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Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is replacing Disability Living Allowance for people of working age. PIP is non-means-tested and is intended to help with the extra costs arising from ill health or disability.

Entitlement to PIP is determined by a “new, fairer, objective assessment of individual need” to ensure support is “targeted on those individuals whose health condition or impairment has the greatest impact on their day-to-day lives.” Advice from an “independent healthcare professional” integral to the assessment process. In most cases, this will involve a face-to-face meeting with the claimant.

Section 89 of the Welfare Reform Act 2012 requires the Secretary of State to commission an independent review of how the Personal Independence Payment assessment is working. On 10 April 2014 it was announced that Paul Gray CB, the current chair of the Social Security Advisory Committee (SSAC), had been appointed “Independent Reviewer” of the PIP assessment.

Following a “Call for Evidence”, the first report of the Independent Review was published on 17 December 2014. It makes recommendations (for the short, medium and long-term) in three main areas:

• Improving the claimant experience

• Clarifying and improving the collection of further evidence

• Assuring the fairness and consistency of PIP award outcomes

On 27 February the Government said that it accepted in full all but one of the review’s short-term recommendations. It will be for the next Government to respond to the medium and long-term recommendations.

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