COMMONS

MPs hold open meeting to discuss Disability Living Allowance Reform

15 November 2011

The Work and Pensions Committee will be holding an open meeting on the Government’s plans to replace Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for working-age claimants with Personal Independence Payment (PIP) from 2013. The meeting will be held in Port Talbot on Tuesday 22 November.

PIP will be similar to DLA in that it will be a non-means tested, non-contributory tax-free cash benefit paid to people whose disabilities mean they incur extra costs in everyday life.

However, the Government aims to simplify the benefit and reduce expenditure by introducing a new face-to-face assessment for PIP and by changing some of the current rules. The changes include: systematic periodic review of most PIP awards; ending automatic entitlement for specific conditions; replacing DLA’s three rates in the care component with two rates in the new daily living component; and extending the Qualifying Period from 3 months to 6 months.

The purpose of the meeting is to hear the views of the public on the Government’s plans. Neath Port Talbot is one of the local authority areas with the highest proportion of DLA recipients. The Committee is particularly keen to hear directly from people who are likely to be affected by the reforms.

Details are as follows:
Work and Pensions Committee Open Meeting in Neath

Tuesday 22 November

2pm – 4pm, The Ballroom, Best Western Aberavon Beach Hotel, Port Talbot SA12 6QP

Dame Anne Begg, Chair of the Committee said:

“We have received written submissions and heard evidence from academics, benefits experts and disability representative organisations but we are keen to get out of Westminster and hear directly from people likely to be affected by these reforms. We want to find out how well DLA works for people at the moment and what needs to change but we are also aware that some people are worried about the proposed new rules and assessment regime. This open meeting is an opportunity for people to express their concerns directly to us. We will then be able to put these concerns to the Minister for Disabled People during our inquiry.”

Press are invited attend. Please contact media officer Jessica Bridges-Palmer to register and for more details: [email protected] / 020 7219 0724.

Image: iStockphoto

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