Having had the British government drop its planned £30 a week cut, from next year, to Personal Independence Payment (PIP) for new claimants placed in the Work-Related – another campaign is now under way.
PIP is a new benefit aimed at replacing the Disability Living Allowance (DLA) but the transfer of people between the two has been slow and laborious – and still hasn’t been finished.
Some people were awarded DLA for set periods of time before their claims had to be reviewed but the people with more serious disabilities that were not going to improve, including MS, were give lifetime or indefinite awards
The change-over to PIP, however, means that working age recipients of DLA lifetime awards are being invited to apply for PIP and go through the assessment process all over again.
Now, however, campaign group 38 degrees is saying that a second assessment is both demoralising and humiliating. As such, it is calling for DLA lifetime award recipients be moved to PIP without the needs for further assessment.
Debbilyn Low, of 38 Degrees, said: “People awarded this lifetime status have already proved to the government that their illness or disability will not get better for the entirety of that person’s life. The government has already accepted and agree that these people are the most vulnerable by awarding lifetime status when they applied for DLA.
“I have friends who were awarded DLA for life but when summoned for assessment for PIP they have had the entire award taken away from them.
“Ask yourself this: ‘How can the government now decide – after their doctors and specialists have examined and assessed the person and then awarded DLA – that they are no longer in need?
“These are the Doctors and Specialists that the government paid for their services, so is the government now saying that it has no trust in the people they employed to assess a claim for DLA?”
The 38 Degrees group is now behind a petition on its 38degrees.org.uk website calling for new Work and Pensions Secretary, Steve Crabb, to take action.
The petition reads: ‘Move people who are awarded LIFETIME or indefinite awards on DLA straight over to PIP without the need for demoralisation and humiliation AGAIN…most have already been through this when applying for DLA previously.’
So far it has gained close to 19,000 signatures.
- Why does the group call itself 38 Degrees? On its website, the group says: ‘38 Degrees is the angle at which snowflakes come together to form an avalanche – together we’re unstoppable’.