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Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is to replace Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for people of working age, starting from April 2013. Part 4 of the Welfare Reform Act 2012 provides the framework for PIP, but the detailed rules for the new benefit – including the assessment criteria – are to be set out in regulations. Further background can be found in Library briefing SN06422, Personal Independence Payment: an introduction.

On 13 December 2012 the final draft regulations setting out the detailed rules for PIP were laid before Parliament. The regulations incorporate various changes from previous drafts of the assessment criteria, following the Government’s consultations. Some changes have been welcomed but disability organisations have concerns about other aspects. The Minister for Disabled People, Esther McVey, and DWP officials gave evidence to the Work and Pensions Committee on PIP on 21 January. On 23 January DWP also published a draft of the PIP assessment guide for assessment providers.

PIP was expected to be fully introduced by 2016, but the timetable for reassessing existing DLA claimants for PIP has been pushed back so that the bulk of the reassessments will not now begin until October 2015, with the process to be completed by late 2018.

PIP was originally expected to reduce working-age DLA caseloads and expenditure by 20 per cent, giving savings of around £1.5 billion a year by 2016-17. The Government estimated that the previous draft of the assessment criteria would have meant around 500,000 fewer people getting benefit by 2015-16 than would have got DLA under the existing rules. It now estimates that, by 2018, around 607,000 fewer people will receive PIP than would have got DLA – a 28% reduction in the caseload. The Government’s estimated breakdown of the PIP caseload at May 2018 suggests that expenditure in that year will be around £2.5 billion lower than expenditure on DLA would have been (figures at 2013-14 prices, based on 2013-14 PIP/DLA rates). This equates to savings of 27%.

The draft Social Security (Personal Independence Payment) Regulations 2013 are subject to the affirmative procedure.

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