Last week, the UK Government announced changes to the eligibility criteria for Personal Independence Payments (PIPs) as part of the 2016 Budget, which would have seen the number of points awarded for aids and appliances and managing toilet needs as part of the PIP claimant assessment halved.
From the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP)'s own estimates, published by the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR), this would have resulted in 370,000 people currently in receipt of the daily living activity award losing this benefit (or if a new applicant, not qualifying) in 2020-21
- 290,000 re/applicants would lose their daily living award entirely (or, if a new applicant, not qualify); and
- 80,000 re/applicants would fall from the enhanced daily living activity award to the standard award.
We welcome the Government's decision to reverse these proposed changes, and call on the Government to consider further changes to the operation of Personal Independence Payments as it currently stands.
The Brain Tumour Charity has long expressed concerns about the assessment criteria used for Personal Independence Payments, and their impact on people affected by a brain tumour.
In 2014, we submitted a consultation response to the Independent Review on the Personal Independence Payment Assessment. As part of this response, we highlighted the issues raised by many of our supporters about the amount of time for decisions to be made, and the need for a carer/advocate to be present during assessment.
We also called for brain tumours to be included in the list of health conditions listed as requiring additional support through PIP, because of the level of cognitive impairment that many brain tumour patients face.
Last year, a survey of 1,003 adults commissioned by The Brain Tumour Charity found that 73% of respondents thought that people living with a disease that affects their mental capacity (for example, brain tumours) should be eligible for Personal Independence Payments.
In our continued commitment to improve life today for those affected by brain tumour we are shortly going to be launching a benefits and financial advice clinic which we will run in partnership with Citizens Advice Rushmoor watch this space for further details.