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Government’s PIP reform: a step backward for disability support

The UK Government’s recent Green Paper consultation on Personal Independence Payment (PIP) reform has sparked concern among disability advocates.

The proposed changes, driven by a desire to cut the benefit’s budget, threaten to undermine the support system that many disabled individuals rely on.

Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Mel Stride, has cited a projected 63% increase in PIP spending as a reason for drastic reform. However, these figures do not capture the full picture of the necessity for such support, especially post-pandemic.

The 12-week consultation period, starting from 29 April, feels like a mere formality when the proposed changes seem to disregard the real-life implications for disabled people.

While any reforms would require new legislation post-general election, the current trajectory suggests a worrying future for PIP recipients.

Flaws in the Green Paper

The “Modernising support for independent living: the Health and Disability Green Paper” outlines several changes that could significantly restrict disabled individuals’ independence, including:

  • Restrictive Eligibility Criteria: Potentially disqualifying many in need.
  • Assessment Overhaul: Oversimplifying complex individual needs.
  • Non-Cash Alternatives: Limiting the flexibility necessary for diverse disability-related costs.

The Green Paper’s acknowledgment of the stress caused by assessments offers little solace when paired with the proposed eligibility and assessment reforms that could make qualifying even more challenging.

The suggested alternatives to cash payments, such as vouchers or one-off grants, raise alarms about the potential reduction in overall support and autonomy for disabled people.

The push to align PIP with local services, while seemingly efficient, risks creating a disjointed system that may fail to address individual needs adequately.


The Spinal Injuries Association views these proposed PIP reforms as a regressive move that could dismantle the current support framework, leaving many disabled individuals without the necessary assistance to lead independent and dignified lives.

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