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Changes to Personal Independence Payment guidance will allow more people to get PIP

Friday 3rd November 2017

New guidance has just been issued that will make it easier for disabled adults with conditions such as epilepsy to qualify for Personal Independence Payment (PIP).

Penny Mordaunt, minister for disabled people, confirmed yesterday that the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has amended its PIP assessment guide to bring it into line with an earlier Upper Tribunal decision made in March 2017.

As a result, PIP decision makers will now have to apply a different test in deciding whether or not a disabled person is able to carry out an activity safely and whether they require the supervision of another person to do so.

In the past decision makers would only accept that supervision was required if the risk of harm occurring was more likely than not. However, the new guidance makes clear that in assessing whether an activity can be undertaken safely, the decision maker must consider not only the likelihood of harm occurring but also the severity of the consequences.

So if the consequences of harm occurring are very serious, you may still be treated as needing supervision even if the harm occurs less frequently. This new test will make it easier for some claimants to score points under the PIP assessment, on the basis that they need supervision to undertake some activities safely such as cooking.

The Department for Work and Pensions believes that 10,000 claimants will benefit as a result of these changes - mostly people with conditions, such as epilepsy, that affect consciousness.

The minister also confirmed that the DWP will go through all existing PIP cases and identify those entitled to higher PIP payments as a result of the new guidance. The DWP will write to these existing claimants shortly and will backdate any additional payments to March 2017.