Q&A: Disability benefits and you

Wheelchair Changes to disability benefits are among a series of welfare reforms taking effect at present

Changes to disability benefits have been gradually introduced across Britain during 2013 and are latest in a series of alterations to the welfare system.

Since April new claimants in north-west and north-east England have been applying for Personal Independence Payments (PIP), rather than Disability Living Allowance (DLA).

New claimants across the rest of Britain started applying for the new PIP benefit from 10 June.

The government planned that from October 2013, those whose circumstances had changed would also be assessed for PIP.

But a change to the timetable means that initially only those in Wales, the East and West Midlands and East Anglia are being affected.

The vast majority of the 3.3 million claimants will continue to claim DLA until 2015.

Disability benefits are extremely complex and part of the aim is to simplify the claiming structure. However, the transfer has proved controversial.

The government maintains the new system will be fairer but some charities argue that thousands of people will see their financial support withdrawn.

What is DLA, and how will it be replaced?

The benefit is available to disabled people who have difficulty walking or getting around, or need help to look after themselves. It is tax-free and is not linked to people's income.

Over the next few years, this will be replaced for claimants aged 16 to 64 by PIPs. The new benefit requires an assessment, partly written, but often with a face-to-face assessment.

Disability benefits changes graphic

How much is paid through these benefits?

DLA is worth between £21 and £134.40 a week and is paid straight into a bank account.

There are two elements of the payments - the first is for care and the second for mobility. For example, those who need help for some of the day with preparing cooked meals receive £21 a week in the care component.

Under PIPs, the system is slightly simpler, with a daily living component of either £53 or £79.15 a week, and a mobility component of either £21 or £55.25.

How many people receive the benefit?

About 3.2 million people receive DLA.

However by 2015, some 170,000 of these are expected to be ineligible for PIPs, while 150,000 will get a higher award, according to the DWP. By 2018, 450,000 will be ineligible, while 780,000 will receive the same as or more than they do currently.

What is the timetable for change?

Since 10 June, all new claims from working-age people for disability benefits in England, Scotland and Wales have been for PIPs and not DLA.

Those who turn 16, see their circumstances change, or reach a review date from October 2013 are being asked to make a new PIP claim - initially in Wales, the Midlands and East Anglia.

All other DLA claimants will receive a timetable letter from the DWP some time between October 2015 and October 2017.

Children and people aged 65 and over who currently receive DLA will continue to do so.

What is the assessment process for PIPs?

Application forms include personal information and details of how a disability affects you.

This may be followed up with a referral for an assessment to test various activities. There will be regular reassessments of eligibility.

How do I get more information about claiming?

The Department for Work and Pensions' enquiry line is 0845 850 3322 or textphone 0845 601 6677 and there is a government checker on how you may be affected.

Many charities also offer free support and advice for those who are unsure about how they might be affected.

More on This Story

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More Business stories

RSS

BBC Business Live

  1.  
    Via Twitter Richard Westcott BBC transport correspondent

    tweets: "Out and about with DVLA tax disc team this morning. 1 car in every 200 popping up orange, no tax ... they had a wedding car a few weeks ago, pink Rolls, bride in back. No tax. Ambulances, buses, all sorts"

     
  2.  
    GERMAN DEBT 10:40:
    Reichstag, Berlin

    For the first time, Germany has been able to sell 10-year government debt (bunds) at an interest rate of less than 1%. So what? Well it seems investors would rather park their money in German debt earning a pittance, than invest elsewhere. It shows how feeble confidence in the European economy is right now.

     
  3.  
    BLINKBOX SALE? 10:30:
    Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones

    Tesco is putting Blinkbox up for sale according to a report in The Times today. Blinkbox is a video streaming service, which allows customers to buy films and TV programmes, including the hit show Game of Thrones (pictured). Tesco invested hundreds of millions of pounds in the service under its former chief executive Philip Clarke, but the new boss Dave Lewis considers it a "distraction" says The Times. It might be closed if a buyer can't be found, the report says.

     
  4.  
    DVLA DELAYS Via Email Brian Milligan Personal Finance Reporter, BBC News

    emails DVLA is having major problems with the car tax website today, on the first day of the new system. They blame an "unprecendented volume of traffic". Some people have spent up to 13 hours trying to buy their car tax. DVLA is advising people who need to pay their tax today to go to a Post Office.

     
  5.  
    GERMANY DOWNTURN 10:03:
    German factory

    Activity at German factories shrank for the first time in 15 months, according to the latest survey of purchasing managers from Markit. The index fell to 49.9, which is bad because anything below 50 indicates contraction. It is "a worrying picture of the health of Germany's goods-producing sector," said Markit economist Oliver Kolodseike.

     
  6.  
    NETWORK RAIL 09:54:
    work

    The Office of Rail Regulation says Network Rail, which owns manages rail infrastructure like track, missed its target on cost savings in the five years to March 2014. It cut costs by 15.5% that was less that its target of 23.5%. That means even stiffer targets for the next five years.

     
  7.  
    ROYAL MAIL 09:44:
    Royal Mail shares

    Royal Mail shares have risen almost 4% this morning. They have been helped by a positive report from the bank UBS. It has removed its "sell" rating on the shares. Royal Mail shares are trading at 407p today but that's down by third from January when they hit a high of 615p.

     
  8.  
    LABOUR PRODUCTIVITY 09:35:

    Labour productivity was unchanged in the second quarter of 2014 compared with the previous quarter, and 0.3% lower than a year earlier, according to the Office of National Statistics. The UK has been troubled by low productivity for years and it is something that the Bank of England is watching closely as it mulls the timing of a rise in interest rates.

     
  9.  
    PARIS MOTOR SHOW 09:22:
    Paris Motor Show 2014

    This should be good. Our coverage of the Paris Motor Show starts on Thursday. The BBC's Theo Leggett and Russell Hotten will be there. Visit BBC Business for news, insight and analysis.

     
  10.  
    PARIS MOTOR SHOW 09:07: Radio 5 live
    Paris Motor Show 2014

    The Paris Motor Show opens today. Maxime Picat, chief executive of the Peugeot brand, is on Radio 5 live. He trumpets "impressive" growth in China where Peugeot is the fastest-growing car maker. But, he concedes that electric cars have been disappointing. He doesn't expect significant expansion of that market until the 2020s.

     
  11.  
    SUPERMARKETS 08:56:

    Supermarkets are now the top three losers on the FTSE 100.

     
  12.  
    SAINSBURY'S RESULTS 08:52: Via Email John Ibbotson, Director, Retail Vision

    "With these results, it's increasingly clear Mike Coupe took the hospital pass just like Philip Clarke. Who needs Sainsbury's, or Waitrose even, when you can get £9.99 Beluga Caviar at Aldi?"

     
  13.  
    MARKET UPDATE 08:33:

    London's FTSE 100 benchmark index fell 0.15% to 6,613.03 points, led lower by supermarket Morrisons, which has dipped 2.9%.

     
  14.  
    MOD CONTRACT 08:28:
    HMS Daring

    It's the second biggest defence contract placed by the government. The MoD has awarded £3.2bn of contracts to run naval bases and maintain warships and submarines. Babcock wins £2.6bn to run Devonport and Clyde, BAE Systems gets £600m to manage Portsmouth Naval Base. Around 7,500 are employed to support 56 warships.

     
  15.  
    FRANCE BUDGET 08:15:
    Michel Sapin

    France's finance minister, Michel Sapin, has been presenting the nation's 2015 budget. He says the budget deficit will meet the European Union's target by 2017. France has made such promises before and then been forced to backtrack. Mr Sapin forecast a gradual economic recovery, with growth on 1.0% next year. Mr Sapin.

     
  16.  
    MARKET UPDATE 08:02:

    After early gains, in Tokyo the Nikkei 225 index closed 0.6% lower at 16,082. Markets in China and Hong Kong are closed for a holiday. A report indicated modest expansion for China's manufacturing sector. The official purchasing managers' index for September came in at 51.1. Numbers above 50 suggest expansion.

     
  17.  
    SAINSBURY'S BOSS 07:52: Radio 5 live

    Tesco is in trouble over mis-stating its profits, how about Sainsbury's? Well Mike Coupe, Sainsbury's chief executive is "100% confident about the integrity of the accounts". He should know - he was finance director before becoming the boss.

     
  18.  
    SAINSBURY'S BOSS 07:46: Radio 5 live

    It is the most challenging environment in the supermarket industry for 30 years says Mike Coupe, Sainsbury's chief executive on Radio 5 live. There is food price deflation for the first time in a generation. Potatoes and milk are 20% cheaper from a year ago. That means customers on average are £5 a week better off he says.

     
  19.  
    CO-OP BANK ETHICS 07:34: BBC Radio 4

    Laura Carstensen, chair of Co-op Bank's Values and Ethics Committee is talking about the lender's new advertisement campaign. A man gets a tattoo about his commitment to Co-op's ethics. What does a fake tattoo say about the company's commitment to ethics, asks presenter Justin Rowlatt? Customers are savvy enough to understand the message, she says.

     
  20.  
    MINIMUM WAGE 07:26: BBC Breakfast
    BBC

    The minimum wage is most commonly paid in the hospitality, retail and care industries says Charlotte O'Brien a lawyer from York Law School on Breakfast. Many workers who think they are being paid less than minimum wage cannot afford to take their employer to an employment tribunal, she says. That's because they now have to pay £390 for a tribunal - or 60 hours work at £6.50 an hour.

     
  21.  
    SAINSBURY'S BOSS 07:21: BBC Radio 4
    CEO

    "It wouldn't be surprising in any business for us to try to sell more," says Sainsbury's chief Mike Coupe. He's talking about that gaffe earlier in the week, where a Sainsbury's store placed a motivational poster encouraging staff to get customers to spend an extra 50p in store, in the shop window. It was a simple mistake, he says.

     
  22.  
    HEADLINES
     
  23.  
    SAINSBURY'S BOSS 07:18: BBC Radio 4

    Mike Coupe is doing his first broadcast interview of the day on Today. In the last few months things have changed in the industry, he says. Customers are changing how they shop, he says. Is he worried about the fact Sainsbury's is the most short-sold (bet-against) stock on the FTSE 100, asks presenter Justin Rowlatt? "I'm a very calm individual," he says.

     
  24.  
    SAINSBURY'S RESULTS 07:11:

    Sainsbury's is not expecting sales to pick up in the rest of the financial year. Chief executive Mike Coupe says "we now expect our like-for-like sales in the second half of they year to be similar to the first half".

     
  25.  
    TESCO PROBE 07:05: Breaking News

    The Financial Conduct Authority will conduct a "full investigation" into Tesco's £250m overstatement of profits, the supermarket said.

     
  26.  
    SAINSBURY'S RESULTS 07:00: Breaking News

    Sainsbury's has reported a 2.8% decline in like-for-like sales in the second quarter, excluding fuel. That's the third consecutive quarter of falling sales.

     
  27.  
    CO-OP BANK ETHICS 06:45: Radio 5 live

    Oh dear. The chair of Co-operative Bank's ethical board, Laura Carstensen appears on Wake Up to Money. She can't name a single country with an oppressive regime that the bank has declined to do business with. She also does not want to talk about the bank's private equity owners, but says all investors realise that the bank's ethical values are what makes it different. Co-op bank launches an advertising campaign today to publicise its ethics.

     
  28.  
    SAINSBURY'S RESULTS 06:34: BBC Radio 4
    Sainsbury's store

    Sainsbury's releases results at 07:00. Sales are expected to be down 4%, says Bryan Roberts, from Kantar Retail on the Today programme. "What it reflects is we are in a zero-growth market. The pie isn't getting any bigger. Aldi and Lidl aggressively expanded in the South East and London," he says.

     
  29.  
    PENSIONS 06:28: Radio 5 live

    "People are getting it," says Tim Jones the chief executive of National Employment Savings Trust (NEST) on Wake Up to Money. It's been two years since the government launched automatic enrolment for workplace pension schemes. Only 8% of people are opting out, but a quarter of those aged between 60 and 65 are not taking up the offer. "Older folks are thinking it's too late," says Mr Jones.

     
  30.  
    DOLLAR YEN 06:19: Radio 5 live
    yen

    The dollar has hit a six-year high against the yen, trading above 110 yen. On Wake Up to Money the BBC's Rico Hizon says that there are expectations that the Bank of Japan will further ease monetary policy. Currency traders are also looking ahead to Friday's US employment report, which should give an indication of the strength of the US economy.

     
  31.  
    MINIMUM WAGE 06:11: Radio 5 live

    Mike Cherry, National Policy Chairman for the Federation of Small Businesses says the raise in the minimum wage is still "realistic". But he wants a longer-term view of the wage. On Wake Up to Money he complains that business only gets six months notice of changes. He would like to the level to be set for a whole parliament.

     
  32.  
    MINIMUM WAGE 06:03: Radio 5 live
    Hand pennies

    From today the minimum wage rises 3% to £6.50. Conor D'Arcy, Policy Analyst at Resolution Foundation welcomes the move, until this raise the minimum wage was worth the same as it was in 2005, he says on Wake Up to Money.

     
  33.  
    06:01: Ben Morris Business Reporter

    Good morning. You can email us at bizlive@bbc.co.uk or tweet @bbcbusiness.

     
  34.  
    06:00: Howard Mustoe Business reporter

    Good morning everyone. This morning we are expecting an update from Sainsbury's on how trading has gone for them. The National Minimum Wage annual increase also takes effect, rising by 19p an hour to £6.50. Stay with us for more breaking news and analysis.

     

Features

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.