Every day it appears we hear of new government cuts that are due to happen, some seem necessary, some do not. The recent announcement of disability allowance cuts is one that seems to have caused much controversy. It is thought that around 3.2 million people receive Disability Living Allowance, half a million of which will lose up to £400 over a course of three years because of government cuts. Among the half a million people, 200,000 of those are considered severely disabled meaning that those who really need that money to pay for every day necessities.
The current Disability Living Allowance (DLA) is said to be being replaced with Personal Independence Payments (PIP) for claimants aged 16 to 64, and is said to ‘reflect today’s understanding of disability’. The system works by assessing how an individual’s day to day life is affected by their impairment, rather than automatic entitlement for certain conditions as the Disability Living Allowance did. Hopefully, this method would mean more suitable amounts for each individual case. However, the new system has introduced worries regarding car allowances. It was first thought that the scheme would eradicate car allowance completely, yet the government have confirmed in a ‘myth-buster’ section on their website that the PIP system wish to still work alongside Motability and are trying ‘to decide the best way to do this under Personal Independence Payment’. The system will base mobility allowance once again the needs of an individual by once again assessing them. The assessment will look at both their ability to plan and follow a journey as well as ability to physically move around. Another bonus of the scheme is that once assessed, claimants will receive payment whether they are in work or not. Yes, this system sounds great on paper, but in practise will it live up to the 20 year predecessor?
By Holly Hereford