Yesterday (5th March) Amber Rudd MP, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions announced proposed changes to the welfare benefits system.

A statement from the DBC is below:

“Today the Government announced a number of changes that it hopes will improve the experience disabled individuals have of the benefit system. These include the proposal that those over pension age will no longer automatically undergo a PIP reassessment, and bringing the WCA and PIP assessment together to reduce the burden on individuals. In addition, the Government also said that it was trialling a new approach to work-related requirements, starting with no conditionality and then building from there.

The target for getting disabled people into employment may also be made more ambitious, and research is to be commissioned into claimants’ experiences.

The DBC welcomes the change of tone and approach that these announcements present, in particular exempting those over pension age from reassessment for PIP. However, the devil is as always in the detail and while combining the WCA and PIP assessments has some advantages, it must be combined with radical improvements in the standard of assessments and decision-making as well as willingness to look at how the assessment criteria can be changed to ensure that it will improve the situation for claimants. 

We now call on the Government to work with the disability sector to ensure that any changes made address the issues raised by the sector for many years.”

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