More than 300,000 disabled people to have benefits cut says Esther McVey

 

More than 300,000 disabled people will have their benefits cut when Disability Living Allowance is replace by a new benefit, Esther McVey, the minister for disabled people, announced today – but the change has been delayed for two years.

An initial 560,000 claimants will be reassessed by October 2015, and 330,000 or these are expected to either lose their benefit altogether or see their payments reduced, Ms McVey told the House of Commons today.

Ms McVey also announced that reassessments of the remaining claimants will not start until October 2015.

The delay would see most claimants being reassessed after the next General Election, meaning that any furore generated by the changes would be less likely to be an issue during the campaign.

Around 3.2 million people currently receive DLA which gives them between £20.55 and £131.50 a week towards the additional costs of living caused by being disabled. But it will be replaced in April by Personal Independence Payments (PIP).

The first 560,000 claimants will be reassessed by October 2015. This includes people who report a change in circumstances, those whose time-limited award comes to an end and young people turning 16.

The remainder had previously been told to expect to be contacted between October 2013 and March 2016 about their reassessment. Now they will not be reassessed until October 2015 at the earliest.

Ms McVey argued that this would enable the Government to learn from an independent review of the new system planned for 2014. She said: “This means we can learn from the early introduction of PIP – testing our process, and making sure the assessment is working correctly before we embark on higher volumes.”

Mark Lever, Chief Executive of The National Autistic Society, expressed concern that Ms McVey had set out numbers of people expected to lose their benefits, arguing that it suggested the assessments might not be conducted fairly.

“It is concerning that in making her statement to Parliament, Disabilities Minister Esther McVey set out very clearly the numbers of people who she believed will qualify for the new benefit.

“The Government  must  ensure that all assessments are conducted independently and fairly and arbitrary targets are not placed on assessors, as the process is rolled out”

Steve Winyard, co-chair of the Hardest Hit coalition, said: “This is a cruel and unwanted early Christmas “present” for disabled people already hardest hit by the Government’s austerity programme.”

“Back in 2010 the Prime Minister promised to protect the most vulnerable while seeking to reduce the deficit.  However this has been totally forgotten as disabled people experience deep cuts to their benefits, services and rights. Last week it was the reduction in the value of Employment and Support Allowance, today it is entitlement to DLA/PIP.”

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
2015 General Election
May2015

Poll of Polls

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Online Sales and Customer Services Associate

£14000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Full time and Part time positio...

Ashdown Group: IT Manager - Salesforce / Reports / CRM - North London - NfP

£45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established and reputable Not for Profit o...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Ledger & Credit Control Assistant

£14000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Ledger & Credit Control...

Recruitment Genius: Project Administrator

£16000 - £19000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Project Administrator is requ...

Day In a Page

Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn