Dear Department for Work and Pensions,
I notice in the above report that troops who are injured are to be given lifetime guaranteed disability benefits and would like to ask:
1 Does this mean that Disability needs are no longer to be exclusively decided by a 'fair and rigorous' assessment process?
2 Why is it guaranteed only for military personnel and not, for example, police officers, firemen or others?
3 Is this not evidence that disability needs are now subject to political and ideological tests that are not part of the Welfare Reform Act?
L S McKnight
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Dear L S McKnight,
Thank you for your Freedom of Information request of 18 May 2012. You
I notice in the above report that troops who are injured are to be
given lifetime guaranteed disability benefits and would like to
1 Does this mean that Disability needs are no longer to be
exclusively decided by a 'fair and rigorous' assessment process?
2 Why is it guaranteed only for military personnel and not, for
example, police officers, firemen or others?
3 Is this not evidence that disability needs are now subject to
political and ideological tests that are not part of the Welfare
Firstly, as I am sure you will appreciate newspaper reports are just
that and do not constitute a statement of Government policy. It may
therefore be helpful if I set out the latest position on how the
Government plans to assess individuals for eligibility for Personal
The detailed design of Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is still
being considered and finalised. The Department for Work and Pensions has
consulted disabled people and their representative organisations at all
stages of the development of Personal Independence Payment and is
continuing to do so.
Entitlement to the benefit will be based on an assessment of
individuals' need. The work to develop the assessment criteria is
ongoing and they have not yet been finalised. The consultation on the
2nd draft of the criteria closed on 30 April. We received around 1,000
responses and we are now evaluating whether further improvements need to
On 26 March 2012 we launched a separate consultation on the detailed
design of Personal Independence Payment, which is open until 30 June and
We will publish our responses to both these consultations later this
year and will also finalise draft regulations. No final decisions on the
assessment criteria have been made.
As part of our ongoing work, we are examining how injured service
personnel will be supported in the light of the reforms to Disability
Living Allowance (DLA). The current consultation on the detailed design
referenced the ongoing work in paragraph 5.4 where it stated:
"In developing and designing Personal Independence Payment, the
Department has taken account of the Military Covenant agreement that
recognises the unique and important role played by the UK Armed Forces
and ensures that they continue to receive fair treatment, are valued and
respected as individuals. We are working with the Ministry of Defence to
explore how we ensure that those injured as a result of service are able
to access the right support and are able to live full, active and
independent lives. As part of this, we will consider how veterans who
are injured during active service should be assessed."
This work is ongoing and no decisions have been taken.
If you have any queries about this letter please contact me quoting the
reference number above.
DWP Central FoI Team
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