I firmly believe that the welfare system should protect the most vulnerable in society. Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is assessed on the basis of the needs arising from a health condition or disability, rather than the health condition or disability itself.
PIP assessments look at an individual's ability to carry out a series of key everyday activities which are fundamental to living an independent life, such as their ability to prepare, cook and eat food, dress and undress and make budgeting decisions. This ensures that the greatest level of support goes to those least able to carry out such activities in order to contribute towards the increased costs they are likely to incur. This means that for those with epilepsy as their main disabling condition 27 per cent of working age people currently receive the highest level of support compared to 6 per cent under Disability Living Allowance (DLA).
The health professionals carrying out PIP assessments have training in multiple and complex conditions and have specific guidance available to them on the effects of a range of conditions, including epilepsy.
I welcome the DWP’s ambition to go further, to listen and deliver reforms that are developed through close collaboration with disabled people.