When constituents write to me about their PIP benefit, some of the most frequent queries which cross my desk come from residents who have long-term, complex conditions. These residents are being asked to complete regular review forms and attend face to face assessments for their PIP benefit.
This can lead to unnecessary stress for the claimant, challenging journeys and an increase in unnecessary bureaucracy.
I wrote to the Department of Work and Pensions on this issue a number of times and discussed this issue with the Ministers. I am now pleased to announce that some changes to the benefit have now been confirmed.
New PIP guidance has been produced so that people who are awarded the highest level of PIP support will receive an ongoing award with a 'light touch' review every 10 years.
This will reduce unnecessary form-filling, face to face reviews and anxiety for people who due to their condition are unlikely to ever see an improvement in their health or abilities.
I understand that these changes will not only be applied to new claims but will soon be rolled out to all of the existing claims. A change which I am sure will be welcomed by many local residents.
Whilst it is important that people who need extra support know where they can claim it and that reviews do take place from time to time, I feel that these changes are a positive step to helping residents focus on their health, rather than worrying about their finances and extra costs associated with their care.