Dla reform and Personal Independence Payment – completing the detailed design

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1. Executive summary

1.1 Disability Living Allowance (DLA) is being reformed to create a new benefit called Personal Independence Payment – initially this will be introduced for people aged 16-64. The Government is committed to supporting disabled people to exercise choice and control and lead independent lives. Personal Independence Payment will focus support to those individuals experiencing the greatest barriers to living an independent life, while making sure that the benefit remains affordable.

1.2 Between December 2010 and February 2011 the Government carried out a consultation on the reform of DLA, including the high level structure of the new benefit. The Welfare Reform Act 20121 (‘the Act’) provides the legal framework for Personal Independence Payment, and provides enabling powers for the detailed rules to be set out in secondary legislation.

1.3 In January 2012, the Department began a formal 15-week consultation on the

draft assessment criteria2, in particular on the changes that have been made since the first draft3 (published in May 2011); the proposed descriptor weightings and entitlement thresholds; and the draft Assessment Regulations.

1.4 The Government has announced that Personal Independence Payment will be phased-in starting with new claims from April 2013. During the first few months the number of new claims will be limited to a few thousand per month to allow us to test our systems before all new claims for Personal Independence Payment enter the process. We will begin to reassess existing DLA claimants, starting in October 2013, six months after the initial implementation; we will again phase this process.

1.5 This consultation sets out the Government’s proposals on the detailed rules that will underpin Personal Independence Payment. These proposals concern:

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