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Dear campaigner,

Discretionary Housing Payments survey results

In May, we launched a survey about Discretionary Housing Payments (DHP), which are payments supporting those affected by the ‘bedroom tax’. In March 2013, Minister Steve Webb MP announced £25 million extra funding for DHP for disabled people. We wanted to find out how the payments are working.

We received 265 responses to our survey. Thank you to everyone who responded, allowing us to compile the research.

Our survey results show that three in ten disabled people affected by the tax have been refused the Discretionary Housing Payment so far.
We found that those who have been refused a DHP were required to cut back on essential living costs: 

  • Nine out of ten (90%) are cutting back on food or bills.
  • Nearly four out of ten (37%) are cutting back on specialist mobility transport.
  • One in four (27%) are cutting back on medical expenses such as medication, therapies and monitoring health conditions.

There are 180,000 disabled people receiving DLA who have been affected by the bedroom tax. However for many, the ‘extra’ bedroom is essential, such as for couples where a partner’s disability make sharing a bed difficult, or for people who need space to store disability equipment.

The survey highlighted the essential need for Discretionary Housing Payments and the improvements required to make it work effectively. Once the results are published we will bring the research to the attention of the media and MPs, to ensure important changes can be made.

Personal Independence Payments consultation

Can you help with a new consultation on the Personal Independence Payment?
Personal Independence Payments (PIP) replaced Disability Living Allowance (DLA) nationally on 10 June 2013. Most people on DLA will not be reassessed for PIP until after October 2015.

However the Government is considering making changes to the mobility criteria. Papworth Trust and other disabled people’s organisations raised concerns with the Government that the current mobility criteria might exclude some people with severe mobility difficulties from receiving the enhanced rate of PIP. The enhanced rate is essential for many people who use the payments to buy Motability vehicles, which help them to stay independent.
The Government is consulting on the ‘Moving around’ criterion which looks at how far a person can move with and without aids, such as wheelchairs and crutches.
Papworth Trust is responding to the Government’s consultation and would like to speak to a specific group of people who might be affected by the criteria.
We would like to speak to you if you:

  • Are aged between 16 to 64 years old
  • Have a physical impairment that affects your mobility
  • Are able to stand, with or without aids such as crutches or a walking stick
  • Are able to walk 20 metres (about the length of two buses), but no more than 50 metres (about the length of an Olympic swimming pool) with or without aids such as crutches or walking sticks. 

You don’t have to:

  • Be receiving Disability Living Allowance (DLA) now
  • Use aids or use them all of the time 

We’ll ask you a few questions by phone or email about how you get around now and what you think about the criteria.
If you’d like to get involved please call Nina Zamo, Policy and Campaigns Officer, on 01480 357255 or email

Work Capability Assessment review

Have you been through a Work Capability Assessment?

The Work Capability Assessment (WCA) is undergoing its fourth independent review, by Dr Paul Litchfield. The WCA is the test for Employment and Support Allowance (ESA). It looks at someone’s ability to work, based on their mental and physical capabilities. Since 2010 the WCA has undergone three independent reviews, intended to improve the assessment and ensure its fairness.

Papworth Trust will be speaking to Dr Litchfield and submitting evidence on how the WCA could be improved.

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