This change is already being implemented in northern England and beginning in June 2013, new claims will take place in the remainder of the country.
Residents who are currently receiving DLA and experience changes in circumstances will begin being transferred to the new system in October.
As living costs increase, more people are protesting the new system.
This year, many people are finding their income unchanged while their living expenses increase. In general, living expenses are higher for disabled individuals. The current economic situation is throwing more disabled people into debt simply for trying to cover essential costs. According to some charities, DLA reform must address the higher level of expenses that disabled people are facing.
Unfortunately, reform measures seem to be hurting, not helping, from a financial perspective.
Are You in Danger of Losing DLA Benefits?
More than 3.3 million people currently receive DLA. Under the current system, claimants are provided benefit payments without reverification of their condition. According to statistics from the Department of Work and Pensions, more than 70 percent of DLA claimants receive lifetime payments.
The government believes that the condition of some disabled individuals improves over time and has called for regular assessments.
According to the charity Scope, replacing DLA with PIP will cut off relevant financial support to 600,000 people. Disabled individuals who are in debt may experience tighter restrictions on their finances. When commenting on the disability benefit reform, Scope chief executive Richard Hawkes referred to it as “fundamentally flawed.”
Disabled individuals are very worried about the changes and may say that the quality of their lives will suffer.
DLA benefits are intended to prevent disabled individuals from becoming financial burdens on family and friends. With this reform, there may be no alternative for some people. Others will be forced to turn to debt management tools like consolidation, debt management plans, and even bankruptcy.
No matter how they handle their situations, their financial worries are bound to increase, which could affect their health.
The government is attempting to reduce overpayments and make benefits sustainable in the future. However, many people believe that the existing reform will not be the solution unless the PIP assessment process is fair. Disabled individuals are already twice as likely to be living in poverty.
As they worry about losing their benefits payments, they must find other ways to manage current and future debts.