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Third Of NI DLA Clamants Get No PIP

November 9, 2017

More than a third of Disability Living Allowance (DLA) claimants in Northern Ireland have had their benefit stopped after being reassessed for the new Personal Independence Payment (PIP).

The figures were provided to the BBC Northern Ireland Spotlight programme.

PIP is paid to people aged 16 to 64 to help with extra costs they face due to ill health or disability and is gradually replacing DLA.

Just over 21,000 reassessments had been completed by the end of July 2017.

Seven thousand, seven hundred and four claimants were ‘disallowed’ after the initial PIP decision.

That is higher than the disallowance rate in Great Britain which stands at 27%.

The Department for Communities said the process was still in “very early days” with the majority of around 125,000 claimants still to be reassessed.

It added that to date the “vast majority” of claimants assessed were those who had a fixed term award or who had reported a change in their care or mobility needs after the introduction of PIP.

‘Urgent review’

The charity Advice NI said they were “shocked” by the high disallowance rate when compared to GB

Chief Executive Bob Stronge said: “The Department for Communities may say that we are at the early stages of DLA reassessment, but we have to wonder is there a problem with how the PIP system is operating in NI.

“These are significant numbers and they do not bode well. We would ask that an urgent review be carried out with a view to correcting any anomalies in our system.

“Advisers are already seeing increased demands on advice services following the introduction of PIP, so much so that PIP enquiries now represent over half of all social security enquiries dealt with by the independent advice sector. “

Northern Ireland is the region of the UK which has consistently had the highest rate of DLA claims.

DLA was commonly based on self-assessment, whereas eligibility for PIP includes a test carried out by a company on behalf of the government.

The criteria for PIP are stricter than for DLA

Money is allocated according to a points system and eligibility is kept under regular review.

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