To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will reconsider the decision to remove those with dementia to be subject to reassessments for personal independence payments after an initial two year award when it is clear that their condition is not going to improve; and what assessment he has made of the potential risk of mental distress to patient and carers as a result of his current policy in this area.
We will take a personalised approach to setting the length of awards, varying the frequency and format of awards and reviews, depending on the individual's needs and the likelihood of their health condition or impairment changing. While in some cases short-term awards of one or two years may be appropriate, we have been clear that longer-term awards will be made in cases where the claimant's needs are expected to remain relatively stable or change slowly. Ongoing awards will be made in some cases where significant change in the claimant's needs is very unlikely.
All awards, regardless of duration, will be reviewed periodically to ensure that the individual continues to receive the correct amount of benefit. Awards will be reviewed in a proportionate way with consideration given to the circumstances of the individual.
Reviews of benefit awards will not always require a face-to-face consultation. Where there is enough evidence individuals will not be required to attend a consultation, and their claim will be reviewed on a paper basis. However, these decisions will be taken on a case-by-case basis, as impairments can affect people in very different ways. Individuals that are asked to attend a face-to-face consultation will be able to bring with them a relation, friend or possibly a professional who supports them, in order to support them or help them manage any anxiety they may feel.