The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is planning to implement changes to Personal Independence Payments (PIP) which allows people with Mental Health (MH) issues to claim higher rates of the mobility component.
What is the Mental Health judgment?
The Mental Health Upper Tribunal judgement related to how symptoms of overwhelming psychological distress should be considered when assessing a claimant’s ability to plan and follow a journey. The government introduced an amended regulation in 2017 which has been successfully challenged by judicial review in a High Court judgement in December 2017.
The government is working on ensuring everyone gets the benefits they are entitled to and they are identifying claimants who may now be eligible to more support under PIP.
Why not appeal?
The government carefully considered the judgement and decided to not appeal in order to provide certainty to claimants with mental health conditions.
Who are the beneficiaries?
If your impairment and health condition means that overwhelming psychological distress affects your ability to plan and follow a journey, you may be eligible for more support under PIP.
The DWP are working to the following timescales to implement the changes:
|Engagement period with stakeholders to gather views on implementation of the guidance||Spring 2018|
|Drafting PIP assessment guidance changes||Spring to early summer 2018|
|Design process for reviewing existing PIP claims and recruit 300 staff to complete the review||Early summer 2018|
|Finish review and begin the exercise||Early summer 2018|
|First payment to new and existing claimants||Summer 2018|
When will full information and guidance be available to the public?
All procedures should be followed and necessary steps should be taken so the changes can be implemented safely and effectively. The DWP expect to publish new guidance as soon as possible once they have finished the procedure.
Will the affected claimants receive backdated payments and if so, when?
Yes. Affected claimants will receive backdated payments to either the date of the Mental Health judgment (28th November 2016) or the start of their PIP award if it is after this date.
I have an assessment coming up, what will this mean to me?
If a decision was made on your claim before the new guidance is established and you are affected by the change, your case will be subsequently identified by the DWP and your payment will be backdated.
Will this affect anyone who is currently trying to appeal for the higher rates with the court and tribunal services?
The tribunals are obliged to apply legal judgments to all appeals, including the Mental Health Upper Tribunal judgment, and to award claimants accordingly.
I have a specific condition, does it affect me?
PIP does not make distinction between conditions, it looks at how the conditions affect people to do everyday tasks.
I am on DLA and ESA, am I affected?
No. This change only relates to PIP
What if I was disallowed PIP before or after the change?
Anyone who was disallowed PIP before 28th Nov 2016, and consider they have overwhelming psychological distress that affect their ability to plan and follow a journey, should consider making a new claim.
If you were disallowed PIP on or after 28th Nov 2016, the DWP will contact you if you are identified as affected.
How will the DWP identify affected claimants?
- No reassessment will be required.
- Claimants who have only been awarded the Daily Living component will also be viewed.
- However, the eligibility for Daily Living component will not be reviewed. Under PIP, only mobility 1 (the ability to plan and follow a journey) will be reviewed.
- The DWP will contact everyone who has been affected by the change. Claimants who have been disallowed before 28th Nov 2016 should consider making a new claim.
As the change has not been fully enforced, Disability Wales expects any potential reverse could happen in the future. By reading this, you understand that Disability Wales is a campaigning group that represents the interest of Welsh disabled people, which has NO control in government policy making procedures. Therefore, this report is for information only.
Source: The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions. 2018. House of Commons. Available at: http://data.parliament.uk/DepositedPapers/Files/DEP2018-0345/HC_MH_Judgement_and_factsheet-29.03.18.pdf [Accessed: 11th April 2018].
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