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Ministers could not say how many people could be affected by the drastic change in disability benefit payments, which some cohorts may miss.
The government has been warned that proposed changes to health and disability benefits announced in the budget could push people with complex or invisible conditions out of their pockets if not implemented correctly.
The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) said it intends to proceed slowly with the changes in order to “carefully consider how best to implement them and give claimants safety and certainty.”
However, due to the lack of available data, it is not possible to say how many people may lose their payments.
Under this plan, the Work Ability Assessment (WCA) for determining benefits will be abolished and the existing Individual Independent Payment (PIP) used to determine the daily assistance a person with a disability may need. replaced by the system.
£ for people who are not necessarily eligible for PIP but are unable to work due to a medical condition (those classified as having limited ability to do work and work-related activities (LCWRA)) A surcharge of 350 will be replaced by a universal one. Credit (UC) Health Factor.
However, this applies only to those who are also receiving PIP, and experts rule out those who are unable to work due to illness but do not meet high standards such as being unable to work or having poor athletic performance. It warns that it may
In a written question to parliament, Labor MP Marcia de Córdova asked how many Universal Credit claimants are not receiving PIP because they are unable to work due to health or disability. DWP Minister Tom Pursglove said the government will publish these statistics in the future.
I I understand that DWP does not currently hold this data.
Labor’s shadow disability minister, Vicky Foxcroft, said, “Despite the government’s announcement of major policy changes, we have no idea how many people are affected by them.”
Steven Timms, chairman of the Labor Pensions Board, previously 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.
He said unless reforms were carefully enacted, a “significant number of people” could miss out on benefits they would otherwise be entitled to.
The government announced the change in line with tightening sanctions on benefits for the unemployed, which ministers believe should try harder to get a job.
One concern that has been highlighted is the increased risk that sanctions will wrongly punish people who are not eligible for PIP but are unable to work due to mental health conditions or other reasons.
But the government insisted on looking broadly at how changes could be implemented to ensure that this didn’t happen and to financially protect those who might transition to other interests. .
A government spokesperson said:
“These are the biggest reforms in the last decade. In addition, we will continue to engage with people with disabilities and health conditions and stakeholders as the proposal develops.
“We will implement protections so that no one suffers financial loss when reforms are implemented, while improving the delivery of customized support to help people find and keep sustainable jobs. .”