Move from DLA to PIP leaving many struggling

The move from Disability Living Allowance (DLA) to Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is leaving many people struggling

Leading UK poverty charity Turn2us is highlighting how the move from Disability Living Allowance (DLA) to Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is leaving many people with a disability struggling to pay for their basic living costs. The charity says that many people who have been receiving DLA, but have not passed the PIP assessment, are contacting it for help as they have been left struggling to make ends meet. The charity says that many people report that they find the assessment very difficult and that it appears that people are more likely to pass the assessment if they have someone to advocate for them.

Disabled Person

Pip replacing DLA

PIP is the benefit which is replacing DLA, extra money for adults who have care and mobility needs as a result of their disability. People already in receipt of DLA, aged between 16 and 64 on 8 April 2013, will eventually have to make a new claim for PIP, even if they have been given an indefinite or lifetime award of DLA. Those aged 65 or over on 8 April 2013 will carry on getting DLA.

There were a total of 3.7 million claimants of PIP and DLA in August 2016. This was an increase of 87,000 on the previous year. The number of people claiming DLA has fallen by 350,000 in the year to August 2016 to 2.7 million. During the same period the number of people claiming PIP has increased by 430,000 to 980,000, and 370,000 of these claims were reassessed DLA claims.

Turn2us Director of operations comments

Outlining the charity’s concerns about the consequences of people who had been receiving Disability Living Allowance failing the Personal Independence Payment assessment, Alison Taylor, Director of Turn2us Operations, said: “This will result in a significant drop in the income of someone who has an illness or disability and represents the loss of genuinely valuable support. Not receiving Personal Independence Payment after previously receiving Disability Living Allowance can have sudden and devastating consequences at a time when people are least resilient.”

Turn2us has also emphasised the importance of anyone struggling with accessing benefits to seek its help at Turn2us.org.uk. It says that it can help people understand and access what they are entitled to.

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Benefit hoax – DWP told woman was dead!

A woman was left penniless after a hoax caller told the Department for Work and Pensions she was dead.

Jobless Janet Millward’s £240-a-fortnight housing benefit and disability living allowance were stopped.

The tax office also wrote to her family offering tips on how to settle her estate.

Janet, 50, of Wythenshawe, Manchester, said: “Why didn’t they check? Someone can just ring up and say I’ve died and that is enough.”

She said: “They know everything about me. Why didn’t they pick up the phone? It just beggars belief.

“They just pressed a button and that was that. It effected everything.

“Why was a death certificate not asked for? When my brother died last year we had to provide a death certificate for everything.

“I want to know why such questions were not asked. It is unbelievable. Somebody, claiming to be my son, can just ring up and say I have died, and that is enough.”

Janet relies on the £240 benefits she receives once a fortnight to survive.

“I was extremely distressed. All my money was stopped.

“I was getting letters addressed to the representatives of Miss Janet Millward. But I was not dead.”

It took two weeks to correct the error and Janet, from Wythenshawe, Manchester, contacted her Labour MP Mike Kane, who took up her case.

He has since received a letter from the DWP apologising for the mistake.

The letter said: “Unfortunately, due to human error, a date of death was incorrectly input to Miss Millward’s records.”

HM Customs and Revenue also wrote to Janet, saying: “Our records did show you as deceased and thus the system generated a letter to your address.

“I can confirm that I have now updated your record to show you are not deceased and can only apologise again for any distress this may have caused you.”

Department of Work and Pensions“Good job she was still here to let them know!”