Information PIP light touch
NEW ALMOST-PENSIONER PIP CLAIMANTS TO GET 10 YEAR AWARDS
There is a real irony in the fact that the biggest justification for introducing PIP was the allegation by the government that many DLA claimants got the benefit for life, without their eligibility ever being checked again.
Under PIP, it was claimed, recipients awards would be regularly and rigorously checked.
Bu just a few years in, the DWP is being forced to find excuses for doing away with the regular checks on an increasing number of claimants, because their conditions are only likely to get worse.
It turns out, frequent reassessment leads to bad publicity for the DWP.
The recent case in the national media of the paralysed, terminally ill claimant fighting to highlight previous broken reassessment promises is a cruel example of the pointlessness of many such checks.
More importantly from the DWP’s point of view, reassessments cost a lot amount of money and don’t appear to lead to savings in awards.
So, the government has announced that from 31 May, new PIP claimants whose review would have been scheduled for after they reached State Pension age will instead receive an ongoing award with a light touch review at 10 years.
Minister for Disabled People Justin Tomlinson said:
“We are determined to improve our support for disabled people, and stopping needless PIP reviews for pensioners is the right thing to do.
“This step means new claimants to PIP who reach State Pension age before their review is due won’t have one unless they tell us their needs have changed, and the next step is to bring this in for all pensioners.”
The DWP also announced that the 10 year light touch review will be extended to existing PIP claimants above State Pension age in the coming months.
The decision came too late to help the terminally ill claimant mentioned above, but many others will benefit.
It will also not mean, as some had hoped, that current DLA claimants waiting to be ‘invited’ to apply for PIP will now be spared if they are at or near retirement age. As before, only those who were 65 or over on 8 April 2013 will not eventually be instructed to apply for PIP instead.