Disability Living Allowance (DLA) reform and the effects on disabled children
The Welfare Reform Bill currently going through parliament will replace DLA with the new Personal Independence Payment (PIP). We have serious concerns that these proposed changes will have a detrimental impact on disabled children and young people, and their well-being and future life chances.
The government has stated that initially the PIP will only apply to those aged 16 to 64. It is expected that under-16s will be migrated onto PIP at some point in the future.
Background and proposed changes
This briefing note outlines more detail about our concerns, and the changes we want the government to make to ensure the new system works for disabled children and young people.
We call on the government to:
- Maintain the mobility component of DLA/PIP for children in residential schools and residential care. For more information on this – read our response to the Lord Low Review into this issue.
- Ensure that young people do not lose out financially when they move onto PIP and that support is based on young people’s needs rather than on the availability of resources.
- Bring the welfare system into line with other legislation relating to children by treating all under 18-year-olds as children rather than adults. Currently only under-16s are considered children in the welfare system.
- Ensure that the new assessment for qualifying for the PIP is based on both social and medical needs of disabled people.
- Maintain the current three-month qualifying period.
- Facilitate a full and open consultation on how PIP will work effectively for those under 16, including consultation with parents and children and young people themselves.