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TOPIC: Pip mobility, going out

Pip mobility, going out 4 months 3 weeks ago #192303

First, can I say thanks for the informative guides. They really are a lifeline when you are completely overwhelmed with another benefits form. My question is regarding Pip mobility, going out on mental health grounds. I finally put in a claim for Pip, with some help after a terrible year. Although I was aware the descriptors changed in March, I was not able, due to the terrible state I was in, to get my claim in, in any 'considerable' time before that. However, I did manage to put it in a 'few' days prior to the change. As I have trouble going most places by myself, suffer from agrophobia&depression and rely on a family friend to take me to appts, I had hoped to qualify for c) cannot follow the route of a journey and/or d) cannot follow the route of an unfamiliar journey, without another person, assistance dog or orientation aid. However, as some others have said, I received 4 points instead for b) needs prompting to be able to undertake any journey, to avoid overwhelming psychological distress - and so did not pass the mobility part. I read so much on the descriptors and the different rulings etc before applying, so much so, that I think I totally confused myself and maybe didn't represent myself accurately. I'm also confused now, as to whether I was assessed under the new or the old descriptors as the notes mention that they can't consider help needed including use of taxis, being driven in a car and being near a toilet. The whole navigating a route, following a route etc has just totally, for want of another word, confused me. How would I know if i was assessed under the old or the new descriptors without contacting the DWP? I have a small amount of time to ask for a mandatory reconsideration but I'm not sure where i stand or whether iI would be wise in case it then jeopardises the daily living part/whole award? Any help would be much appreciated

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Pip mobility, going out 4 months 3 weeks ago #192304

Jb

The DWP have applied the new rules to all Decisions made on or after 16 March.

The Going Out activity looks at three things.

Planning a route (c) - this is primarily a cognitive or sensory (e.g. blindness) activity. You are being asked about the problems you would have with working out how to get from one place to another, you do not need to be able to follow the route that you are planning..

Undertaking a Journey (b) and (e) - this is do with mental health issues such as agoraphobia and social anxiety and is concerned with you leaving the house to go somewhere, they will be interested in the things that stop you doing this. You need to show that you would suffer "overwhelming psychological distress" to meet the criteria.

Following a route (d) and (f) - the DWP regard this as a cognitive or sensory activity to do with navigating the route, SO are there problems that would prevent you from doing this? This is different from undertaking a journey, in fact if you cannot undertake a journey then you will struggle to score points for following one. The reasons that you are unable to follow or navigate the route must not be due to psychological distress.

Gordon

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Nothing on this board constitutes legal advice - always consult a professional about specific problems

Pip mobility, going out 4 months 3 weeks ago #192306

Thank you for your prompt reply. Sorry if I sound stupid here, as I still can't seem to get my head around it and you wouldn't believe the amount of time I've spent trying.. So, if my claim was made prior to 16th March, albeit not by much, am I right in thinking I would/ should have been assessed under the older descriptors? And in so doing, would i possibly then have received enough points under the old rules for mental health grounds? Are the ones you mentioned the newer ones? Thankyou

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Pip mobility, going out 4 months 2 weeks ago #192329

Jb

I'm afraid it's the date of the Decision that matter, not the date the date the claim was made. The Government had the opportunity to use another point in the process but they didn't.

I only have the very limited information from your post, but you mention Agoraphobia and do not mention any issues with navigating a route, so I think you would have struggled to show that you met the criteria for (d) or (f) even without the change.

Gordon

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Pip mobility, going out 4 months 1 week ago #192987

Thanks for your reply. I'm not sure why I would not have qualified for d or f in the previous descriptors? I suffer from severe depression, anxiety attacks and agoraphobia. I don't go out for weeks at a time and would only go to hosp appt's previously when the person acting as my carer was involved. I have proof of my conditions and provided all of this to them. I am now in a state of cancelling every thing so that I don't have to have contact with anyone, as ive deteriorated a lot due to recent personal circumstances.

I would originally have tried to apply/qualify for the 12 points but I could not in all honestly say I 'never' went out, as say one day every 2 months my prepayment elec key would need to be charged and I would have to do this at a local shop as there is no one to help. I would wait until dark to try to avoid as many people as possible but still be disorientated and panic. In my worst times, I've just left all the elec off for hours.. I have all shopping delivered to avoid going out and at present am having extreme difficulty even making my counselling appts and picking up my latest prescription from the psychiatrist as i have no one to do it for me. They will not post and it has already been there some time...I can't even face using a cab but the DWP said they would not consider that as needing help, even if you did use one.

As you have said, the descriptors that are used are decided by the decision date and not by the application date, even if it was before March 2017, which I was unaware of before (I could not find that information anywhere else!), so that makes it clear to me now thanks. I obviously could not qualify for standard mobility under the older descriptors..

I now have very limited time if i wished to ask for a review. I know you cannot give personal opinions but do you think on the basis of what ive said there is any point in asking for a mandatory reconsideration in the hope of qualifying for the higher mobility? Does cannot undertake mean absolutely never, or the overwhelming major it of time like myself? I think maybe i was so bogged down by information and the stress, i may not have represented myself as well as i could on paper. Could Ialso ask, how often does it happen that an existing award might actually reduced at mandatory reconsideration? Thanks in advance for your help

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Pip mobility, going out 4 months 1 week ago #193030

jb

From your previous posts your problems with Going Out are related to Agoraphobia, you will not score points for Descriptors (d) or (f), if this is the underlying cause of your problems. These two Descriptors are about you ability to follow or navigate a route, by definition; if you don't go out you can't be considered as following a route!

You may be able to show that you meet the criteria for

e. Cannot undertake any journey because it would cause overwhelming psychological distress to the claimant. 10 points.

You can argue that "cannot" does not mean "never" due to the reliability rules, but the standard you will need to meet will still be far higher than the normal majority of days. You may be able to do this if you don't leave the house for weeks but it may be something that can only be decided at appeal.

Gordon

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