Some people with short-term health conditions may see their payments cut due to changes to disability benefits, the government has warned.
Welfare reforms announced in Jeremy Hunt’s budget bill include the abolition of the controversial Work Competency Assessment (WCA), which is used to prove that people with disabilities are unable to work.
Instead, the government said it wanted to focus on jobs that disability benefit applicants could do under the simplified benefit plan.
Ministers combined this change with the launch of a new voluntary universal support program to match jobs disabled people might want to do.
But experts warn that any changes to benefits must be implemented carefully to avoid penalizing people with temporary health conditions.
Prime Minister Hunt has confirmed that the WCA will be phased out, leaving only one existing Personal Independence Assistance (PIP) benefit assessment. This is for people with long-term physical or mental health conditions or disabilities.
This simplifies the process for persons with disabilities to apply for benefits.
The change will require the passage of new legislation in parliament, and reforms are not expected to begin until 2026 at the earliest. A new billing rollout that we aim to complete within the next three years.
In a related health and disability white paper published Thursday, the Department of Work and Pensions said the financial addition, called the Universal Credit Limited Capabilities for Work and Work-Related Activities (LCWRA), would be a new “ It will be replaced by UC. health factor”.
The government said this would make it easier for people to work without the risk of losing benefits by not having to prove their limited ability to work.
But the Resolution Foundation, a progressive think tank, said the hundreds of thousands of people currently receiving disability assistance may no longer be eligible.
For example, there was a warning that people without long-term disabilities are not necessarily eligible for PIP.
The think tank said it was right that the change would be implemented slowly, “given that there will be significant winners as well as losers.”
“After passing the WCA, up to 650,000 people currently receiving support have not received a PIP,” the think tank said. “In the future, support for this group, which includes people recovering from surgery, may be reduced.”
The government promised “temporary protection” to existing claimants to ensure “no one experiences financial loss.”
In its white paper, the DWP acknowledged that some people currently eligible for disability benefits are not eligible for PIP payments, stating: You may receive it. ”
Cancer patients are among those protected from change.
The government said: Provide explicit provision for these claimants to be able to access the new UC Health Top-Up even if they have not received her PIP. ”