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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