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3 November 2017

Changes to PIP set to benefit people with epilepsy

People with epilepsy could benefit from new guidelines announced by the Government this week, for assessing those who receive PIP - the Personal Independence Payment benefit.

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Higher benefit rates

Changes to the guidelines mean some PIP claimants could receive higher benefit rates.

Under the new guidance, assessors will have to take into consideration claimants' abilities to carry out unsupervised daily tasks safely.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) made the changes following a recent legal decision on the interpretation of people’s needs for supervision in order to carry out activities safely.

Written statement to the Commons

In a written statement to the Commons, Penny Mordaunt, minister of state for disabled people, health and work, said: "This would increase entitlement for a number of new and existing claimants, largely those with conditions such as epilepsy, which affect consciousness."

 Penny Mordaunt's full written statement.

Many people with epilepsy feel they have been penalised by the current assessment criteria for PIP which does not take into account the unpredictable nature of seizures.

The new rules should be better placed to take into consideration the complexity of epilepsy and the impact of seizures.

DWP to contact those affected

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) estimates that around 10,000 claimants will benefit by £70-£90 per week by 2023.

The DWP will be going through all existing cases to identify anyone who may be entitled to more money. They will then contact those people who are affected and all payments will be backdated to March 2017.

Epilepsy society talks to DWP

Earlier this year Epilepsy Society's chief executive Clare Pelham met with Damian Green, now, First Secretary of State and Minister for the Cabinet Office, to discuss reforms to the criteria for claiming the benefit.

Additional changes to PIP guidelines will include clarifications to the assessment criteria for activities communicating verbally and engaging with people face to face  so that claimants can score points for both activities.

There will also be changes to the criteria for the mobility component of PIP to reflect the challenges that may be faced by people with sensory difficulties if they experience disruptions to a journey

In her written statement, Penny Mordaunt stressed that under PIP, 29 per cent of claimants are receiving the higher benefit rates compared with 15 per cent under DLA.

Call our Helpline

If you would like more information about PIP please call our Helpline on 01494 601400, (Mon and Tues 9am-4pm and Wed 9am-7.30pm).


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