From April, people with disabilities in the areas covered by Bootle Disability Benefits Centre (BDBC) will have to claim the new Personal Independence Payment, but people in the rest of the UK will still be able to claim Disability Living Allowance until June 2013.( BDBC) processes new applications for Disability Living Allowance and Attendance Allowance for disabled people in the following areas: Merseyside, central and north-west Lancashire, Cheshire, Cumbria and parts of the Wirral. Bootle DBC also processes new applications for DLA for disabled people in Northumberland and Tyne and Wear (postcodes NE, SR and TD).
Solidarity advises anyone who may be eligible for DLA, to make a claim before June. People who already receive DLA will not be reassessed for PIP until 2015, unless their award expires or there is a change in their care or mobility needs.
There are no plans to replace DLA with PIP for children aged under 16 or to re-assess people receiving DLA who will be over the age of 65 when PIP is introduced.
Pat Harrington, General Secretary of Solidarity, said “The plans for PIP have been criticised by many disability groups as a money saving exercise because DLA is currently one of the most effectively targeted benefits. It has an officially estimated fraud rate of just 0.5%. The main motive in the reform is to cut back on costs. It was announced in the June 2010 Emergency Budget that 20% of the DLA ‘caseload and expenditure’ would be cut.”
He continued: “I strongly advise those who are entitled to make a claim for DLA as soon as possible as PIP will be less favourable to them in my view. If you live in the areas covered by the BDBC before April and in other areas before June. Delay will cost you.”