Mobility Descriptor 1 – Claims for Distress and Anxiety                while Out decided before 16 March 2017

The Upper Tribunal has made a decision which will mean that many thousands of people whose PIP claims are already in the system will be still be able to claim points for not being able to plan or follow a journey without another person because of distress or anxiety arising from a mental health condition.
 

You’ll remember that on 16 March 2017 the DWP changed the PIP Regulations to reverse the ‘Mental Health’ ruling on 28 November 2016 by the Upper Tribunal (case CPIP/1347/2015). The ‘Mental Health’ ruling was that people could claim points for not being able to plan or follow a journey without another person because of distress or anxiety arising from a mental health condition.
 

The Upper Tribunal in case CPIP/2335/2016 has now confirmed that all claims where the ‘decision date’ is before 16 March 2017 should be decided according to the ‘Mental Health’ ruling. The ‘decision date’ is the day on which the DWP made a decision on the claim, not the date the claim was made or the date on which the appeal is held.
 

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR YOU?

If you’ve ALREADY claimed PIP, and the DWP made a decision on your claim ON OR BEFORE 16 March 2017, then the Mobility Descriptor 1 rules below apply to your claim. To find out when the DWP made a decision on your claim, look at the letter they sent you telling you whether you’d been successful in your claim. This will tell you when they made their decision – or if the letter doesn’t say this, the decision date will be the date of the letter itself.
 

MOBILITY DESCRIPTOR 1 - PEOPLE WHO GET DISTRESSED OR LOST WHEN OUT – FOR PEOPLE WHO’S DECISION DATE IS ON OR BEFORE 16 MARCH 2017 ONLY PIP descriptor 1d states that people who ‘cannot follow the route of an unfamiliar journey without another person, assistance dog or orientation aid’ score 10 points.
 

PIP descriptor 1f states that people who ‘cannot follow the route of a familiar journey without another person, an assistance dog or an orientation aid’ score 12 points.
 

The Upper Tribunal’s ‘Mental Health decision confirms that PIP descriptors 1d and 1f DO apply to people who cannot follow the route of a journey because of overwhelming psychological distress which prevents them from navigating (ie finding their way) or making progress along the route without the help of another person. But the distress must be overwhelming and extreme – simple anxiety, even strong anxiety, is not enough. The person must be unable to navigate or proceed without help because of their extreme mental state.
 

Note that people with mental health conditions that cause anxiety or distress are also 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.
 

MOBILITY DESCRIPTOR 1 - PEOPLE WHO GET DISTRESSED OR LOST WHEN OUT – FOR PEOPLE WHO’S DECISION DATE IS AFTER 16 MARCH 2017

If the DWP made a decision on your claim after 16 March 2017, then the Upper Tribunal decision above will NOT apply to your claim. The law that will apply to your claim will be as set out in the revised PIP Regulations ie as follows.

 

PIP Mobility Descriptor 1 (c) says that people who cannot plan the route of a journey can earn 8 points, or standard mobility. The changed PIP Regulations make it impossible for people to earn points for not being able to plan the route of a journey because they are anxious or psychologically distressed. The only reasons which will be acceptable for earning PIP points for descriptor 1(c) will be cognitive or thinking loss caused by neurological and brain conditions like autism, 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 changed PIP Regulations make it impossible for people to earn points for not being able to follow the route of an unfamiliar journey because they are anxious or psychologically distressed. The only reasons which will be acceptable for earning PIP points for descriptor 1(d) will be cognitive or thinking loss caused by neurological and brain conditions like autism, dementia, brain damage or disease, learning disability, or sensory loss such as blindness or deafness.
 

PIP Mobility Descriptor 1 (f) says that people who cannot follow the route of a familiar journey without another person, assistance dog, or aid, can earn 12 points, or enhanced mobility The changed PIP Regulations make it impossible for people to earn points for not being able to follow the route of a familiar journey because they are anxious or psychologically distressed. The only reasons which will be acceptable for earning PIP points for descriptor 1 (f) will be cognitive or thinking loss caused by neurological and brain conditions like autism, dementia, brain damage or disease, learning disability, or sensory loss such as blindness or deafness.
 

People with mental health conditions that cause anxiety or distress will still 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.

 

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