DWP PIP claimants could lose cash handouts as five-week warning issued | Personal Finance | Finance

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PIP claimants have been given a five-week warning over planned changes to payments by the DWP which could see cash handouts axed.

A benefits fraud overhaul has been announced by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak aimed at trimming money from the welfare budget as well as a consultation on changes to PIP which could see cash payments axed entirely.

The DWP says it is looking at changes to Personal Independence Payments (PIP) and those currently claiming the benefit have roughly five weeks, until July 22, 2024, to respond to the consultation and object to or support the plans.

Currently PIP pays out a maximum of £737 a month to eligible claimants, or £9,580 a year.

Changes could include axeing cash and swapping to ‘vouchers’ or a catalogue scheme where disabled people order items from a pre-approved list.

The Multiple Sclerosis Trust, which helps people with the condition apply for and get PIP payments, said: “You can have your say on the proposals by responding online, by email or by post.

“Everyone in the UK is welcome to share feedback by 22 July 2024. You don’t need to give your name or any other personal details to take part.

“The government has published a green paper which details the proposed changes to the PIP assessment process, eligibility criteria and the type of support it plans to offer. It also suggests closer alignment of PIP support with existing NHS, social care and local authority services.

“It is important to point out that these are only proposals at this stage. According to Disability Rights UK, any new PIP reforms would require new primary legislation, and this is not likely until after the general election.

The government’s green paper consultation says: “PIP was designed to help disabled people and people with long-term health conditions by making a cash contribution towards their extra costs.

“It does not require any calculation of these costs, nor does it require recipients to spend their award in a particular way. Some people on PIP may have relatively small one-off or ongoing additional costs related to their disability or health condition that are fully covered by their award while others may find the current system does not provide enough support to meet their needs.

“In the current PIP system, claimants choose which costs are the greatest priority to them and spend their award money accordingly. We know from research that people often use their PIP payments on core household expenditure (such as utility and housing costs).”

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