Personal Independence Payment: Dementia

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 22nd February 2023.

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Photo of Tom Pursglove Tom Pursglove The Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions

Entitlement to Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is assessed on the basis of the needs arising from a health condition or disability, rather than the health condition or disability itself. Award rates and their durations are set on an individual basis, based on the claimant’s needs and the likelihood of those needs changing. Award reviews allow for the correct rate of PIP to remain in payment, including where needs have increased as a consequence of a congenital, degenerative, or progressive condition.

We recognise that attending a PIP assessment can be a stressful experience, which is why we do not carry out face-to-face assessments where there is enough existing evidence to determine benefit entitlement, whether on a new claim or on review. Where there is sufficient evidence on which to make an assessment, the claimant will be assessed on a paper basis. Where a telephone, video, or face-to-face assessment is required, companions are encouraged to attend and can play an active role, which can be particularly helpful for claimants with mental, cognitive, or intellectual impairments who may not be able to provide an accurate account of their condition due to a lack of understanding or unrealistic expectations of their ability.

We announced in the Shaping Future Support: Health and Disability Green Paper, that we will test a new Severe Disability Group (SDG) so that those with severe and lifelong conditions can benefit from a simplified process to access PIP, ESA and UC without needing to go through a face-to-face assessment, or frequent reassessments. We will consider the test results once complete to influence thinking on the next stages of this work.

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