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A senior lawmaker warned that the government’s plans to streamline health and disability benefits are missing key details with “fundamental questions” about how people will be protected.
Steven Timms, Chairman of the Labor Pensions Board, said: I He was concerned about the lack of clarity about the proposed changes in interests, given that ministers intend to begin the legislative process sometime next year.
And he said unless reforms were carefully enacted, “significant numbers” of people could miss out on benefits they would otherwise be entitled to.
Under this change, the Working Capacity Assessment (WCA) for determining benefit payments will be replaced with existing individual independent payments ( PIP) system.
Labor MP Tims said he was concerned about how people who were eligible for health-related benefits but were not PIPs would be identified without a regular evaluation.
This has led experts and charities to fear they may not receive benefits or even face a cut in universal credit while unemployed because they are not properly identified as living in good health. This is a cohort of people who are
Mr Tims said: I: “They say that if you have a PIP, you can get the health component of Universal Credits, so it’s obvious. have the right to receive
“The question is how the government will work out who these people are. ,I do not know.”
He continued: It’s a little puzzling that they’re trying to deprecate WCA, [forecasting alongside the Budget] indicates that the amount spent on benefits remains unchanged. Therefore, the number of beneficiaries will not increase or decrease any more.
“So there will have to be some sort of assessment that roughly approximates the work that the WCA is currently doing, but I have no idea what that will be.
“I am perplexed about it because the government seems to be planning to enact it next year. I don’t understand why this kind of very basic question seems unanswered.”
I Concerns were reported that benefits reforms, coupled with the government’s plan to tighten sanctions, could reduce incomes for some people.
Tims said it was “certainly possible” that the government “could eventually deny benefits or additional benefits to a significant number of people who currently receive them.”
However, he added that he does not believe it was intended. ,” he explained.
But he called on the government to open up an investigation into how effective the sanctions, which confirms that benefit applicants are fined for not actively seeking work, are in fact. Did.
The Ministry of Work and Pensions was ordered by the Information Commissioner earlier this week to release an internal investigation. The investigation was commissioned in 2019 after the MP warned there was no evidence that benefit sanctions actually gave people an incentive to work.
Tims said that if the government plans to tighten profit sanctions, it should release information to “give a little bit of perspective” on the proposed changes.
We have asked the government for comment.