I am publishing today the “Government’s response to the consultation on disability living allowance reform” (Cm 8051).
Disability living allowance (DLA) has not been fundamentally changed or updated since it was introduced, and no longer provides the framework for supporting disabled people that is needed in the 21st century. Over the last 18 years, DLA has failed to keep pace with the changing approach to disability in society. As it stands, DLA is complex to apply for and to administer, lacks consistency in the way it supports disabled people with similar needs, and has no systematic process for checking the ongoing accuracy of awards.
This is why we believe that now is the time to reform DLA by replacing it with a new benefit for working-age disabled people—personal independence payment. This new benefit will better reflect the desire from disabled people to live independent lives, not labelling individuals by a health condition or impairment but considering its impact on their everyday lives.
The importance of personal independence payment means that spending must remain sustainable for the future. Currently 3.2 million people receive DLA, an increase of around 30% in the past eight years. The announced budget for working-age spend by 2015-16 will bring that expenditure back to 2009-10 levels.
The Government response outlines the feedback received, from both individuals and organisations, and provides further information regarding the replacement of DLA and the introduction of personal independence payment for working-age people from 2013-14.
Copies of the Government’s response will be available in the Vote Office, and will be available shortly at: www.dwp.gov.uk/dla-reform.