DWP warning as major change to PIP eligibility could affect people with these 5 conditions | Personal Finance | Finance

Major changes to PIP could affect millions of claimants with the top five qualifying health conditions for the benefit revealed.

The DWP has put set out a green paper consultation, looking at ending cash payments and switching instead to a voucher or catalogue scheme.

Officials are also considering changing the eligibility and assessment criteria for the benefits payment, which supports people who live with a long term health condition.

There are over 540 conditions that can qualify a person to get PIP including five conditions that are the most common ones.

The most common condition is psychiatric disorders, which accout for 37 percent of claims, with 1,318,073 claimants.

Conditions under this category include mixed anxiety, stress, depressive and mood disorders, OCD and cognitive disorders.

These are the other top conditions:

  • Musculoskeletal disease (general) – 691,660 claimants (20 percent)
  • Neurological disease – 434,867 claimants (13 percent)
  • Musculoskeletal disease (regional) – 410,511 claimants (12 percent).
  • Respiratory disease – 139,059 claimants (Four percent).

Plans were previously brought forward in April to change eligibility criteria, to make the system more personalised.

Ministers warned there were increasing numbers of claimants where the main condition was a mental health condition, such as anxiety and depression, which was “driving up the costs of the disability benefits bill at an unsustainable rate”.

Labour peer Baroness Margaret Ritchie recently asked the Government in the House of Lords “what steps they plan to take to ensure that people are safeguarded from serious harm as a result of the new policies currently under consultation in relation to Personal Independence Payments (PIP)”.

Viscount James Younger said in response: “The consultation is guided by three priorities: providing the right support to the people who need it most; targeting our resources most effectively; and supporting disabled people and people with long-term health conditions to live independently and reach their full potential.

“As we develop any proposals, we will carefully consider the impacts of any potential changes.

“We recognise that as a department we come into contact with some claimants who are potentially very vulnerable.

“We have a range of policies and procedures in place to help those individuals with difficult personal circumstances and/or life events to access benefits and use our services and will continue to provide this support should any changes be taken forward as a result of the consultation.”

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