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Government in court over disability benefit changes

09 July 2014

Court proceedings will begin in Birmingham today to determine whether the Government’s decision to change the eligibility criteria for the disability benefit Personal Independence Payment (PIP) was unlawful.

At the end of 2012 the DWP announced, with no consultation, that the distance people would need to walk in order to qualify for the highest rate of the mobility part of the benefit would change from 50 metres, to just 20 metres.

Now, if disabled people can walk more than 20 metres – even using aids such as sticks – they will no longer qualify for the highest rate of the benefit.

The change could mean a loss of over £33 a week or access to a Motability vehicle, electric wheelchair or mobility scooter – which many use to get to work, college or medical appointments. Government projections show that over half a million people are set to lose out under the new rules (1).

The Disability Benefits Consortium – a coalition of more than 50 UK charities, including Disability Rights UK, campaigning for a fairer welfare system – has branded the change “life shattering” for disabled people.

Read more.

Members of the Disability Benefits Consortium have also written to the press on this issue.