• Disability Benefits

    09 October 2017

    Dear Constituent

    Thank you for contacting me about disability benefits.
    Disability Living Allowance (DLA) was an outdated, complex benefit introduced over 20 years ago which does not reflect today's understanding of disability. Most people who claim DLA have conditions that change over time, yet 71 per cent of people were receiving DLA for life without any inbuilt systematic reviews. This led to hundreds of millions of pounds in overpayments and underpayments.
    The aim of Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is to ensure support is focused on those with the greatest barrier to independence. The assessment of eligibility focuses on an individual's ability to carry out key everyday activities and will be easier to understand and administer.
    PIP involves a more objective assessment, including a face-to-face consultation, to help target support at those who need it most. Should someone's condition change under PIP, the new system will ensure they will continue to the get the right award and reduce the capacity for over- and under-payments. The system has undergone extensive independent review, and the Government has accepted a number of recommendations for improving assessments. Where there is sufficient evidence to do so, a paper based assessment will be conducted without the need for the claimant to attend a face to face assessment.
    I understand your concern about this issue, but the Government has gone to every effort to ensure the system works for claimants and for the taxpayer.
    Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.

    Yours sincerely

    Mel Stride

    MP for Central Devon

    Financial Secretary to the Treasury and Paymaster General