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New consultation on PIP descriptors. Please read.

The DWP is at it again! Consultation published about changing the criteria for PIP so that people who use aids to fulfil day-to-day living tasks may not qualify for PIP because the cost of such aids “is small”.

DWP appear concerned that people who have lots of varied problems are racking up lots of points in the assessment because they need multiple aids during the day - eg someone might need a sock-puller when they are dressing and an adapted bed to raise them up and a kettle lifter to make tea safely and a magnifier to allow them to read letters etc etc. As a lot of people with MS have multiple problems affecting their activities over an entire day but are able to function to a certain level without having full-time carers these changes might affect people with MS a lot.

Reading between the lines in the explanation for why they are doing the consultation, it appears that the government is a little bit miffed by recent legal decisions regarding descriptor scores being given for use of things such as adaptable beds etc. The whole consultation does appear to be based on the idea that people who can use such aids “aren’t THAT disabled” and their disability “is not affecting their life THAT much”

There are inviting responses not just from organisations representing disabled groups but also from individual people with disabilities. Responses are requested by 29/01/16 - Happy Christmas everybody!

I have posted this in the PPMS and Caring forums to make sure that as many people as possible see this.

Blimey Boblatina, this is a weighty and difficult bit of consultation. I’ve had a quick look through and will read it more thoroughly on a day when my brain is less scrambled by post steroid fatigue! Regardless of the outcome of the consultation process, I feel that it’s going to make quite a difference to people like many of us who use aids and appliances. Is it possible that the DWP, by offering 5 different options to consider and respond to are trying to make life just a little more difficult??

I join you in urging that those people who are able to, read the document and make responses to the various options they have suggested.

Sue

I wonder which misinformed wally came up with the idea that the aids we use are “of small cost”. Cos that is a load of rubbish, some of the aids I use are actually quite expensive. Not mention the fact that I pay a PA to take me out for a few hours each and without PIP, I wouldn’t be able to do that and therefore, would not be able to go out and would become depressed. Also, I need to pay for taxi’s to get to appointments and such like. The government have no idea how much more money is needed to live with a disabillity or chronic illness.

Also, I have this feeling that dispite any objections made, it will go ahead regardless, as this government are not keen on listening to anything, we, the voters say. I have made my opions in regards to this issue, very clearly know to my local MP in an email, but I very much doubt it will make the slightest bit of difference xxx

I`ve done the self test for PIP a few times and not seen anything asking about what type of bed we use. I would remember that as I do use a profiling bed. ???

Better look again.

pollxx

Now I am too old to get involved with PIP, however …

I took a quick look at the consultation document:

  • There is a serious typo on P5 that could affect the legal interpretation of the document
  • There is a need to get the “low cost” thing properly defined, as this can affect the interpretation of the document.
    If “low cost” is an absolute, it should relate to the payment available under PIP, not to, say, the salary of an MP or a banker.
    It should also relate to the average disposable income of someone where sole income is PIP.
  • The point scales should be challenged as being non-representative of the problems faced by the disabled.
    A Syrian refugee may well be unable to understand English and would score a lot of points - and more than someone with a mental disability who has some competence in English.
  • The point scales seem to be a curious mix of linear scales and points plotted on a curve. This lacks consistency. A lack of consistency could be seen as a lack of fairness.

OK, so we all know that the real idea is to save the state from paying out. But the inconsistencies just keep on coming. Do we, as a community, wish to favour the elderly at the expense of the disabled - or vice versa - and how do you assess the help needed by someone who is both old and disabled?

I hope that the Society will enter a robust challenge to these proposals, using all the available resources (including on this forum), and not just enter a pro-forma response.

Geoff

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I have an aid costing £2.54 and another £8400.00. Both two pointers in PIP. How are these differentiated. Does someone getting carers allowance from the government for someone differ from someone getting paid for being a carer by the person being cared for ?

interest what others think

paul

The answer to your question about carers is - yes. There is a difference between the person who is being paid and the person on carers allowance. Both persons are fulfilling a caring role but the carers allowance claimant must care for 35 hours for £62.10 - that is £1.77 an hour!!! (A living wage?)

Carers are unsung heroes in my book.

Jane

I was turned down for pip because I used my mobility scooter and proved I could get around the assessment building. I appealed and had that overturned but then I lost my sight and sent in the documentation and they’re instating I start the process again because I’ve had a considerable change in circumstances. I’ve taken advice from a legal friend who said they’re wrong but it’s not worth the effort to fight it. I’ve been waiting over 9 months in total and I’ve been blind for 2 months and unable to walk for over a year. The system is a mess. But then why are we surprised, the government doesn’t want to support people. They turned down a friend of mine who was born disabled and told her she didn’t have mobility problems because she used a wheelchair!!!

As the DWP introduced a points based system with easily discernible criteria it was an inevitable consequence that there would be an increase in the number of applicants who scored all their points based only on their use of aids and appliances, as pointed out in the PIP consultation document.

This is not due to any deliberate falsehood by applicants to gain the award fraudulently, but based on genuine needs worded accurately with supporting evidence. There are reputable agencies, as we all know, that will assist in wording the application. Supporting evidence can easily be obtained from Occupational Therapists, MS nurses, physiotherapists and so on. Building a successful case is achievable with suitable preparation.

What does the DWP expect applicants to do, given the above? Regardless of all that, the driving force behind the consultation is yet another attempt to reduce the benefits budget. We, the disabled, are easy targets, as usual, unlike professional corporate tax dodgers.

Using DWP’s own figures the PIP forecast for 2015/16 is £2.3 billion. The total 2015/16 forecast for the DWP is £171 billion. The whole expected expenditure on PIP amounts to 3.9% of the forecast. This is a gross example of fiddling around the edges and potentially causing great inconvenience and hardship to many folk.

I receive the standard Daily Living allowance and, although I have income from private pensions, the £55 is very useful and contributes towards the costs of living with MS, such as disposable underpants due to bladder urge incontinence. I am 62 and I have just taken early medical retirement. My total income from pensions, although good, is much less than my previous salary therefore the PIP is a very welcome supplement. Without my pensions it would be a lifeline.

Individuals can make responses to the government in this consultation and I hope that the MS Society will make its feelings known in due course.

Alun

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