Action on Hearing Loss fears that, as a result of the changes, many people with hearing loss may not qualify for PIP.
Our main concerns are:
• PIP has only two rates for care needs (the daily living component), whereas DLA has three. This means that if you currently receive the lower rate of DLA care component for your hearing loss, you will now have to score 8 points under the ‘Communicating verbally’ activity to qualify for the standard rate of PIP. You can only do this if you need communication support to be able to express or understand basic verbal information. Therefore, if you do not rely on sign language — for example, if you lipread — you may not be eligible for the standard rate of the daily living component unless you have some other additional need.
• The new points system also means that if you use British Sign Language (BSL), you may only be eligible for the standard rate of the daily living component of PIP, which may not reflect your needs. You can only score the 12 points needed to qualify for the enhanced rate under the ‘Communicating verbally’ activity if you cannot express or understand verbal information at all, even with communication support. Of course, you may still qualify for the enhanced rate if you score points across other daily living activities.
• If you are severely or profoundly deaf, you may no longer be eligible for the mobility component of PIP (DLA currently takes account of the needs of people with hearing loss when travelling someplace unfamiliar).
By introducing PIP, the government set out to reduce spending on the benefit by 20%, saving more than £1 billion. However, to achieve this target, a substantial number of people who are disabled and who currently receive DLA, including those with hearing loss, will lose that support. Many see that as a step backwards, not forwards.
Find out what you can do if you disagree with a PIP decision.
For more information please visit: http://www.actiononhearingloss.org.uk/supporting-you/benefits-and-personal-independence-payment/i-have-a-hearing-loss-how-will-the-introduction-of-pip-affect-me.aspx
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