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Benefits Shake up proposed: DWP considers ‘new single benefit’ for Ill and Disabled People.

DWP looking at single new benefit to take place of Universal Credit, PIP  and ESA - Birmingham Live

New Shake Up.

Yesterday the story about a new single benefit for sick and disabled people came up.

Trev commented,

The proposed merger between UC and PIP seems to be all about preventing people from getting PIP, I reckon that’s what it’s all about.

The story has now developed.

DWP considers ‘new single benefit’ for sick and disabled people. Welfare Weekly, today).

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is exploring the idea of a single benefit for sick and disabled people, it has been reported.

Some 1.4million claim Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or its replacement Personal Independence Payment (PIP) – paid to help people with the costs of being disabled. Others claim ESA (Employment and Support Allowance), which UC is replacing.

The DWP says keeping all these different benefits and having just one assessment wouldn’t work. A brand new scheme would be a way to make the whole system simpler, it says.

The proposal is included in the DWP’s recent report ‘Shaping Future Support: The Health and Disability Green Paper.’

NOTE; The Green Paper was published on the 20th of July and the consultation ended on the 11th of October.

As the Mirror points out today, “A little-reported Green Paper over the summer said a ‘new single benefit’ could combine payments – with Tory welfare chief Therese Coffey saying ‘everything is on the table'”

The Welfare Weekly article continues,

“Responding to the proposal of creating a new benefit or merging ESA, DLA & PIP with Universal CreditDisability Rights UK (DRUK) said: “We are very suspicious of the Green Paper suggestion that Ministers could create a “new single benefit” so as to simplify the application and assessment process..

“Given the stress, worry, fear and distrust work capability assessments and PIP assessments cause Disabled people, the prospect of only having one assessment and not two is only superficially attractive at best.

“Given the repeated stress the Green Paper gives to “affordability” we believe the DWP is being disingenuous and the actual reason for the single benefit suggestion is likely to be reducing expenditure.”

Gail Ward, from the Hand2Mouth Project, said: “Those on Legacy Benefits will be Migrated to UC in 2023/24 and the merging of ESA,DLA/PIP will be a disaster for claimants and potentially means that PIP will become means tested.

“The form descriptors while having different criteria are already closely aligned and the DWP were calling PIP ‘a functional benefit’ in an evidence session before the Work and Pensions Committee recently.

……

The warning is very clearly when Therese Coffey suggested that severe disability group could be nudged into some type of work or training programme is a loud and clear message to all claimants that they want to cut overall costs and cut claimant numbers.”

Or as the Mirror notes of the DWP Minister,

Ms Coffey also suggested she was concerned by the number of people claiming PIP for mental health difficulties, saying she wanted to “target that even more so to people who really need that support”.

She added: “PIP has certainly grown in a way that was not anticipated when it was introduced.

“To give you an example, three out of four young people who claim PIP have their primary reason being mental ill health.

“That in itself is 189,000 young people who currently receive benefit focused on that. There may be other benefits they receive as well.

This seems, as our contributors have commented, part of a wider strategy to merge all benefits. The problem is, as Universal Credit has already shown, this can create bureaucratic and information technology nightmares. As well as, as he above comment about ‘affordability’ indicates, being an excuse for cutting benefit levels.

This is the Minister in Charge of the Green Paper:

Written by Andrew Coates

October 19, 2021 at 11:08 am