Reprieve for DLA reforms for under sixteens

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Planned changes to the Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for under sixteens will not go ahead without public consultation and Parliamentary scrutiny. So says the Government’s published response to its consultation on replacing DLA with Personal Independence Payments (PIP).

Since Government plans were released in February 2011, critics of the proposals, including 900 supporters of the Every Disabled Child Matters (EDCM) campaign, responded to the consultation to express their fears that PIP would have a negative effect on children and families, if extended to those under the age of sixteen.

EDCM has welcomed the Government’s assurances that it will only look at transferring children onto PIP when they can “demonstrate it provides a fairer, more objective and more transparent alternative to the current arrangements”. The Government has also recognised that a specific assessment should be developed to ensure that the needs of children with long-term health conditions or impairments are properly considered.

However, campaigners are keen to point to what they see as the broader problems for disabled children associated with the introduction of PIP and other Government initiatives. “Concerns will remain for families about how reforms for disabled young people over the age of sixteen will affect their children”, says EDCM Board Member Christine Lenehan. “Families are also very concerned about wider reforms to the benefits they rely on such as disability premiums which provides much needed financial support to low income and out of work families with disabled children.”

SEN News Team
Author: SEN News Team

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