Personal Independence Payment: Motor Neurone Disease

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 23rd April 2018.

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Photo of Tom Brake Tom Brake Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (International Trade), Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Exiting the European Union)

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the potential merits of granting indefinite personal independence payment awards to people diagnosed with motor neurone disease.

Photo of Sarah Newton Sarah Newton The Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions

Reviews of Personal Independence Payment (PIP), which can be paid at one of eight rates, are a key part of the benefit and ensure that not only do awards remain correct where needs may change, including increasing, but that we also maintain contact with the claimant, both features missing from its predecessor Disability Living Allowance. Importantly, the length of an award is based on an individual’s circumstances and can vary from nine months to an on-going award, with a light touch review at the ten year point.

We are aware through discussion with stakeholders such as the Motor Neurone Disease Association, that some people are not receiving an award duration that is appropriate to their condition and needs arising. We are, therefore, currently developing improved guidance to ensure that those with severe and/or progressive conditions, who are awarded the highest level of PIP, get an award duration that is appropriate and avoids unnecessary reviews. Once we have written the new guidance we will take that through a process of testing to ensure it works effectively and is delivering as intended.

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