3 Million in UK at Risk of Losing Disability Benefits in Shake-Up

The UK government plans to overhaul the disability benefits system, potentially affecting 3 million PIP recipients, to reduce expenditure and make the system more sustainable. A 12-week public consultation will be launched to explore alternative approaches, including non-cash benefits and targeted support.

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Nitish Verma
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3 Million in UK at Risk of Losing Disability Benefits in Shake-Up

3 Million in UK at Risk of Losing Disability Benefits in Shake-Up

The UK government is planning a major overhaul of the disability benefits system that could, see up to 3 million people who currently receive Personal Independence Payment (PIP) affected. The proposed changes, announced by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), aim to reduce PIP expenditure and make the benefits system more sustainable.

Why this matters: The proposed changes to the disability benefits system have far-reaching implications for the lives of millions of people in the UK, and could set a precedent for future reforms to social welfare programs. If implemented, these changes could have a significant impact on the financial security and independence of people with disabilities.

Under the current PIP scheme, individuals with disabilities can receive up to £184 per week to cover costs associated with their conditions. However, the government is now exploring alternatives to cash payments, such as providing enhanced access to treatment, one-off grants, vouchers, or a catalogue shop scheme where disabled people could choose items from an approved list at reduced or no cost.

Work and Pensions Secretary Mel Stride expressed concerns over the sustainability of the current PIP model, stating, "I am concerned about the sustainability of the current model." Stride emphasized the need to explore alternative approaches, saying, "We would like to understand whether some people receiving PIP who have lower or no extra costs may have better outcomes from improved access to treatment and support than from a cash payment."

The proposed changes have caused concern among PIP recipients, who fear losing their vital financial support. Courtney Hodgkiss, 43, from Islington, north London, who has Crohn's disease, need, pay, without PIP to pay for taxis to attend hospital appointments and for daily activities. Without PIP, she would be housebound and unable to access essential services.

The government's rationale for the proposed changes is to make the benefits system fairer to taxpayers, better targeted to individual needs, and harder to exploit by those trying to game the system. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has expressed concerns that the current disability benefits system "isn't working in the way it was intended."

A 12-week public consultation on the proposals will soon be launched, with the implementation phase potentially taking longer. The government has issues, day warning to all PIP claimants, and significant alterations to the PIP scheme could take effect after the consultation period ends in July.

The proposed overhaul of the UK disability benefits system has raised concerns among the 3 million people currently receiving PIP, who fear losing access to vital financial support. As the government launches a public consultation on the changes, it remains to be seen how the new system will balance the needs of disabled individuals with the goal of making the benefits system more sustainable and fair to taxpayers.

Key Takeaways

  • UK gov't plans to overhaul disability benefits, affecting 3 million PIP recipients.
  • Proposed changes aim to reduce PIP expenditure and make system more sustainable.
  • Alternatives to cash payments being explored, such as treatment, grants, and vouchers.
  • PIP recipients fear losing vital financial support, impacting daily lives.
  • 12-week public consultation to be launched, with changes potentially taking effect in July.