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Many disabled people could lose essential benefit payments under planned changes to the system, Scope has warned. The charity claims that the proposed test of claimants' requirements is flawed as it ignores vital factors, such as accommodation and transport. Thousands of disabled individuals could be left with very little or a complete lack of financial support, Scope has warned. The Government claims that the new payments will be effectively targeted to those in greatest need. The system is expected to significantly reduce overpayments. Some 3.2 million disabled people are currently in receipt of Disability Living Allowance (DLA). DLA is set to be replaced by the personal independence payment, a feature of the Government's Welfare Reform Bill. Because of the changes, a new medical assessment has been proposed that will be used to assess the two million disabled people of working age. However, according to Scope, this new assessment fails to take into consideration all the barriers faced by disabled people in daily life. Examples include a lack of informal support networks, unsuitable Housing, and inaccessible public transport. The charity claims that these factors create considerable additional costs for disabled people that, in the majority of cases, failed to be related to the direct effect of an individual's disability.
Maria Miller, minister for disabled people, told that while DLA does not incorporate in-built reassessment, £600 million a year is going out in overpayments as a consequence of this.
Duncan Lewis’ Welfare Benefits solicitors can provide advice to disabled individuals who are unsure of their eligibility for benefits.