Tuesday, 10 May 2011

PIP Assessment Criteria Pulished

The draft Assessment Criteria for the new Personal Independence Payment (PIP) have been published here, along with some related documents and the draft regulations. This is worrying as the Welfare Reform Bill which will create PIP is not even law as yet, and DLA reform is being scrutinized by the Welfare Reform Bill Committee today. It is fair to say that this document jumps the gun a bit!

The draft assessment criteria seem slightly nonsensical - a slightly modified version of the descriptors for the flawed WCA eligibility test for ESA. The assessment is structured like a multiple-choice test, with a certain number of points needed for eligibility to a component of PIP. Sufficed to say, there are many reasons to be highly sceptical about the approach, not least because of the dubious quality of the questions.

The PIP Objective Assessment Development Group will be considering comments received by 6 June 2011 before they test the likely impact of the draft criteria during the summer. The Broken of Britain intends to read through this material and set out our reply, but we need your help. We would like you to scan the assessment criteria and tell us whether the test would account fairly for your particular disability.

You can write a paragraph here, or email rhydian@thebrokenofbritain.org with your arguments, and any other points that you want to make. If you want to send detailed comments of your own, send them to PIP.assessment@gsi.dwp.gov.uk directly. Whether you send your own comments, or contribute to ours, please get involved.

21 comments:

DeusExMacintosh said...

""We want to ensure that the assessment criteria are accurately and consistently assessing individuals and to understand their likely impact. We therefore intend to test the draft criteria over the summer, by seeking volunteers willing to take part in face-to-face consultations with independent trained healthcare professionals. During these consultations individuals will be assessed against the criteria set out in the annex of this paper. Involvement in the testing will not affect customers’ current or future benefit entitlement in any way.""

Yeah, good luck with that.

DavidG said...

It's actually impossible to assess how you would be affected given that the scoring and thresholds aren't currently included.

The presence in the mobility section of distances over 50m might possibly mean an increase in flexibility, and the possibility of LRM now being accessible (hah!) to physical mobility impairments, but the reality is impossible to determine with the information in the current draft.

It's also going to be important to monitor what's happening with the associated benefits like blue badges, to which HRM is currently a gateway.

I notice they actually had a grand total of 1 disabled person on their committee, and they from Equality 2025, so conditioned not to rock the boat.

Oya's Daughter said...

I find it rather worrying that in the paragraph about aids, they seem to be taking into account all aids now; granted, they do that now - my walking stick is proof positive that I'm perfectly able to get around, not that I am very unsteady on my feet and I don't venture out during the winter at ALL because the ice is too treacherous for me. Somehow, having a walking stick means I've got mobility sorted. And so, I suppose, is anyone who uses crutches, a wheelchair, wrist splints, glasses, and hearing aids. Aids seem to be treated and discussed as a CURE, which concerns me. I'm incontinent; yes I have pads, but that doesn't suddenly cure the fact I have bladder troubles -and yet that seems to be exactly what ATOS assessed, my pads didn't even get a mention. I have foam grips to be able to keep painting and drawing - take those away and I'd be down a job. But, since I have them, I therefore don't have a problem with my fingers. *sigh*

There's also the "wider scope of every day life" thing; there is nothing there about paying bills, managing money, whether they have internet access or are able to use a computer, remember passwords and PIN numbers (and this is almost vital these days), whether or not one is capable of driving or has access to mobility. If seems as if they make the leap in logic that people who do anything other than eat, bathe, and sleep aren't actually disabled. And people who have learned to cope - even through brute force - are "All right Jack" and therefore should just carry on doing that. The whole dignity portion of assessment seems to have gone flying right out of the equation.

Jan said...

All good points in the above comments. I took a look but it baffled me. I don't get DLA, though I qualify, so this isn't my expert area. Oya's Daughter makes a very good point about managing finances. The bank have taken nearly £100 off me in fines in the past 8 months or so, because I'm brain-damaged and can't remember a damn thing from one day to the next. I'm trying to get them to switch off "unplanned borrowing" using a Disability Discrimination argument, but no luck so far.

Anonymous said...

Before I even started reading properly, the first thing I notice is that though the Consultation talked about “reform” of DLA -

“06 December 2010 – Welfare REFORM: Disability Living Allowance for the 21st century

Today the Minister for Disabled People, Maria Miller, asked disabled people and their organisations to join the debate on REFORMING Disability Living Allowance – a vital part of the welfare system.”

they are now stating “replacement” of DLA -

“In December 2010, the Government published its proposals to REPLACE Disability Living Allowance from 2013/14 with a new benefit, Personal Independence Payment.”

To me that means the Consultation was misleading from the start.

fourbanks said...

To my mind these new guidelines or plans are for most people not at all going to be understood who ever devised this new formula and point scoring is a manipulative word expert because none of that document applies to me at all and i dare say wont apply to others
I don't think that who ever devised it has ever been ill in his life and for the life of me couldn't make head nor tail of that document

I just hope that Marie miller and all those involved becomes ill themselves then they will know exactly what to do for the best as that document stands at the moment it is all gobbledygook of the highest order

fourbanks said...

There should be just two criteria for PIP and that's those who are housebound etc(high rate)and those that have a limited capacity in going out (medium/low rate)

And for personal care those that need to be washed and dressed etc (high rate) and those who are generally just very week and need some help and company (medium/low rate)

everyone here i think could understand that formula

As for point scoring that is just plain wrong

Oya's Daughter said...

Actually, here's another issue I have; the PIP, just as DLA before it, assumes that all disabled people claiming are single, or at least that's my take on it. Therefore there is never any mention of the difficulty you may have being a parent and trying to attend the needs of your child (gods, disabled people breeding! the horror!). As a disabled parent with a disabled child I am always amazed and shocked at how many cracks I seem to fall through as none of the various offices or services are designed to support disabled parents. If I was a single person, willing to live in a one room flat, I'd be sorted. But if you dare to have a partner or children, it's as if there's no coping strategy there at all - more to the point, an assumption made that you would only dream of having a sex life or children if you weren't hampered in any way by disability.

So where is the parenting/spouse/partner section of this assessment? Why is it that the difficulty of trying to take my child to anything due to mobility and fatigue is never considered? How is it that no one wishes to recognise that this means my sentence of isolation doesn't merely affect me but also my child? I have never had a good answer to why disabled parenting isn't even in the cards for services, and if they really are trying to change the system, I want to know when they're going to acknowledge that disabled people, in a word, shag. And enjoy it. And have offspring. And that is perfectly within our rights to do so.

fourbanks said...

very good point oya i have been thinking this for ages that none of us have talked about our families and the pain they have to go through in living in a household where someone is ill/disabled all the time

Jan said...

YES, OD, perfectly put. There should be a few criteria in there for childcare too, where the hell is it? I'll stand in total solidarity with disabled parents.

Adrian said...

Their ignorance is outstanding as but one clear example -home haemodialysis cannot be undertaken alone-you need someone with you-whether you have any other disabilities/illnesses or not.That is a basic fact.That they are ignorant at such a basic level does not bode well.

zimmie said...

They are being very clever by taking out the use of aids and adaptions, so you can do tasks if you use sticks, wheelchair etc..
Lets not kid ourselves it the Atos test just brushed over. Agree where was the disabled input!!
And the point about family totally agree. Its not been agreed yet so there is still hope

fourbanks said...

This is just a cost saving document full of meaningless words and has nothing whatsoever to do with your care

As lord sugar would say it's the biggest load of bull going and i from his neck of the woods cant see any other outcome

If someone came to me in my business with a document like that i would fire him on the spot as none of it makes any sense whatsoever

Anonymous said...

at first glance it seems that the two components are distinctly separate: balance problems would only come into the mobility bit and not the care bit. The fact that you could not prepare a meal without falling over, or buy a meal without toppling over may mean you get no care assistance at all.
Likewise in the shower etc.

Very geared to appease the mental health sector whilst taking no account of complex multiple conditions

Dombed said...

I'm wondering why safety has been completely ignored?

Some people have conditions that mean they need supervision for their own safety - that is not in there at all.

Sam Barnett-Cormack said...

It's not jumping the gun... they promised to publish these while the committee was still considering, as they need to consider the bill in light of what the assessment and regulations will be. Otherwise they're just scrutinising a framework that could do anything.

Sam Barnett-Cormack said...

Well, I've edited and expanded that last comment to form a last-minute extra submission to the committee scrutinising the bill. Hope they can consider it and take it into account. Figured it being in the scrutiny office's hands tomorrow morning was more important than it being perfect, so I've sent it.

Anonymous said...

It is blatantly obvious - Right from the start - That the ''consultation'' in to DLA was a farce. They never had any intention of listening to people or caring about people at all. They don't give a sh*t about the disabled of Britain - In fact the only person Cameron cares for is his self.

This DLA / PIP thing is just a way to tell us we are all fine and dandy. Never mind the fact that when he deems us all fit and well - We will in fact be worse because he will have removed yet more of what we had to live on - And the amount of disabled people n JSA will be so many - Alot of whom will be signing on for life as nobody will employ them.

I am totally sickened by Maria Miller who should be illediately sacked - she is NOT ''The minister FOR disabled people'' she is the minister AGAINST disabled people - She should be sacked immediately and get someone in the job who actually gives a crap about us.

I know that the life I have - Which is not one of joy and fun - Will be so very much harder thanks to this PIP thing and new ESA WCA stuff. Every single day I dread it because I know this could be the day when the letter comes through the door about ESA and it is like the beginning of the end of life as I know damn well I wont get a fair assessment!! I know damn well they know nothing of my illness, and I know well they dont give atoss about me or anyone anyways.

And yet again the govt attack disabled people blaming them fo this defecit when the truth is - This govt are allowing companies to not pay tax, and also allowing companies to play the offshore game and not pay tax to the UK. Yet all we are told is how we are a load of scum and scroungers.

CAMERON YOU SICKEN ME YOU ARE LESS OF A MAN THAN ANY I HAVE EVER MET - You lied to us and said you would care for the old the sick and the young - and all you havedone is hurt people.

How your wife can even look at you is beyond me - I would throw up every day!

Anonymous said...

At the moment I get the higher rate of both DLA components, but looking at these regulations I'm not sure I will qualify for PIP at all. I am very worried about this.

The following worry me most:

1. Why is managing medications (which might be necessary to stay alive) rated as low scoring, but communicating with people (which isn't strictly necessary to live) rated as high scoring.

2. They acknowledge fluctuating conditions but stress the judgement is to be made on the majority of the time. So if someone was totally paralysed for six-months-less-one-day of the year, but not for the other six and a day then they will score nothing for this and receive no help?! Surely they ought to look at a balance of the different situations, not just take the one majority one?

Sometimes I am relatively well, but I receive both DLA components at higher rate largely because for less than the majority of the time I am completely unable to keep myself physically safe and alive without a lot of assistance. I used to be hospitalised when this occured, but as a result of DLA and a helpful GP practice we now manage to keep me at home. Without the DLA I guess I'll be being a regular inpatient again and costing the NHS thousands and thousands of pounds more.

At the moment I qualify for DLA based on a physical illness, but with these regulations I think the only way I might qualify for PIP would be as a result of problems related to the anxiety and depression I now have as a side effect of my long term illness and isolation from society. If so, this would seem very strange.

(Sorry if post is a bit muddled and rambling - I'm dozy today from my medication.)

Sam Barnett-Cormack said...

TBH, I think if these remain the same they'll end up saving a lot more than 20%; the idea that they're aimed at specific disabilities rather than being general sounds like a plausible explanation for all of the gaps. Most activities don't have any descriptors at all for needing help intermittently, FFS...

Jane said...

I read the draft criteria yesterday and got very depressed. I get higher rate care and mobility and whilst I can see that I should get higher rate mobility under these proposals (depending on the scoring detail etc which isn't stated), I can't see how anyone can get the care allowance unless they're completely paralysed! The examples used of conditions that might apply are extremely restricted. In relation to the care criteria, they seem to take no account of the following:
- Pain
- Fatigue
- Ability to move around indoors
- Ability to stand
- Ability to get out of bed
- ability to get into bed
- ability to get to the toilet and safely back during the night when under the influence of strong drugs (applicable to lots of people with chronic painful conditions)
- ability to sleep on a normal mattress as opposed to a highly expensive electrically operated mattress

and on and on - you get the picture. I just don't know where to start in commenting - and after the little notice taken of all of us who commented on the DLA consultation itself, I wonder why we bother anyway? Do they actually want to know what we think, or are they just asking as they know they should?

And why only one, or maximum two, disabled people on the group?? What's that about - and Maria Miller says she's consulting with disabled people??

I don't believe a word this government says any more, and I try to be fair and even handed... not like them!