Claims axe fear
Reporter: LUCY KENDERDINE
Date online: 04 October 2013
Benefit reforms could mean big changes
A THIRD of Oldhamers claiming Disability Living Allowance may lose out when the Government’s controversial new Personal Independence Payment system is launched on Monday.
The amount paid to individuals with disabilities will in future be dependent on the condition’s effect on the individual, rather than on the condition itself.
Regular personal assessments will be required to ensure claimants are receiving the correct help; payments will range from £21-£134.40 a week.
From Monday, residents will be asked to apply for PIP to claim for a child who is turning 16, to report changes of circumstances that would affect their rate of payment or if they receive a fixed-term DLA award that expires after the end of February, 2014. All other DLA claimants will be asked to apply for PIP in October, 2015.
Councillor Abdul Jabbar has warned of the potentially harmful impact the new system, part of the Government’s welfare reforms, will have on disabled residents.
He said: “Medical notes are no longer being accepted as enough evidence as proof that people require support.
“It means vulnerable and disabled people, even those with lifetime health conditions, may have to undergo face-to-face medical interviews. These will add unnecessary stress and challenges for people who need help in society. In my opinion this is unfair.”
Nationally, the Government has estimated that of the 3.2 million currently claiming DLA in the UK, 450,000 will no longer be eligible for the same level of income support they currently receive by October, 2018, when all working-age DLA claimants will be switched to PIP.
For more information complete an online form at www.oldham.gov.uk/askforhelpwithbenefits.
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