Just got this email update from the Benefit and Work website (see below) It mentions ’ PIP was rushed and badly designed’.
All the best.
Testing a Severe Disability Group
The DWP have decided not to introduce a minimum award duration for PIP. Instead, the number of repeat assessments may be cut by the introduction of a ‘Severe Disability Group’ (SDG).
The DWP say: “People who do not come within the special rules for terminal illness may still have severe and lifelong conditions that will not improve. These people are unlikely ever to work again and will always need extra financial support to live independently.”
The intention is to place people in this position into the SDG so that they “can benefit from a simplified process without ever needing to complete a detailed application form or go through an assessment.”
The DWP say they are “working with a group of health and social care professionals to help us develop the criteria for the SDG and identify the evidence that would be required to meet them. We will consult with charities and disabled people’s organisations on the criteria.”
Increasing holistic decision making
The DWP say they introduced ‘holistic’ decision making at the PIP mandatory reconsideration stage in 2019. Since doing so the percentage of decision changed at MR stage has nearly doubled and there has been a decrease in the percentage of appeals lodged.
Holistic decision making has since been introduced at MR for ESA and UC and the DWP are now also using it to make the first decision about entitlement following a health assessment on ESA, PIP and UC.
Essentially holistic decision making simply seems to mean staff spending more time making decisions, collecting more evidence and speaking directly to the claimant.
Changing the Special Rules for Terminal Illness
The period in which a person can claim under the Special Rules for Terminal Illness is to be extended from within six months of their expected death to 12 months.
However, legislation will be needed to introduce this change and so far no date has been given for the new laws to be put in place.
PIP was rushed and badly designed
The DWP have come as close as they are ever likely to come to admitting that PIP was rushed and badly designed. Looking at the frequent successful legal challenges to PIP, the Green paper says:
“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 benefitted from further testing before PIP was introduced.”
When PIP was brought in, the stated intention was that it would cut the benefits bill by 20% compared to DLA. In fact, it is costing between £1-2bn more than DLA would have cost.
The DWP say that “Implementing the required changes following successful legal cases is one of many reasons why the cost of PIP has increased.”
Have your say
You can download a copy of Shaping Future Support from this link You can also download a response form from the same page if you wish to take part in the consultation.
Alternatively, you can [complete an online consultation form]
The closing date is 11 October, with a White Paper due to be published in mid 2022.