Disabled People Accused Of Using Aids They Don’t Need


By Frances Ryan in The Guardian.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) knows a good day to bury bad news. Veiled under the New Year holiday – in a consultation set to close next week – the government is quietly examining how to cut eligibility for its disability benefit, personal independence payment (PIP), which is also a passport to other benefits, such as carer’s allowance.

To grasp how this fits into austerity’s bigger picture, it’s worth going back to when the Conservatives began to sell the myth that Britain was filled with hordes of scrounging disabled people lining up to milk the state. Midway through the coalition government, Iain Duncan Smith’s DWP proudly began to scrap the disability living allowance (DLA) – which had, as of 2012, helped 3.2 million disabled people to pay for their additional care or mobility needs – and replace it with PIP.

Unlike the DLA, PIP is a points-based assessment, awarded on “descriptors” on a range of activities (such as washing and bathing) – a method of testing that campaigners long warned would be crude and inaccurate, just like with the infamous work capability assessment.


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