PIP reforms
PIP reforms

PIP Reforms

The Government has issued a Green Paper consultation on the need for extensive personal independence payment (PIP) reform.


Proposals include changes to the eligibility criteria for PIP, the PIP assessment, and alternative forms of support, including “moving away from a fixed cash benefit system” and “aligning PIP with existing local services”.

In his foreword to the document, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Mel Stride says: “I am concerned about the sustainability of the current model.

“Over the coming 5 years, PIP spending is expected to grow by 63% (£21.6bn to £35.3bn, 23/24 to 28/29). There are now over 33,000 new awards for PIP per month compared to 17,000 before the pandemic.”

The Green Paper proposes reforms that will transform and restrict the support given to Disabled people and remove the principle of extra cash support for disability related costs they face.

If you can please find time to respond to The Green Paper consultation is set to last 12 weeks from 29 April.

New PIP reforms will require new primary legislation that cannot be introduced until after the general election.

Modernising support for independent living: the Health and Disability Green Paper proposes several changes to the current PIP system.

These options include:

  • Making changes to eligibility criteria for PIP.
  • Redesigning the PIP assessment to better target it towards the individual needs of disabled people and people with health conditions.
  • Reforming the PIP assessment so that it is more linked to a person’s condition.
  • Moving away from a fixed cash benefit system.
  • Moving towards a better join up of local services and a simpler way for individuals to access all forms of support and care, whilst reducing duplication.
  • Exploring “alternative ways” of supporting people to live independent and fulfilling lives.
  • This could mean financial support being better targeted at people who have specific extra costs, but it could also involve improved support of other kinds, such as physical or mental health treatment.
PIP assessment reform

The Green Paper acknowledges that “some people continue to find assessments difficult and stressful” and that “the criteria used in functional assessments may not always fully reflect how a disability or health condition impacts on daily living.”

The DWP will consider whether evidence of a clinical diagnosis made by a healthcare professional could provide a more objective assessment of need than the current functional assessment.

Eligibility/Qualifying period 

The DWP will explore whether the current qualifying period of three months correctly captures people with long-term health conditions and disabilities.

What support should be provided?

Possible alternatives to a cash payment system proposed are:

  • Catalogue/ shop scheme: in this kind of scheme, there would be an approved list from which disabled people could choose items at reduced or no cost. This would likely work better for equipment and aids rather than for services.
  • Voucher scheme: in this kind of scheme, disabled people could receive vouchers to contribute towards specific costs. It could work for both equipment/aids and for services.
  • A receipt-based system: this would involve claimants buying aids, appliances, or services themselves, and then providing proof of their purchase to claim back a contribution towards the cost.
  • One-off grants: these could contribute towards specific, significant costs such as for home adaptations or expensive equipment.

Also considered is whether support should be financial or take a different form, such as improved access to healthcare (such as mental health provision or physiotherapy) or enhanced local authority support (such as care packages, respite or home adaptations).

Aligning support

The Green Paper argues that local authorities, the NHS and other partners are best placed to understand the specific needs of their population, hence the Department will consider aligning PIP with existing local services.

PIP Appeal support

We are currently supporting selected PIP appeals. PIP can be a tricky benefit to achieve, please have a look at the ‘descriptors’ before making a claim and put together the evidence that supports these before completing the application as it will strengthen your claim to be clear on what points you expect to achieve.

Please get in touch or book an advice appointment if you would like us to review your claim or hlep with an appeal


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