500,000 set to lose disability benefits

Around half a million people are expected to lose support as a result of the new ‘personal independence payment’ (PIP) for working-age claimants.

The figure is contained in an official impact assessment of replacing disability living allowance (DLA) with PIP from April 2013 onwards. The assessment says PIP will cut benefit spending by £2,240 million (20 per cent of the DLA budget) by ‘focusing support on disabled people with greatest needs’. By 2015/16, the PIP ‘caseload’ is estimated at around 1.7 million compared with a previous forecast for DLA of around 2.2 million.

The change from DLA to PIP will work by imposing tougher tests of the daily tasks claimants are deemed capable of doing, such as preparing food, bathing, communicating and moving around.

Source: Disability Living Allowance Reform: Impact Assessment, Department for Work and Pensions

Links: Impact assessment | Equality impact assessment | BBC report | Guardian report | Daily Telegraph report | DWP factsheet