Mobility 1 – New Regulations about anxiety and distress                                             when out

The DWP have today made a new PIP Regulation which undoes the recent Upper Tribunal decision about anxiety preventing people from being able to follow the route of a journey.

The Regulation will apply from 16 March 2017. To remind you, the Upper Tribunal recently said that people *could* earn points under Mobility Descriptor 1 for not being able to follow the route of a journey because they experienced acute anxiety or distress.

The new Regulation says that people can only earn points under PIP Mobility Descriptor 1 (c), (d) or (f) for reasons *other than* psychological distress. The term psychological distress covers all mental health conditions - even the most serious.

The Regulation has the force of law and its phrasing makes it almost impossible for the Upper Tribunal to change its meaning. PIP Mobility Descriptor 1 (c) says that people who cannot plan the route of a journey can earn 8 points, or standard mobility.

The new law makes it impossible for people to earn points for not being able to plan the route of a journey because they have a mental health condition, are anxious or psychologically distressed.
The only reasons which will be acceptable for earning PIP points will be cognitive or thinking loss caused by brain conditions like dementia, brain damage or disease, learning disability, or sensory loss such as blindness or deafness.

PIP Mobility Descriptor 1 (d) says that people who cannot follow the route of an unfamiliar journey without another person, assistance dog, or aid, can earn 10 points, or standard mobility.
The new law makes it impossible for people to earn points for not being able to follow the route of an unfamiliar journey because they have a mental health condition, are anxious or psychologically distressed.

The only reasons which will be acceptable for earning PIP points will be cognitive or thinking loss caused by brain conditions like dementia, brain damage or disease, learning disability, or sensory loss such as blindness or deafness.


PIP Mobility Descriptor 1 (d) says that people who cannot follow the route of an familiar journey without another person, assistance dog, or aid, can earn 12 points, or enhanced mobility.

The new law makes it impossible for people to earn points for not being able to follow the route of an familiar journey because they have a mental health condition, are anxious or psychologically distressed.

The only reasons which will be acceptable for earning PIP points will be cognitive or thinking loss caused by brain conditions like dementia, brain damage or disease, learning disability, or sensory loss such as blindness or deafness.


WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR ME?
The new Regulation means that people with mental health conditions, even very severe mental health conditions, will only be able to claim 4 points under PIP Mobility Descriptor 1 (b) for needing prompting to go out, or 10 points under PIP Mobility Descriptor 1 (e) if they are completely unable to go out at all.

This means that people with mental health conditions will never be able to claim PIP enhanced mobility unless they also have a physical problem which limits the distance they can stand and walk, so that they also earn points under PIP Mobility Descriptor 2.

The Government have said that they never intended that people with mental health conditions should receive points under these descriptors and that changing the law back will save £3.7 billion pounds over the next 5 years.

You can read the full statement here http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/writtenstatement/Commons/2017-02-23/HCWS495

This analysis is brought to you by BuDS Benefit Information Project.

It is general information only and you should take advice about your specific case.

You can read the full text of the new Regulation (which is written in legal language) here: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2017/194/made