The government wants to save 20% of what it spends on Disability Living Allowance. From June 2013, Disability Living Allowance has gradually been replaced by the Personal Independence Payment even for those who have been given a lifetime award. This will affect people of working age (16-64).
New claims for disability benefits are for Personal Independence Payment and not for Disability Living Allowance. You will have to fill in an application form and you will probably have to attend a medical assessment. This assessment will look at how your condition or impairment affects every day activities.
If you are of working age and receiving Disability Living Allowance and you report a change in your condition, you will have to apply for Personal Independence Payment instead. You will also have to apply for Personal Independence Payment if your benefit award is due to be renewed. If you reached the age of 65 by 8th April 2013 you won’t be asked to claim Personal Independence Payment instead of Disability Living Allowance.
Between January 2014 and Autumn 2017, if you are still on Disability Living Allowance, you will be given the opportunity to apply for Personal Independence Payment. If you do not apply, your benefit payment will stop. You will not be automatically transferred across from Disability Living Allowance to Personal Independence Payment.
Not everyone who receives Disability Living Allowance will automatically receive Personal Independence Payment. If the assessment finds that you are not entitled to Personal Independence Payment then you will be informed and your benefit will be stopped. You can appeal this decision if you feel that it is wrong.
Further advice can be found at:
How could this affect you?
James is 25 years old. At the moment he does not work because of a disability. He has received the lower rate of Disability Living Allowance for several years. As Personal Independence Payment replaces Disability Living Allowance (from June 2013), at some point James will be reassessed. If he fails to meet the criteria for receiving Personal Independence Payment, he could lose a large amount of money – possibly up to £21 per week or £1,092 per year.
There may be other changes – for example, how Personal Independence Payment affects your entitlement to other services like blue badges and entitlements to a free bus pass.