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Unexpected changes to PIP assessment

On Thursday night the Government announced surprise changes to the Personal Independence Payment (PIP) assessment.

We didn't expect these changes and are working hard to understand their potential impact. They follow proposals last year, which we and other disability charities sent a strong message against.

What are the changes to PIP?

The planned changes will affect the way that someone’s level of PIP award is calculated. They affect one of the ten ‘daily living activities’ (which determine eligibility for the daily living component of PIP), and one of the two ‘mobility activities’ (which determine eligibility for the mobility component of PIP).

The affected activities are Daily Living Activity 3 – Managing therapy or monitoring a health condition, and Mobility Activity 1- Planning and following a journey. The changes make these descriptors slightly more restrictive. They could impact the awards some people get.

Working out what this means for people with MS

We don’t yet know the extent of the impact for people with MS. We’re working to establish how likely it is that the changes will affect our community, and will keep you informed. Why do the Government want to do this? The Government believe these changes are necessary because of two Upper Tribunal judgements in 2016. They feel the rulings in these judgements broadened the way PIP assessment criteria should be interpreted beyond the original intention.

Further loss of support is unacceptable

Our CEO Michelle says: “We’re appalled by these restrictions. Less than a year ago the government promised people wouldn’t lose any more support. Over one in five people with MS have already had their benefit downgraded after being reassessed from Disability Living Allowance. It’s unacceptable that people are losing this vital support. Too often, people are relying on tribunals to correct inaccurate decisions.

“The system must be improved to make more sense. These changes will move eligibility criteria even further away from recognising the reality of living with an unpredictable condition like MS.