Richard Benyon welcomes changes to benefit assessments for disabled pensioners

The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Amber Rudd, today outlined changes to benefit assessments for pensioners with disabilities. From this Spring, around 270,000 disabled pensioners will not have their Personal Independence Payment (PIP) awards regularly reviewed.

Richard said, ‘This is good news for these people who have worked hard all their lives and paid into the system, and means that they will now not have to go through repeated unnecessary reassessments to get their disability benefits.’

The Secretary of State also announced a number of measures to improve the support offered to people with disabilities and health conditions to get back into work. The currently separate Work Capability Assessment (WCA) for Employment and Support Allowance and Universal Credit, and the PIP assessment services are to be combined into one unified service from 2021. This integrated approach, using a single digital platform, will allow for a more joined-up claimant experience across these benefits which takes account of the multiple interactions an individual may have with DWP.

There will also be consultation with stakeholders on how the welfare system can better meet the needs of claimants with disabilities and health conditions, and on proposals to encourage and support employers to play their part in helping these claimants get into work and remain in work and to improve access to occupational health.

Richard commented, ‘We made a manifesto commitment in 2017 to see 1 million more disabled people in work by 2027 and the changes and proposals announced today are proof that we are taking this seriously. I met recently with all the agencies involved in delivering and supporting the rollout of Universal Credit in this area. I have taken back their comments to the Minister and I will continue to monitor how these latest changes affect benefit claimants here in West Berkshire.’