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PIP assessments to end for over 65s

Hundreds of thousands of disabled pensioners will no longer have to undergo unnecessary repeat assessments for disability benefits.

Today Amber Rudd, the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, gave her first major speech on improving support for disabled people. One of her big announcements was that from spring people over 65 will no longer face reassessments for Personal Independence Payments (PIP).

PIP is meant to help people with MS with the extra costs of living with the condition. But often the assessments are hard and stressful. Together, we've been campaigning to reform it with our MS Enough campaign.

Who will this affect?

This change will apply to all people over the age of 65 who receive PIP. For people already over 65, reassessments should end from spring. For everyone else, reassessments should end when they reach state pension age.

You will be able to be reassessed if their needs change. So if you're on the lower rate of PIP and your situation changes, this could apply to you.

One assessment for Work Capability Assessment and PIP

Rudd also announced plans to look at merging the Work Capability Assessment and the PIP assessment into one assessment service.

Genevieve Edwards, our Director of External Affairs said: “While it’s good news that older disabled people will no longer have to go through unnecessary and stressful reassessments, millions of others will still be stuck in a failing system.

"The fact 83% of people with MS who appeal their PIP cases win shows how bad the current assessment process is.

Two donkeys, one cart

 “Looking to merge Work Capability Assessments and PIP assessments is similarly tinkering around the edges. Right now, neither adequately captures the reality of living with an unpredictable condition like MS, so bringing them together won’t make things better.

"It’s like harnessing two donkeys to a farm cart and expecting it to transform into a race chariot. If it wants to improve support for disabled people, the government must first fix the flaws so inherent to its assessments.”

What does this mean for people with MS?

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) says assessments will stop automatically for anyone over 65: they won’t need a final assessment.

They're looking at automating the change both for people who are over 65 now, and will be 65 and over when they're next due to be assessed.

We don't have an exact date for when these changes will come into effect. But we'll continue to watch the situation and will keep you updated.

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We updated this news story on Monday 18 March 2019