New changes to rules on access to Personal Independence Payments will mean approximately 160,000 people will lose out on support, according to The Guardian recently.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission’s report ‘Being Disabled in Britain, 2017’ states that ‘reforms will disproportionately affect disabled people through reductions in income and services, while the transition from DLA to PIP could result in a reduced income for many disabled people.’

It adds that ‘by May 2018, there will have been a 28% reduction in the number of individuals in receipt of PIP compared with those who would have received DLA.’

Personal independence payments are designed to help people with a long-term disability or illness remain independent and achieve an acceptable quality of life. Entitlement to support is calculated according to a points system but qualifying for points is becoming harder under the changes.

Charities for a wide range of illnesses, such as Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s and Epilepsy, have called on the government to delay implementation of these changes until the likely impact has become clearer.

It is thought that these changes will save the government around £3.7billion per year.

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