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Thread: Pip mental health

  1. #11
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    i contributed here earlier but post has gone to moderation. i did get 10 points under pip mobility for mental health difficulties i face. Post to follow i guess... but yes it is possible to qualify for the mobility part of pip for mental health, because i did.

  2. #12
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    Flymo, thank you again for your detailed and considered response. It is greatly appreciated

    Thank you also for the link to the legislation.

    It will take me several days (at least!) to read through the legislation and consider it relation to my issues and the points you have raised. In the meantime though I would like to say thank you so much for your responses, and I hope you will continue to have patience for my difficulties in understanding. Thank you so much for your help so far

  3. #13
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    Hi sandyp196, thank you for your post. I'm very happy to hear that you received an award for your mobility issues! Would you mind if I ask how your mental health issues affect your mobility in relation to the 'planning and following journeys' activity? It could be very helpful, if it's not too intrusive to ask?

  4. #14
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    hi this is my thread with my points in detail. i suffer from agarophobia, bipolar disorder and ocd, plus an eating disorder. But i think the mobility was awarded mainy for the agoraphobia. http://www.youreable.com/forums/show...y-pip-decision

  5. #15
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    Thank you for your appreciation, fizzwizz. Quite a few who believe the "following descriptors" should apply to mental health issues have simply seen "familiar journey without another person" and decided that descriptor applies to them. You have gone far deeper into the issues and the underlying context.

    I believe this is of considerable importance and I had been meaning to explore the interpretation of the "following descriptors" in relation to mental health at some point. The way you explored the topic, fizzwizz, gave me the vehicle to do that. I'm sorry my substantive reply is fairly technical, but I've tried to keep it as simple as possible. If you can't follow my reasoning, let me know and I'll try to explain.


    If you want to do some online searching on some of the underlying themes for background information, here's some suggested search terms:
    • general principles of statutory interpretation - "rules of statutory construction" (though note that they are guidelines rather than rigid rules, also ensure that information relates to common law jurisdictions such as England and Wales), "Sussex Peerage Case", "purposive approach"
    • Parliament legislates and the courts interpret legislation - "Parliamentary supremacy", "separation of powers", also general pages on the British constitutional settlement
    • inadmissibility of travaux preparatoires in statutory interpretation in most cases - "Pepper v Hart"


    Note that the terms "statutory construction" and "statutory interpretation" are essentially interchangeable, also statutory interpretation applies to all legislation, not just statutes (which, strictly speaking, are just Acts of Parliament but not secondary legislation).

    In case you're wondering where "travaux preparatoires" came from, I'm pretty sure it's one of various bits of Norman French that still are found in Parliamentary and legal language.

    If you want a good book on the rule of law and Parliamentary supremacy that is accessible to a lay person, try Tom Bingham's "The Rule of Law". The late Lord Bingham of Cornhill was a distinguished judge and was the last senior law lord before the role of being the highest court in the land moved from the House of Lords to the Supreme Court and he retired.


    I'm hardly the world's greatest expert on statutory interpretation, which is the art and skill of interpreting legislation. It is the judges in the higher courts and tribunals, together with those lawyers appearing before them, who are the experts in this. I'm just a mere final year law undergraduate at an English university. This gives me some degree of insight into the issues, but not at the specialist practitioner level. There are weighty textbooks written purely on the subject of statutory interpretation.



    Though it's not helpful in interpreting legislation, I wanted to share some general thoughts on PIP and mental health, as well as the consequences if the 12 point descriptor on "planning and following journeys" applied to mental health issues.


    If anyone requiring accompanying on mental health grounds to make a familiar local journey qualified for the 12 point descriptor "cannot follow the route of a familiar journey without another person, an assistance dog or an orientation aid", it would have huge ramifications. Pretty much anyone who is agoraphobic and many people with anxiety or depression would qualify for enhanced rate Mobility PIP as a result, including the right to enter the Motability scheme or to free tax on one vehicle. Those in Scotland and Wales would also qualify for a Blue Badge based on the award of this descriptor (this does not apply in England, which has separate rules).

    The costs involved would be substantial. Whilst I firmly believe that far too little support is offered to those who are sick and disabled, the fiscal and political reality is that if more money is spent in one area, something else will have to be cut. There is little political appetite for any form of extension to working age benefit entitlement.

    It might also open up a new attack on the system from those willing to fake an anxiety condition and a corresponding media backlash. I can imagine the ignorant and ill-informed headlines that would result - "FREE CARS FOR THE PANICKY", "MOBILITY BENEFITS FOR THE SCARED" and so on. (I'm no good at writing ranty and alliterative tabloid headlines - sorry!)


    The 4 point descriptor for "overwhelming psychological distress" would pretty much become redundant, as anyone qualifying for it would appear to be entitled to one of the following descriptors. However, the 10 point descriptor for "overwhelming psychological distress" rather than the following descriptors would seem likely to continue to apply to those who could not go out for mental health reasons even if accompanied, so they would only get standard rate Mobility unless they scored some points for "moving around".



    The PIP Daily Living component is rightly more understanding of mental health issues than DLA Care component was. One of the biggest flaws in DLA Care component was the incredibly high thresholds faced by those applying based on mental health. An extremely simplistic analysis of DLA Care component (almost too simplistic, in fact) was that people with purely mental health problems either had to show that without someone helping them with personal care they would self-neglect and/or without supervision they would pose a safety hazard to themselves/someone else to get the Care component. This is an outdated and rather offensive view of mental health problems and I am glad it has been consigned to history for people who first apply for benefit when of working age.


    Another flaw with DLA was that physical mobility problems only counted towards higher rate Mobility and the need for someone accompanying you when outdoors only counted towards lower rate Mobility. This meant that someone whose walking was felt to be just too good for higher rate Mobility got nothing if they did not need accompanying. It also meant that someone needing a very high level of supervision when out of doors as they cannot safely follow whilst unsupervised, such as certain people on the autistic spectrum whose condition prevents them from sticking to a route safely, could not get higher rate Mobility.

    The PIP Mobility component mostly corrects these defects. Again, I regard all these changes as welcome and, in many cases, long overdue.


    At the same time, PIP has deliberately moved to a tougher standard for physical walking difficulties than DLA in order to control costs. The 'virtually unable to walk' limb of higher rate Mobility DLA did not have a numeric distance attached, though it is widely believed decision makers had 50 metres in mind in recent years and might have made decisions to a more lenient standard in the early years of DLA (many of these early awards were indefinite and a sizeable proportion have never been reviewed since).

    Under PIP, someone whose mobility problems are purely physical must be assessed as incapable of walking more than 20 metres on the majority of days to get enhanced rate Mobility. This 20 metre standard is subject to the usual "safely, to an acceptable standard, as often as necessary and in no more than twice the time taken by a person without a relevant health problem" stipulations that apply across PIP, but the effect will nevertheless be that a fair number of people who currently have higher rate Mobility DLA will move to standard rate Mobility PIP on reassessment and lose their entitlement to the Motability schemes.


    I will leave it to others to express a view on how appropriate it would be someone needing accompanying when outdoors for mental health reasons to be able to qualify for the level of points offered by the "following descriptors" in the light of these and other issues.

  6. #16
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    Hi ppl am new on here need some advise on claiming PiP, i am suffering from depression an anixety, i have just recently been dignosed with it about 9 months ago, the condition has been going on since i was at school but i hid it for along time. I refused to accept due to the fact i didnt believe it existed, many things have caused it from an early death of my brother. To failed relationships. I recently applied for PiP as i was suggested to do so, i got a letter last week saying i got 0 points. Ivebeen in my local Cab and they are doing a reconsideration, when i sent my application i didnt provide any medical but i did list my therpist details and my doc. The assessor put on the form i am perfectly capable of doing things and i do not qualify on either of the components

  7. #17
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    Hi tarry4u, you've come to the best forum for help and advice but you may get more response if you start your own thread - the help section may have more advice about this. Many decisions are overturned on reconsideration /appeal so there's hope yet :-) Just try to be as thorough as you can when explaining how your depression and anxiety affect you - disability UK have some very good free guides, & people on here are always very helpful. Good luck with your MR x

  8. #18
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    Hi Sandy, thank you so much for your response :-) I'm so happy you got the right award, I'm sure your experience will give a lot of hope to people in similar situations. In your case it seems the DWP guidance was accurately applied, & I'm so glad you didn't have to fight for it :-) keep up the good work, I've read your link and your other posts & you're doing a brilliant job helping and supporting people :-) x

  9. #19
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    Hi Flymo and thank you again for your detailed and informative posts. I really appreciate your time and consideration in sharing your thoughts an
    experience on this issue.

    Your general thoughts were helpful and I share many of your concerns. There were many problems with DLA, & PIP does address some of these- such as making the daily living criteria clearer for people with mental health issues, and enabling people with a mix of physical and mental health difficulties to qualify for mobility by adding points together from the 'moving around' and 'planning and following journeys' descriptors. On the other hand, the 20m restriction for people with physical disabilities will cause distress and hardship to a significant number of people with current high rate mobility awards, which is deeply upsetting.

    With regard to the Motability scheme, I agree that it should be restricted to claimants who qualify for enhanced mobility on the 'moving around' activity only- as blue badges are in England. However, this is an issue for the Motability scheme to address- I don't believe that failings in the Motability scheme should be used to exclude other claimants from appropriate benefits. Also, there will always be some people who abuse any disability scheme, & there will always be lurid headlines when these people caught - and the people this affects most will continue to be genuine claimants who are then viewed with suspicion and subjected to much harsher scrutiny by both benefit agencies and the general public. This affects people with physical disabilities just as much as people with mental health issues- there are many conditions fraudsters can claim affect their ability to move around, and there are already many additional checks that people with mental health issues face - eg it is very difficult to qualify for benefits without support from mental health services, and it is extremely difficult to qualify for support from those services.

    Just to be clear, my mum has a particularly severe form of MS and is significantly physically disabled as a result. She needs a hoist to get from her wheelchair to the car and significant extra space to enable her to do that. I'm fully aware of the additional needs faced by physically disabled people.

    In relation to the 'planning and following journeys' activity, I agree that it would be unfeasible to widen the interpretation of the descriptors to such an extent that everyone who can show a need to be accompanied outdoors on the majority of journeys would score 12 points, and I don't at all wish to argue in favour of this. I agree that this level of award should be restricted to those with the most significant and extreme needs. However, as the DWP guidance stands at the moment, it is only those claimants (in relation to claimants with mental health issues only) with the most extreme needs who qualify for any level of award. The vast majority of people with mental health issues who have significant difficulties outdoors are having their mobility needs consigned to descriptor b, and therefore no award, under the current DWP guidance.
    Whether the DWP guidance interprets the legislation correctly is still widely open for debate.

    As you stated in an earlier post, paraphrasing somewhat but retaining I hope the meaning, 'the starting point is always the words of the legislation', & 'the wording of the legislation is law'. I trust we agree on those points.
    There is then a very wide area of how we then interpret the words of the legislation, and what the law then actually is. Your suggestions for further reading will no doubt be invaluable in this area, thank you. However as I only have a few days left to decide whether to submit a mandatory reconsideration, I hope you will be patient with my layman's approach.
    I have read through the Social Security (Personal Independence Payment) Regulations 2013.
    After a careful and detailed analysis of the legislation, I can find no justification for the DWP's guidance in relation to the ' planning and following journeys' activity.

    In the legislation, activity 11 is 'Planning and following journeys'. The meanings of 'planning' and 'following' are not specifically defined.
    Descriptor b states 'needs prompting to undertake any journey to avoid overwhelming psychological distress to the claimant'.
    'Prompting' is defined as 'reminding, encouraging or explaining by another person'
    'Psychological distress' is defined as 'distress related to an enduring mental health condition or an intellectual or cognitive impairment'.
    'Undertake' is not defined in the legislation. In your earlier post you state that the Oxford English Dictionary defines 'undertake' as "to take upon oneself". You extrapolate from that that this means 'journey from beginning to end'. However, various other dictionaries give definitions such as 'to commit oneself to and begin', 'to promise to do a particular thing', 'to pledge or commit', etc. As the legislation does not specifically define this term then it is open to debate which definition applies, and my original understanding of the descriptor as meaning 'needs prompting to start a journey' still appears to be a valid interpretation at this point.

    In relation to descriptor d, the legislation states 'cannot follow the route of an unfamiliar journey without another person, assistance dog or orientation aid'

    'Assistance dog' & 'orientation aid' are defined in the legislation. 'Another person' is not. Specific forms of help that another person could provide are defined: ie, assistance, prompting and supervision. However the descriptor in the legislation does not restrict the help from another person to 'assistance', and it does not exclude prompting or supervision. I am therefore at a loss in understanding how the DWP's guidance can possibly be correct as it stands. It does not correctly interpret the legislation, merely imposes its own view of what it wishes the legislation to be .
    The same applies to descriptor f.

    As stated earlier, I am not arguing that everyone who needs support to leave the house should qualify for descriptor f, and I am in favour of interpretations of this descriptor being limited to only those with the most extreme needs. However I would like to argue strongly that the current DWP guidance restricting the vast majority of claimants with mental health issues to no award of mobility should be somewhat relaxed from its current position, to include consideration of descriptor d for the standard award.

    In relation to my own difficulties, I used to use public transport but was forced to buy a car after my breakdown. I work full time so I travel every morning, but it's really really hard. I'm desperate to keep my job and my employer and colleagues are really supportive, which helps immensely. But getting to work is extremely difficult. I wake up in tears and don't want to move. The only way I can convince myself to get up is to imagine life if I lost my job - I'd have no life! So if I'm not going to go to work I'll have to go to the shop for paracetamol to kill myself, and they won't serve me if I don't stop crying calm down...

    I have to go through that most mornings, so all aspects of self care have lapsed. Once I'm in my car, I have to stop off repeatedly, either because I can't see the road through tears, or because my anxiety is so intense that I'm either extremely nauseous or shaking uncontrollably. As a result I need to pull over repeatedly, and my usual route to work consists of several 'safe' areas that I regularly pull over into to calm myself down. I rarely go to unfamiliar areas, but last time I tried I ended up lost and hysterical, I was getting beeped left right and centre because I kept jumping lanes in panic and cutting people up. My brother in law and his friend had to come and get me in the end as I was in such a state.

    Thank you for all your help so far and I look forward to your response x
    Last edited by fizzwizz; 10-02-15 at 22:25. Reason: formatting

  10. #20
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    Fizz wizz my honest opinion is this.... the dwp will try to penalise you on the mobility aspect of pip as lomg as you are still trying to make those car journeys. They dont care how bad it is for you, they just view it in terms of you managing to get from A to B. i dont think disability comes on their radar until you get to the point where your saying 'i can no longer do this.'

    Thats my experience anyway. Xx

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