Personal Independence Payment is designed to target support to those with the greatest needs therefore. The entitlement criteria for Personal Independence Payment will be different to those of DLA and will result in some people who have health conditions or disabilities but lesser barriers to participation relative to others receiving reduced support. This is in line with the policy aim to focus support on those with greatest barriers to leading full and active lives. We have already published information on how the benefit caseload will be affected in the consultation document on the assessment criteria published on 16 January 2012.
Central to entitlement to the new benefit will be an assessment to enable an accurate, objective, consistent and transparent consideration of individuals. The assessment criteria are being designed to reflect a more complete consideration of the impact of health conditions or disabilities than Disability Living Allowance, which can give undue priority to physical impairments compared to sensory, mental, cognitive and intellectual impairments. Testing of the draft criteria have shown that they are working to prioritise support on the basis of need, regardless of impairment type.
The assessment will determine entitlement based on individuals’ ability to carry out a series of key everyday activities and entitlement will not be based on the type of impairment claimants have. This should help to remove differences in treatment which can currently arise depending on an individual’s health condition or disability.
The assessment criteria for Personal Independence Payment are being developed in collaboration with a group of independent specialists in disability, health and social care, including disabled people. We are currently carrying out a separate formal consultation on the draft assessment criteria, which runs until 30 April 2012 (www.dwp.gov.uk/pip). Meanwhile we have already engaged with and will continue to engage with the Personal Independence Payment Implementation Development Group, as well as national and local user-led groups on the design to explore impacts of the reforms.
Reform of Disability Living Allowance (DLA) is aimed at working age disabled people aged 16 to 64 (although recipients of Personal Independence Payment will be able to continue to receive the benefit past age 65 if they continue to fulfil the entitlement conditions). We will continue to consider if our policy proposals will have any disproportionate impact on age.
The Government’s proposed changes to DLA and Attendance Allowance regulations are intended to protect the principle of avoiding duplication of provision and align with the proposals we are making for Personal Independence Payment. We currently have limited data available in these areas and are unable to provide any reliable assumptions regarding the impact of these proposals as yet. We intend to collect data on age when Personal Independence Payment is rolled out.
We have modified our rules for pensioners over 65 who will be treated slightly differently. The numbers affected in relation to renewals and migration for those not being migrated are small. The action required to collect this data will have a significant administrative impact.
The UK’s benefit payment systems do not currently record the nationality or ethnicity of claimants as neither of these characteristics is of itself a condition of entitlement. There is no evidence to suggest that policy proposals in this document would be more likely to affect any particular ethnic minority group. In our published EIA data from the Family Resource survey indicates ethnic minorities are less likely to receive DLA than people from White backgrounds. There are no indications that people from white backgrounds will be disproportionately affected.
At this stage, no potential adverse impacts on gender have been identified. As the number of men and women in receipt of DLA is broadly equal in general terms there is no reason to suggest that either men or women are more likely to be affected by the introduction of Personal Independence Payment. Following our limited initial testing published in the payment thresholds consultation findings showed that there were no statistically significant effects by gender.
The UK’s benefit payment systems do not currently record the sexual orientation of claimants.
No data is collected on the sexual orientation of DLA recipients. We believe that there are no grounds to suggest that DLA recipients are adversely affected on the basis of their sexual orientation and the same should hold true for Personal Independence Payment.
The UK’s benefit payment systems do not currently record the religion or belief of claimants.
The department does not hold information on its administrative systems on the religion or beliefs of claimants. Based on our knowledge of the policy design and of the customer group, the government does not consider an adverse impact on these grounds.
The Department does not hold information on its administrative systems for DLA on the civil partnership status of claimants. Based on our knowledge of the policy design and of the customer group, the Government does not envisage an adverse impact on these grounds.
The Department only holds information on pregnancy and maternity on its administrative systems where it is the primary reason for incapacity. It cannot therefore be used to accurately assess the equality impacts. Based on our knowledge of the policy design and of the customer group, the Government does not envisage an adverse impact on these grounds.
The Department does not hold information on its administrative systems for DLA on transgender persons. The Government does not envisage an adverse impact on these grounds.
We will continue to monitor and evaluate the impact of our proposals. The Government will consider our current impact and equality impact assessments relating to these proposals. In light of feedback from this consultation, updates will be provided as appropriate and a full Equality Impact Assessment will follow when we are in a position to consider how the policies might affect different groups of people. Moving forward we will continue to invite views and engage with disabled people and their representatives.