Act Now to Respond to Government Consultation on Personal Independence Payments Reforms

Date posted: 2nd May 2024

The UK government has launched a new consultation on proposed changes to Personal Independence Payments (PIP). Thomas Pocklington Trust is very concerned about what this means for blind and partially sighted people and is asking everyone to take part in the consultation.

There will not be any immediate changes as the consultation will take a while to complete. We also know there will be a general election this year and it is unlikely that any changes will be introduced before then.

PIP is a benefit to help pay for the extra costs of living with a disability, whether the person is in a job or not. The PIP assessment process is not intended to determine a person’s capability to do any work, it is to understand the extra costs the person experiences as a result of their disability.

It is not means tested, so it can be claimed regardless of income or whether a person is working. To get PIP you need to have a long-term health condition or disability that means you have difficulty doing everyday tasks or getting around. If you think you should get PIP, you can look up the assessment criteria online.

The Government has said that the cost of PIP is unsustainable and has made some suggestions for changes. These include:

  • Vouchers for specific services, instead of cash payments
  • One-off payments for home adaptations, rather than ongoing payments
  • Asking disabled people to provide receipts for one-off purchases, which would then be reimbursed.
  • Changing the criteria and questions that determine whether someone is eligible for PIP.
  • Changing the qualifying period for PIP, and the test that determines if a condition is ‘long-term’.
  • Directing people with mental health conditions towards treatment, instead of payments.
  • Requiring a formal diagnosis by a medical expert and focusing much more on what condition you have, rather than its impact on your life.
  • Ending the PIP assessment altogether for people with certain long term conditions.

Mike Bell, Head of Public Affairs and Campaigns at TPT said:

“Life costs more as a disabled person. Our research has found that a severely sight impaired (SSI) person needs more each month, on average, to have the same standard of living as a non-sight impaired person.

“Only people receiving the very highest levels of PIP currently – enhanced daily living and enhanced mobility – would cover these additional costs. For many blind and partially sighted people, PIP already falls well short of what is needed, so will be very concerned about the impact of any changes.”

These additional cost can include paying for technology, transport and travel, household services, and social activities.

How you can take action

You can let the Government know what you think about their ideas by responding to the consultation. The consultation will be open for 12 weeks.

Back to all News