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The DWP have told an influential parliamentary committee that claimants with a mental health condition but no physical health condition, will still be able to claim the enhanced rate of the mobility component of personal independence payment (PIP).

However, the ‘non-exhaustive’ list of claimants with mental health conditions only, who will still be able to claim the enhanced rate includes people with ME/CFS, people with cognitive impairments, people with developmental disorder and people with psychosomatic pain.

It does not include any claimants with common mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, PTSD, bipolar disorder, OCD, psychosis or personality disorder, for example.

The DWP statement says:

The following is a non-exhaustive list of examples of situations where a person with a mental condition (unaccompanied by a physical condition) could receive the mobility component of PIP at the enhanced rate:

A person (person A) with a cognitive impairment who cannot, due to their impairment, work out where to go, follow directions or deal with unexpected changes in their journey, even when the journey is familiar, would score 12 points under descriptor f in mobility activity 1 (“planning and following journeys”), and hence be entitled to the enhanced rate of the mobility component. Examples of such conditions could include dementia, or a learning disability such as Down’s Syndrome. (Some people covered by this example may experience psychological distress as well, and may also meet descriptor b, requiring “prompting” – i.e. reminding, encouraging or explaining – from another person in order to be able to undertake a journey. They will still receive 12 points under descriptor f and be entitled to the enhanced rate.)

A person (person B) with a developmental disorder could qualify on a similar basis to person A if the disorder affects their ability to work out where to go, follow directions or deal with unexpected changes in their journey. If their disorder results in them having difficulty assessing and responding to risks, or in impulsivity, then they could also score 12 points under descriptor f on the basis that they need to be accompanied for their own safety. Examples of developmental disorders which could have these effects include Autistic Spectrum Disorder and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

A person (person C) who suffers psychosomatic pain could qualify for the enhanced rate through satisfying descriptors e or f in mobility activity 2 (“moving around”). The case of NK v SSWP [2016] UKUT 146 (AAC) concerned a claimant who suffered significant pain when moving around, but the pain resulted from a mental condition rather than any physical impairment. The Upper Tribunal found that the claimant could score points towards an award of the mobility component under mobility activity 2, even though her pain did not have a physical cause.

A person (person D) who has chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and experiences symptoms including significant fatigue following physical exertion, muscular and joint pain and balance problems, together with psychological difficulties which manifest as depression and panic attacks, could qualify for the enhanced rate under mobility activity 2, or by scoring points on a combination of mobility activity 1 (4 points under descriptor b, for requiring prompting to avoid psychological distress when undertaking any journey) and mobility activity 2 (8 points under descriptor c, for being able to stand and then move unaided more than 20m but no more than 50m). As explained above, Chronic Fatigue Symptom (CFS), also known as myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), has complex causes which are still not well understood, but which may involve both physical and psychological factors.

You can read the full statement here


#4 carruthers 2017-04-12 03:50
There's one phrase in the DWP's proposal which raised my hackles:
the 'non-exhaustive’ list of claimants with mental health conditions only, who will still be able to claim the enhanced rate includes people with ME/CFS,

Does this mean that the DWP is still sticking to a desperately out-dated notion of ME/CFS which sees it as exclusively a mental health condition? Or even that there are people out there with ME/CFS whose only symptoms are mental ones?
Sounds like time for a little re-education at the Department,
-1 #3 denise 2017-04-09 10:00
So if you have paranoid schizaphenia and it was diagnosed 20 years ago and is incurable as i have been told and you are on the medication given to the most sever people because everything else failed even a depot INJECTION where does it leave that person as to going out and being a danger to himself or another person My son goes nowhere ON HIS OWN for his own saftey and the publics as it can get very stressed if he goes on one which he does do. and i have to avoid situations such as these . Award wise then .for instance how long would they give that person an award.i would be interested to hear other people,s view,s on this one.becausei am stil peeved at what they have given my son.and i am to afraid to appeal as he could lose what he already has..he was awarded standard rate mobiity. for 3 years.and high care. after his assessment were as on DLA he had an indefinite award.
+1 #2 carl 2017-04-07 21:42
Hi, i also suffer from metal health, enduring, and heart related issued triggered by stress related angina, the system has failed.
+1 #1 h63 2017-04-06 13:09
hi I suffer from heart problems and chronic kidney problems and a condition called crps in my right knee and I am waiting to go to court because I got 0 points

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