Act Now For Autism is a core group of people passionate about the future and well-being of children and adults with autism and associated conditions in the UK.
Act Now For Autism are campaigning against aspects of the Welfare Reform Bill, specifically the WCA, Work Programme and the impact of the changeover to Universal Credit and PIP. We are ardently campaigning for advocacy to be offered to anyone who has to have a face-to-face assessment.
Given the concerns that Act Now for Autism has
continually raised regarding the PIP assessment, and in particular
the impact of a face to face assessment for anyone who has as
autistic spectrum condition, the announcement should have been good
However, the whole process has not been paused. We are
now facing a postcode lottery roll-out of PIP, which means that some
children who are now approaching their 16th birthday will still
likely have to endure a face to face assessment in the coming months. Any child who is living
in Wales, the West Midlands, East Midlands, or East Anglia will still
be invited to claim for PIP as their 16th Birthday approaches.
parents who had already received an invitation for their child to
claim PIP have told us this week that following the announcement
from the DWP they have received a letter from informing
them that their child's DLA award will now continue for another 12
months before they can apply for PIP.
is well documented and accepted by leading professionals that
emotional age of a child with autism is often significantly different to
their chronological age. We have already raised concerns about the
morality of expecting a 16 year old with autism to endure a face to
face assessment and we will continue to do so.
of their children being subjected to a face to face PIP assessment is
creating an enormous amount of stress and anxiety for parent carers. Parents are telling us that their children simply will
not be able to cope and account for themselves accurately such an
We are also hearing from parents who are extremely
concerned that their children will not have the historical or medical
evidence that we are constantly hearing will be required, before
ensuring that a face to face assessment will not be necessary.
Autism is not considered to be a medical condition and there
are now many areas across the UK where children are no longer seen on a regular
basis by a paediatrician or a health professional who could supply up
to date and in depth medical evidence about them. We know that some GP's are now delegating the job of filling in medical
questionnaires on to their practice managers who do not even know the
patients. Some GP's practices have even stopped filling in the questionnaire
altogether as they simply do not have the time to do it and others charge a fee.
again we fear that anyone who has a diagnosis of autism is going to
be placed at a significant disadvantage to someone who has a medical
condition and are seen regularly by a health professional.