The disability living allowance (DLA) for under-16s will not be replaced by personal independent payments (PIPs), the government has confirmed in its response to the consultation into reform of the benefit.
The move is good news for disabled children in residential schools, colleges and homes whose transport arrangements were at risk as a result of the original proposals.
However, the potential impact on disabled young people older than 16 remains an issue, said Christine Lenehan, board member of Every Disabled Child Matters.
“Families are also concerned about wider reforms to the benefits they rely on, such as disability premiums which provide much-needed financial support to low-income and out-of-work families with disabled children,” she added.
The Department for Work and Pensions said: “We do not plan to extend personal independence payment to new or existing claims for children.
“The needs of children are very different from those of adults and we would want to build on our experience of developing the objective assessment for claimants of working age before applying it to children. We would also consult before extending any objective assessment to children.”
Last November, chancellor George Osborne announced in his emergency Budget that DLA would be reformed and an objective medical assessment introduced for all claimants from 2013-14.
In December, the DWP published a consultation document on the DLA reform, seeking views on proposals to replace working age DLA with the PIP. The consultation was completed in February.
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