We’re already hearing from lots of readers wanting to know if the announcement of the election date will make any difference to the proposed changes to PIP or the new date for employment and support allowance to universal credit migration.

We’ve set out our thoughts below, but do make sure you’re getting our free, fortnightly newsletter to be kept informed, as we hopefully learn more.

PIP proposals

The Health and Disability Green Paper, published last month, suggested a range of alternatives to paying PIP as a cash benefit, including:

  •  A catalogue/shop scheme
  • A voucher scheme
  • A receipt based system
  • One-off grants
  • Therapy instead of cash

If the Conservatives win a working majority, then it’s likely that the Green Paper will be followed by a White Paper which will set out which of the proposals the government plans to take forward.  This will be followed by legislation.

If Labour win then that’s probably the last we will hear of the Green Paper.

However, that doesn’t mean it’s the last we will hear of some of the ideas it contains.  It’s entirely possible that Labour will also be looking to reduce the current rapidly increasing cost of PIP.

Or they may be aiming to bend it more towards encouraging at least some recipients into work – even though PIP is not supposed to have any connection with whether or not a claimant is employed.

Alison McGovern, standing in for DWP shadow secretary of state Liz Kendall and responding on Labour’s behalf to the publication of the Green Paper, said:

“Labour will carefully review the detail of the Green Paper, because the country that we want is one where disabled people have the same right to a good job and help to get it as anyone else. We will judge any measure that the Government bring forward on its merits and against that principle, because the costs of failure in this area are unsustainable.  The autonomy and routine of work is good for us all, for our mental and physical health—and more than that, for women, work is freedom, too.”

McGovern went on to disown PIP to some extent, pointing out that:

“PIP was the creation of a Conservative Government, so where is the analysis of what has gone wrong? PIP replaced DLA, and now we are hearing that PIP is the problem. How many more times will we go around this same roundabout?”

 So, whilst there is a strong chance the Green Paper will go no further, many readers may conclude that it is still worth taking part in the consultation to send a strong message to whoever forms the next government.

ESA to UC forced migration

Earlier this month, the government announced that it is now going to begin moving income-related ESA claimants onto UC from September 2024, with everyone being notified to make the move by December 2025.

This is much earlier than the previous plan, which had seen the move for ESA claimants put off until 2028.

The Treasury has provided additional money to fund the accelerated move and the DWP are now working on the details.  The DWP is known to favour an early transfer, as they would prefer to complete the whole process in one go, rather than taking a break of several years and then starting again in 2028.

The move from ESA to UC was originally delayed as a cost saving measure, because the government thought that they would be paying out more under UC than under ESA. But the unexpectedly high proportion of claimants who fail to make the transfer from legacy benefits to UC means that this may no longer be the case.

The only real question mark is whether the department has the capacity to move this many claimants on schedule – very little to do with UC so far has happened on time.

But if the Conservatives win a majority at the election, there is no doubt the transfer will begin this year.

If Labour win and take no action then the transfer will still begin this year, as it requires no legislation of any sort.

Only if Labour choose to actively intervene and put the move on hold, will the process be stopped.

We know, from statements like the one above from Alison McGovern, that Labour’s social security policy is likely to focus on moving more claimants into work.  If they see transferring claimants from ESA onto UC as increasing the probability of getting more people into work, then there’s a strong chance they will let the process continue.

However, there is no doubt that many disability and advice charities will be lobbying hard for the transfer to be put on hold.

At this point we can’t know which way Labour will jump and, we suspect, they will remain tight-lipped on the subject throughout the election campaign.

But if there’s any news we’ll let you know.

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  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Alice · 4 days ago
    Why is no one taking the goverment to court to stop this process, of pip vouchers ,
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    Millie · 11 days ago
    I’m a 19 year old student and single mum to a 1 year old so can’t work yet anyway with ADHD, autism, anxiety, I can’t travel places on my own and need my mum to take me, I also find it hard to focus on things and get things done such as clean up and remember to bath ( yes I am still clean I just need reminders) I don’t see how this scheme would help anyone on pip? Whether it be a physical or mental health need the fact that they are planning on changing it is going to cause more stress, people’s mental health declining even more and physical health due to stress of what the outcome will be!! I know that some people use pip to pay there bills, how can they do that with vouchers? I know I’m planning on moving out of my parents to try and be independent and I was going to use some of my pip to put towards the rent!!! They want people to do things etc but by doing this they are preventing that!! 
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    Anessa · 11 days ago
    Im really stressed now whats going to happen to me. I finally was able to quit my job a year ago and for the first time in years (decades probably as Im 40) I have been feeling more optimistic about the future and more relaxed. Got ADP (scottish PIP) and ESA support group and now Im scared it will be taken away from me and I wont be able to afford life (which Im not even that keen on) 
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    Daniel · 12 days ago
    I am getting very concerned and very worried about pip because I have arthritis in my fingers and suffer from depression i am autistic just getting very upset with this voucher catalogue I just feel that I don't want to be here anymore and this will cause more deaths and suicides if this voucher goes ahead but the government doesn't want to listen to people with disabilities 
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Anessa · 11 days ago
      @Daniel I think so to. They are saying that work is great work mental and physical health but maybe they should ask the disabled person whats their opinion. Its definitely not great for me . Im  also autistic with all the package 
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Welsh hatter · 15 days ago
    I have heart failure and arthritis in both of my knees and I have had physio before and it made them worse so how is the voucher scheme going to help me as my partner is the only one who drives me to appointments ect as I can't walk far so I would be house bound as I help with the cost of running the car 
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    Notamillionaire · 17 days ago
    Why would I need a caterlog for to pay with vouchers?
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    Notamillionaire · 17 days ago
    How and I going to pay the bills with Vouchers
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    Notamillionaire · 17 days ago
    I have Cystic fibrosis hows vouchers going to pay for my food and utilise?
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Christina Hudd · 25 days ago
    I am an OAP n on PIP. What is the prospects for me. I need my car to get me around, I don't get the full mobility amount only a smaller amount. If I lose PIP or get vouchers how will that work paying for the expense of a car, even though I get half the car tax paid. Can anyone help find my way through this.
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Gary Bowman · 27 days ago
    I was claiming ESA and PIP, the DWP regime is so vile that I stopped claiming ESA, it's a long story, but now I survive on higher rate PIP for both components and £295 disability pension. So,  I am of course, living the life of luxury that we all do, apparently! 
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    Sara · 1 months ago
    Apologies, Michael, I see you are Silvester.
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Sara · 1 months ago
    Michael Sylvester (and Tb) Pip is not affected by moving, your income or any other benefit you claim. You get pip when you qualify for pip, that's it. 

    If you are claiming housing benefit and move you would have to make a claim for universal credit because you can't make a new claim for hb in a new local authority. Your esa (unless it's contribution related) would be swept up into the uc claim. The issue for you is that if you transfer to uc before managed migration, you will be considered to have naturally migrated and lose the transitional protection which would keep your uc at the rate you were getting for esa and hb combined. 

    You need to get advice, but perhaps delay your move until you are migrated, and/or weigh up what you might lose against your gains in all ways. But your pip is safe where uc is concerned.
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Michael Silvester · 1 months ago
    Im on ESA. & PIP the enhanced rate.  The living component. What I need to know is I want to move out of London but was told if I made a new housing benefit claim in a different part of the country I will be moved to universal credit. Can anyone advise me? I have been claiming housing benefit for 20 years and disability, benefit. I will not be able to move if they move me over to universal credit and cut my PIp money. Also, is that correct when they move you to universal credit? You lose some of your pip money?  
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      R · 1 months ago
      @Michael Silvester Universal credit. And. New style. ESA. And housing benefits are one and the same. That means they will give you a monthly payment. So you will get housing benefit and ESA As universal credit has rolled these 2 benefits into one. Monthly payment. But your PIP. Is not part of universal credit. You will get paid as normal. From pip.
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Tb · 1 months ago
      @Michael Silvester I'd also like to know if moving to uc will reduce my pip allowance, why can't they leave well alone. 
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  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Frances · 1 months ago
    There is something on Rightsnet, but you need to subscribe to read the full article.. Maybe the details are there.
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Frances · 1 months ago
    Thanks guys, those links work fine, but I'm still not seeing any reference to areas for an early trial of managed migration of esa and esa with hb.
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    The dogmother. · 1 months ago
    Waters, T. (2024). A response to the Conservatives’ proposals to reduce growth in the health-related benefits bill [Comment] Institute for Fiscal Studies. Available at: https://ifs.org.uk/articles/response-conservatives-proposals-reduce-growth-health-related-benefits-bill (accessed: 10 June 2024).

    I Hope this link is working OK.
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Frances · 1 months ago
    M shirker, The dogmother - link to article, please. I'm not finding anything about regional esa migration trials. Thanks.
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      The dogmother. · 1 months ago
      @Frances @Frances, it's on Rightsnet.
      A friend posted it on Facebook.
      But she didn't add the link. 
      She just posted verbatim. 
      Sorry.
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      M shirker · 1 months ago
      @Frances Don’t know how to do the link but go to www.cambridge-news.co.uk then search for esa trial this is where i seen it but the dog mother i think has seen a different one referring to the numbers 
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    Holly · 1 months ago
    I have recieved a text from dwp saying my pip is been reviewed feel sick already another fight on my hands  last time I had review was five years ago Ithey had to send an ambulance out because my anxiety
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Nina Jaques · 1 months ago
      @Holly Bless you I know that feeling I suffer from MS, OCD with severe anxiety disorder and every time I have to get citizens Advice to do my forms it gives me vertigo and I’m bedridden for 9 months after… they just won’t leave me alone either…
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Vanessa bramley · 1 months ago
    I claim pip and because of my condition  my husband gad to finish work so this is the only income we have coming in.Its causing me great stress where I think I'm at fault and sometimes think ofending it all.If they stop my payments  then I know my anxiety will be out of control and I'm sure I speak for alot of other people.I just hope and pray the tories don't get in again and the same system will still be running for a little longer and  the government will change their mind

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