NAT welcomes the second draft of the assessment criteria for the new disability benefit, Personal Independence Payment (PIP). The new draft rules come as the House of Lords consider the Welfare Reform Bill, which if passed will abolish Disability Living Allowance (DLA) and replace it with PIP from 2013.
DLA helps around one in ten people living with HIV manage their treatment needs and stay well and it is vital that the change to PIP does not leave them without the support they need. For this reason, NAT participated in the initial consultation process on the PIP criteria, and worked with the Terrence Higgins Trust (THT) to ensure that the Department for Work and Pensions were aware of the unique needs of people living with HIV. We also provided evidence to the Work and Pensions Committee inquiry into PIP.
Deborah Jack, Chief Executive of NAT (National AIDS Trust), comments:
‘We are pleased to see some improvements to this second draft of the PIP criteria, including changes which are in line with what we have advocated on behalf of people living with HIV. The new assessment shows a greater awareness of the impact of fluctuating symptoms on daily life, and a more subtle approach to understanding how mental health can impact upon the ability to carry out day to day activities.
‘We remain concerned, however, that the eligibility threshold for PIP will be too high, and that people living with HIV who receive lower level payments of DLA to help manage their treatment needs and maintain their physical and mental health will not be able to enjoy the same preventive benefit under PIP.
'NAT will continue to engage with DWP as they continue to refine the assessment, to ensure that the support needs of people with HIV are understood and met. We are also supporting a range of amendments to the Welfare Reform Bill to help make sure PIP is assessed fairly and reaches those who need support.’
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Notes to the editor:
Draft PIP criteria can be found here: http://www.dwp.gov.uk/policy/disability/personal%2Dindependence%2Dpayment/
PIP factsheet can be downloaded here: http://www.nat.org.uk/media/Files/Policy/2011/PIP%20fact%20sheet.pdf
For further information please contact:
020 7814 6733
NAT (National AIDS Trust) is the UK’s leading charity dedicated to transforming society’s response to HIV. We provide fresh thinking, expertise and practical resources. We champion the rights of people living with HIV and campaign for change.
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