Westminister Parliament London

Proposed PIP changes fail to protect the most vulnerable

The Government has today announced changes to the assessment process for the Personal Independence Payment (PIP).

We are deeply concerned by the potential impact these changes could have on some people with MS.

What does this mean?

The number of points that can be scored in the assessment for using an aid or appliance to manage continence needs, or to dress and undress have been halved from two to one. The change is set to be implemented from January 2017. It could mean that people who would have scored points in this way may no longer qualify for the enhanced or standard rate of PIP.

Serious concerns

Our Chief Executive Michelle Mitchell says: "This decision could have a devastating impact on the lives of people with MS. PIP is an essential benefit which goes towards the extra cost of being disabled. "The new plans will fail some of the most vulnerable people in society and we have serious concerns about the future health and welfare of those affected.”

What have we been doing?

The Government’s announcement follows the consultation launched before Christmas on potential changes to the way aids and appliances are used to assess PIP. Our response to the consultation strongly urged the Government not to take forward the proposed changes. We have raised this consistently with decision-makers and parliamentarians. Michelle Mitchell was interviewed on Sky News Radio this morning, ahead of the Government’s announcement. She talked about the impact that changes to PIP could have on people with MS and the response of members of the Disability Benefit Consortium (DBC).

United response

We are one of twenty-seven charities from the DBC who have written to the Minister for Disabled People urging him not to go ahead with proposed changes to PIP. Following this united response from the disability sector, the Government did not go ahead with all of the changes suggested. However, we remain deeply concerned about the impact of these proposals on the people affected

What next?

We will continue to campaign to oppose these changes and will provide more information online about how the changes will affect people with MS as soon as possible. We know that sometimes these issues can bring up difficult thoughts and feelings. Please call the MS Helpline for emotional support and a space to explore what these potential changes might mean for you. Get the latest Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for the latest updates on our campaigns. Read more MS: Enough. Campaign to make welfare make sense MPs reject Welfare reform and Work Bill amendment Government consult on proposed changes to PIP

Get the latest Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for the latest updates on our campaigns. Read more MS: Enough. Campaign to make welfare make sense MPs reject Welfare reform and Work Bill amendment Government consult on proposed changes to PIP