Jan 212014

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is the new benefit which replaces Disability Living Allowance (DLA). 

DLA was introduced in the UK in 1992, and its main purpose was to compensate for the extra costs associated with disability and it was therefore not means tested, non contributory and not taxable. Although the majority of people claiming DLA had mobility issues, some disabled people would also choose to claim it to cover their personal care costs. Many were awarded DLA for life in recognition that their impairment/health issue would be with them for life. DLA was for those both in and out of work for the extra costs associated with disability. The Government presented PIP as a ‘like for like’ payment to replace DLA.

PIP was introduced in 2012 to replace DLA, the government arguing that the increasing number of claimants made DLA unsustainable.  PIP is therefore more restrictive and will lead not only to a reduced number of claimants but also to a reduced number of claimants entitled to the enhanced rate of the mobility component. http://disabilitynewsservice.com/2014/01/shocking-pip-figure-raises-new-motability-concerns/

PIP has also been riddled in controversy because of Atos, the firm contracted by the government to undertake the PIP and the Work Capability Assessments, which has led to 1 million disabled people appealing in court, with 43% of them succeeding in having their fit for work decision overturned. https://dpac.uk.net/2012/11/esa-appeals-increase-by-40-what-the-newspapers-wont-print/

Therefore it really came as a surprise to discover that in 2012 PIP had become a sanctionable benefit.



However aborrhent sanctions are, there is a kind of twisted logic behind them.  JSA and ESA claimants have to sign a contract (under duress, meaning threat of sanctions) and have to comply with the terms of this ‘contract’ (again under threat of sanctions). If they don’t, they will lose some of their benefits and many JSA and ESA claimants have been sanctioned, some 120 disabled people up to three years http://www.cpag.org.uk/content/3-year-benefit-ban-hits-120-disabled-people-under-new-sanctions-regime

 But with PIP, there is no contract, no Jobseeker’s agreement, no Claimant Commitment and it still remains a recognition that life for disabled people is more expensive, if they have to buy appliances or care that non disabled people don’t need in order to live a decent and dignified life or to work.

So what does it take to have your PIP sanctioned?  Is there somebody in the twittersphere or reading this article who can answer this question?  Because making PIP sanctionable does not make any sense, unless the DWP or IDS have a cunning plan. And they might.


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  10 Responses to “How can PIP be sanctionable?”

  1. Eveyone be careful! I rang PIP yesterday and asked them for reconsideration on my mobility component due to increased pain on my legs, so for increase. he started asking me “how did you get to your GP, by bus, how long did it take you…so you travel alone? So are you feeling better? Pain will not give you an increase as you can walk 200m, but we need to re-assess your claim as you are better in your mental health. When did you get better? Last spring. I am sending your calim back for re-assessment as you are better now”.
    So I cried my eyes out, as the reason I imporved is because I am using the benefit for private therapy which helps me improve and “if you reduce it, I won’t be able to afford the therapy which is helping me improve”.
    However, the re-assessment is happening as we speak, not only I didn’t get increase, but they I mihgt have reduction and yes…decuctions. yes, decductions on my PIP from the moment I wasn’t so…dicabled any more.
    These are the things that are happening in DWP if you ring them.

  2. Hi, I am a researcher at HardcashProductions and we are looking into the delays for receiving PIP. The delays as I’m sure you are aware are long and strenuous, which is unfair to disability sufferers. We are aiming to show the true and accurate side of those with disabilities who are trying to receive Personal Independence Payment.
    Can we contact you directly to discuss potential parictipants.
    Please respond at your earliest convenience via my email: mathew.roache1@city.ac.uk or richard@hardcashproductions.com.

    Kind Regards

  3. I was sent this info too and I have passed it on to several MP’s to clarify the issue, my main concern is why the person concerned was allowed to reply to the FOI request in the first place, as the response clearly states ” The KEY benefits where sanctions are imposed are JSA IS and PIP” clearly the information section of the DWP needs looking at as a sanction is completely different to stopping a benefit due to fraud

    Yet another case of left and right hands not knowing what they are doing

  4. I’ve has a Benefits Advisor contact a friend of hers who works in the place and have it confirmed PIP claimants cannot receive sanctions for this benefit.

    Aaaaaand relax. But only for a moment.

  5. This is seriously scary stuff, what will this man think up next. A question, how are those sanctioned being supported, does anyone have a fund going somewhere in which we could contribute some pennies towards helping them? I would be very happy to go without something so that they can have food and heating or whatever they need, please let us know if this is possible.

  6. Don’t worry, the DWP letter was written by an idiot: in relation to PIP, the words “sanctions” in the letter, and “sanctionable” in the Fraud Act, don’t refer to cuts in benefits just for misconduct (eg not attending an interview on time) as they commonly do when referring to JSA and ESA. Instead, in relation to PIP, these words, and the phrase “sanctionable benefit”, refer to the stopping of payment of a benefit (including DLA, child benefit and retirement pension) where the claimant has received a criminal conviction for a second or subsequent benefit offence: see s.7 Social Security Fraud Act 2001 (as amended).
    Charles Beton (Birmingham Claimants’ Union).

  7. You mentioned above the fixed caim on DLA such as the Indefinite Claim which will be taken away with the new PIP benefit so this is why I am challenging this Government with a Petition at http://www.change.org Government Policy on Disability Living Allowance changes please sing and share I need more signatures it needs to be heard. Thanks

  8. i was forwarded this information…ive yet to look through it all but maybe something uselful. Decisions Makers Guide https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/decision-makers-guide-vols-8-and-9-employment-and-support-allowance-staff-guide

    • This is from the government document re benefits that can be sanctioned,the way I see it is that PIP itself can’t be sanctioned but if it’s involved with fraud another benefit being awarded can be sanctioned instead

      Confused? you will be

      gov.uk/government/publications/loss-of-benefit-as-a-penalty-for-benefit-fraud/loss-of-benefit-as-a-penalty-for-benefit-fraud …

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