Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is being scrapped in parts of the UK with 300,000 people to be moved on to a brand new benefit instead.
The massive change sees Adult Disability Payment start to be rolled out in Scotland from next month.
Over 300,000 people in Scotland on Personal Independence Payment and approximately 40,000 people on Disability Living Allowance (which PIP was intended to eventually replace) are expected to be moved across to the new scheme.
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It comes as the Commission on Social Security unveiled a radical new plan to get PIP abolished in England as well, recommending that it should be replaced by a new scheme paying up to £923 a month.
The Government’s report on possible changes to the system, in the Health and Disability Green Paper published in August 2021, suggested that improvements were needed. So what exactly will be happening this year?
PIP changes in Scotland in 2022
In Scotland, PIP is being replaced by a new Adult Disability Payment (ADP). It will be delivered by Social Security Scotland (created in 2018) rather than the DWP.
Adults of working age with a disability or health condition who are not already in receipt of PIP or Disability Living Allowance (DLA), and living in Dundee City, Perth and Kinross and the Western Isles local authority areas, will be first to be able to apply when Phase 1 rolls out on March 21, 2022.
Further council areas will be introduced in phases until Adult Disability Payment rolls out nationwide from August 29, 2022. Individuals who are already on PIP or DLA will then be transferred automatically to the new system with no break in entitlement or payment.
Over 300,000 people in Scotland on Personal Independence Payment and 40,000 people on the old Disability Living Allowance are expected to be moved across to Adult Disability Payment at that point.
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Minister for Social Security Ben Macpherson said: “Adult Disability Payment will be the twelfth Scottish benefit to be delivered by the Scottish Government since we gained limited powers over social security and created Social Security Scotland in 2018.
“ADP will also be the most complex and large-scale Scottish benefit yet, reaching up to a forecasted 339,000 people once the entitlements of all Scottish PIP and DLA recipients are transferred from the DWP.
“We know people have found applying for DWP disability benefits stressful in the past. That is why we have listened to their experiences as we have designed our new system, and we are committed to doing things differently.
“We are introducing an improved application process and, in contrast to the DWP system, we are removing the burden from individuals to provide supporting information, so that the onus will instead be on Social Security Scotland to collect the information we require.”
The introduction of Adult Disability Payment and extension of Scottish Child Payment to children under 16 will see a major increase in the number of people eligible for benefits in Scotland.
Social Security Scotland estimates it will ultimately make payments to 1.8 million people – around one in three people across the country.
PIP changes in England in 2022
As part of the benefits uprating of 3.1 per cent for the next financial year, PIP allowances will increase from April 11, 2022. These are as follows:
Daily living component
Standard – increasing from £60 a week to £61.85 a week
Enhanced – increasing from £89.60 a week to £92.40 a week
Standard – increasing from £23.70 a week to £24.45 a week
Enhanced – increasing from £62.55 a week to £64.50 a week
Although the rises are listed in weekly amounts, PIP is paid into accounts every four weeks.
The maximum you can get is the enhanced rate of both components. Some people are only deemed eligible for one component.
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In addition, the DWP has launched a trial of a new online service for first-time Personal Independence Payment claimants.
The DWP said: “The Health Transformation Program is committed to introducing an online service to claim PIP and to safely test the service, a limited number of first-time claimants in England will be given the opportunity to claim through the new online channel.”
The initial trial of the ‘Apply for PIP online’ service launched on January 26 and will last approximately six months.
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In addition, a new proposal by the Commission on Social Security would see PIP axed in England and replaced with what it refers to as a new Disability Benefit. It would pay higher rates and require only one assessment.
Since the DWP first brought in Personal Independence Payment (PIP), one-third (2 million) of the total number of claims made (6.2 million) have been challenged by the individual asking for the decision to be reviewed, in what’s called a mandatory reconsideration.
Of those, 39 per cent disagreed with the result of this reassessment and went on to lodge an appeal.
Scope recently analyzed Government data and found more than 12,000 disabled people are overturning wrong PIP decisions every month.
In his Health and Disability Green Paper, Minister for Disabled People Justin Tomlinson outlined a number of the issues with PIP.
Mr Tomlinson wrote: “There are a number of challenges relating to assessments. Many of these apply to both the PIP assessment and the WCA (work capability assessment), which is used on ESA (Employment and Support Allowance) and UC (Universal Credit) .
“For example, we know some people do not think the current system of repeat assessments is appropriate for people with conditions that are unlikely to change. The Department also faces challenges in delivering the number of assessments needed. On PIP, this is partly because the number of new claims was higher than the comparable number of new claims made to DLA (Disability Living Allowance) before PIP was introduced.
“Another reason why it is challenging to deliver the necessary volume of PIP assessments is that, unlike most ESA and UC awards, PIP awards are usually made for a fixed period. At the end of that period a repeat assessment (referred to on PIP as an ‘award review’) is usually needed to prevent the claim from going out of payment.
“PIP has also faced a number of successful legal challenges. While it is normal for the courts to test new legislation, the extent of challenge and the success rate suggest that some aspects of the PIP assessment criteria would have benefited from further testing before PIP was introduced.
“PIP is estimated to have increased spending by £1-2bn per year compared to DLA. Implementing the required changes following successful legal cases is one of many reasons why the cost of PIP has increased.”
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