DWP To Stop Reassessing Severely Disabled Claimants

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has released its long awaited Green Paper on Disability. The paper reveals several things the DWP plan on implementing. One such changes is the introduction of a Severe Disability Group (SDG) for people will lifelong health conditions that are unlikely to improve.

The DWP consultation titled: Shaping Future Support, The Health and Disability Green Paper has been long awaited by Disability Groups. It’s stated goal was to listen to disabled people and 3 sector groups such as charities, to see how they could improve their services for people with disabilities and long-term health conditions.

Currently, people with health conditions on Universal Credit, Personal Independence Payment (PIP) and New Style Employment and Support Allowance (nESA), face a reassessment by the DWP after a set amount of time. This does not apply to people with Terminal illness. For some time disabled people with lifelong conditions have stated that continued reassessment by the DWP have added unnecessary stress and upset. It appears that the DWP may be actually listening, although for cost concerns more than anything.

New Group For Long Term Illnesses

In the paper, there is a section which addresses how people with lifelong conditions are treated by the DWP. It sets out views from disabled people with conditions like Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and how they feel about continuous reassessment benefits such as Universal Credit and PIP.

The paper then reveals that the DWP is already liaising with disability groups, healthcare professionals and charities on implementing a Severe Disability Group (SDG) for claimants whose condition is unlikely to improve. This group would not gain any additional financial support, but instead would not face reassessment following their initial award.

It is unclear what conditions are likely to be included, or the criteria needed to meet this category, but it will come as welcome news to many disabled people who have often spoken about repeated assessments despite having a lifelong health condition. The paper does not set out w timescale for the implementation, although advanced work does appear to have taken place.

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  • Not before time.

  • It will be interesting to see what they regard as severe disabilities. Parents of children with Downs syndrome being asked when their child contracted it. People with prosthetic limbs having mobility element refused. If this will be similar to lifetime awards of DLA, then all the better, but I will hold off any hope until the list of disabilities is released

  • It would be so much better if they revert to the old system of letting a doctor decide who gets what etc. At least in those days home visits were made. Pray to God someone sees sense

    • I don’t think we will ever see the system returned to what it was. This was something Labour were going to do if they got into power, a return to social security in house. Something that is happening in Scotland to some degree. There are too many private companies involved and the GP and consultabt element have been removed from it. We build relationships with out care givers and GP’s and the DWP believe this skews their decisions. Someone with no medical background decides your award based on a medical assessment from someone who may/doesn’t have any knowledge of your conditions and their symptoms. It has been designed as such and wonlt change any time soon.