
Like DLA, PIP will still look at people’s daily living needs and mobility needs but it has narrowed down the things that they will take into account and it is a more medicalised test than the criteria they use for DLA.
PIP will have two components for daily living and for mobility and in each one they will have two rates – standard and enhanced. Unlike DLA there will not be a lower rate for care/daily living or mobility.
- Standard rate is for those who have limited ability to carry out these activities.
- Enhanced rate is for those who have a severely limited ability to carry out daily living or mobility activities.
The new assessment test also gives us the scores that will go with each level of activity that a person can or can’t do. They would need 8 points for standard rate and 12 for enhanced but these will prove quite tough to achieve for many people. A person would need 12 points on mobility to qualify for the blue badge.
What you can do
You have a choice:
We would like you to look at what you personally or the person you are caring for to look at what rate of DLA you or they are currently getting.
Then have a look at the new assessment criteria for PIP and work out what you or they would (or might not) get with the new system.
You could go through each section (there are 9 which are for daily living and two for planning and following a journey and moving around) and score yourself or the person you help care for against the new test.
As well as scoring, it would be a good idea as you go through to make notes on what you think are important needs that you have which have not been taken into account and what you agree or disagree with. These points can they go into your own personal response to the consultation or you can forward them to Richmond AID and we will include them into the response that we will be doing. Here is a link to the pages of the wearespartacus guide which gives you all the daily living and mobility activities: http://youngspartacus.files.wordpress.com/2012/02/daily-living-mobility-activities.pdf
You can answer some or all of the questions that the DWP has asked and send this to us at Richmond AID and the DWP.
You may not feel that you want to answer some of the questions as they may not apply to you or you are uncertain what to say. This is fine. It is helpful if you can answer those that you feel are most important to you. You can find the questions listed in the DWP consultation guide (see the link below) or in the wearespartacus guide to the PIP consultation below.
The two documents you will want to look at are the one produced by the DWP and the wearespartacus document, and we have put the links to these below.
Although the wearespartacus document guide to the PIP consultation may look long, the language in each section is quite helpful in explaining what the DWP questions are asking and how you may want to put your answers. This is a breakdown of what you will find in this helpful guide.
- Pages 1-16 of the wearespartacus guide look at the daily activities PIP will test.
- Pages 17/18 tells you about the scoring for PIP and the entitlement levels for stand and enhanced rates. For daily living this will make a difference to the amount you will be paid and for mobility it will affect the rate you get and whether you qualify for a blue badge, motability and linked concessions.
- Pages 19-26 are about the scores and entitlement level for mobility activities.
- Page 31 has information on DWP question 6 which is about how PIP will deal with fluctuating conditions (minimum of over 50% in 12 months to meet the higher score or descriptor in that activity they are testing).
- Page 33 looks at DWP question 7 which is how PIP will assess if a person can carry out an activity (including mobility) safely, reliably, in a timely manner and repeatedly. These are important explanations and it will be helpful for you to look and see if you think these are right.
- Pages 35-37 look at DWP question 8 which asks about the meanings of the terms the DWP will use when testing and scoring PIP for example: aid or appliance, assistance (physical intervention by another person), bathe (meaning to clean your torso, face, hands and underarms only), cook (meaning to heat food at or above waist height – so no bending down to use an oven counts). There is a long list of terms and meanings and you may disagree with some of these based on your own personal experience of need.
- Page 38 looks at DWP question 9 which asks about the assessment process for PIP including what happens if people don’t follow the rules for this.
- Pages 43-57 give case studies prepared by the DWP to show how people with different types and levels of ill health and disabilities would score based on the information shown about them. You may find a case study which matches your own health or disability needs and this will give you some idea of how you would be scored under PIP.
The following links will take you to the consultation document: http://www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/pip-assessment-thresholds-and-consultation.pdf
and to the detailed response guide by a national group of disabled people we have discussed in the bullet points above http://wearespartacus.org.uk/pip-consultation/
and http://youngspartacus.files.wordpress.com/2012/02/how-to-guide-for-pip-consultation-response.pdf (which gives tips on how to make your response).
It is important that organisations try and make their own separate response to this consultation but you are welcome to contribute to Richmond AID’s response also if you have some key points generally about the needs of the people who use your service.
What are Richmond AID doing?
We are responding to this consultation and we will publish our response on this website after the closing date of 30th April. We would like to include your responses in ours – it would be very valuable to us if you could send your responses to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
We would be grateful to have responses as soon as possible preferably by Wednesday 18th April.
Feedback session at the Disability Action and Advice Centre (DAAC), Teddington: we are inviting people who would like to join us at the Centre to talk through the assessment criteria and to help write up your thoughts, on Thursday 12 April, 3.00-5pm. Please do contact us to let us know if you are interested in joining this group.
There is more information available at the Spartacus website, here: http://wearespartacus.org.uk/spartacus-publications/pip-consultation-downloads/