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June 2011



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Parliament, UK


The assessment for a new benefit for disabled people will be piloted among adults with autism, the Government has announced. The Government is looking for volunteers to take part in this process.

In March this year, we launched our Who Benefits? campaign in response to the Government’s proposed reforms to Disability Living Allowance (DLA). Among the proposed reforms is the replacement in 2013 of adult DLA with a benefit called Personal Independence Payment (PIP).

One of the key demands of Who Benefits? is that the assessment for PIP be fair and accessible for adults with autism. The Government has therefore asked us to find volunteers to test the draft criteria for the new benefit.


If you are interested in finding out more about volunteering in this important process, please email policy@nas.org.uk (Note: The NAS is not directly involved in the testing.) We need to submit the names of potential volunteers by the end of June.

The campaign so far

Over 3,000 of you emailed your MP about Who Benefits? We organised for a group of people with autism and parents to meet with their MPs to talk about their concerns with the reforms, and have also met with a range of MPs and peers to brief them on the changes. A debate on the impact of the changes on people with autism was even held in the House of Lords.

As a result, the Government Minister for Disabilities, Maria Miller, has made the following commitments:


  • *Not everyone will have to go through a face-to-face assessment for the new benefit, if this is inappropriate. We are trying to find out what criteria would be applied to determine who would be exempt from a face-to-face assessment.
  • *Assessors will receive appropriate training. We will be pressing further to ensure that assessors have a comprehensive understanding of autism.
  • *Advocates/parents/carers can attend the face-to-face assessment as well and contribute.

We will continue to work to ensure that the criteria for PIP cover the needs of people with autism.

We will also continue to work closely with other organisations to press the Government to reverse the proposal to abolish the mobility component of DLA/PIP for those in residential care, an issue which has been widely debated in Parliament.



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