From Disability Living Allowance (DLA) to Poor, Insolvent and Penniless

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2013 National Disabled Members' Conference
5 July 2013
Carried as Amended

Conference recognises that the move from Disability Living Allowance (DLA) to Personal Independence Payments (PIP) is having a devastating impact on disabled people. This Tory led government ignored the concerns of disabled people, unions and other organisations when they began implementing PIP earlier this year.

Despite claims that the benefit is to help those in the greatest need, the stated intention of saving money means an estimated 600,000 disabled people will no longer qualify for support to help with the costs of living with a disability. New, stricter criteria means many disabled people could lose mobility support of up to £1,800 a year or the Motability vehicle they depend on to remain independent. Many of our disabled members rely on this support to stay in work.

Conference is concerned about the application and assessment process. Claimants can be examined by healthcare professionals who aren’t doctors or have little or no understanding of their condition. The two providers appointed, Atos and Capita, will not have a consistent approach to PIP assessments, for example:

• Capita will try to ensure applicants with certain conditions will be matched to assessors with expertise in that area. Atos will not

• Capita aim to offer home assessments to around 60% of applicants Atos will only offer these to the minimum required; and

• Capita have asked the DWP to let them offer audio recording of assessments to all applicants. Atos don’t have the equipment to do this.

These providers will be paid by results. Paid by how many people they get off benefits. The aim is to save money but the government are prepared to waste money by insisting that all claims will be subject to regular review even when the award is for a long-term degenerative condition for which there is no cure.

Conference we call on the National Disabled Members Committee to work with relevant bodies to:

1)Highlight the detrimental impact of the changes including the waste of public money;

2)Campaign for the assessment process to be the same whoever the provider is with the process being made as accessible as possible; and

3)Lobby for an end to clinical assessments by unqualified assessors.