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TOPIC: PIP Mobility Questions and Mental Health

PIP Mobility Questions and Mental Health 3 weeks 2 days ago #200260

I am completing the 2nd PIP form for my daughter who suffers from severe depression and anxiety amongst other mental health conditions. I understand that Q13 Going Out and Q14 Moving around are added together and she needs at least 8 points to get the mobility component. Is that correct?

If so, since he has no physical disabilities, and since she is able to sometimes go out unaided to familiar places (even though she often needs help even going to familiar places), it seems to me she can only get a maximum of 4 points.

If that is so, is there any point giving any additional information in this question at all? To answer the question and fully explain her difficulties would probably take me 2 or 3 hours, but I wonder if there is any point even trying if it is impossible to get the mobility component due to mental health unless completely housebound?

Is it worth answering in case it helps give an overall picture that would impact the scores in other questions?

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PIP Mobility Questions and Mental Health 3 weeks 2 days ago #200287

  • Gordon
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Mel

The Going Out activity looks at three things.

Planning a route - 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 - 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 - 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.

It is always worth making the arguments, but if his issues are psychological then he is very unlikely to score for planning or following a route and if his condition is variable, meaning that he can go out by himself on occasion then he may struggle to meet the requirements for Descriptor (e).

However, the activity must be completed reliably and on the majority of days, so if you can show that he cannot do this then it may still be possible to show he meets the criteria.

Gordon

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

PIP Mobility Questions and Mental Health 3 weeks 2 days ago #200298

Thanks.

Looking at the descriptors, because the problems are caused by psychological distress, it seems to me that possibly only (b) applies. I wondered about (e), but the fact is she successfully goes out to places she knows at least once or twice and sometimes as many as four times a week. It says on the Benefits and Work guidance that descriptor (e) from the DWP perspective is about people who haven't been able to leave there home for years, but argues that 3 months is probably sufficient.

So ... it seems to me given the guidance paper that (e) cannot apply, (b) might apply, but since she has no physical or sensory problems, the other descriptors don't apply, unless cognitive impairment means she can't plan or follow a route.

I need to consider if she has cognitive problems. Her psychological distress, does I believe cause her to panic, which affects her cognitive processes and that could prevent her following a route safely and reliably (it could even result in suicide). Would this be an acceptable argument that could score points?

(The problem is that this panic usually means she does not set off at all on an unfamiliar journey unless someone else helps her, or for a familiar journey to turn back home in panic. That means we don't really know if she would able to successfully complete the journey when she panics, because she has never tried.)

Without panic, whilst she has some problems planning a route they are not disabling, because route plans are simple step by step instructions that she can follow. Similarly, if she was not panicking, I'm sure she could cognitively follow a route.

If it is not possible to argue cognitive impairment, is there any point going into details on this question since she could only score 4 points in total for the mobility elements?

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PIP Mobility Questions and Mental Health 3 weeks 2 days ago #200310

  • Gordon
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Mel wrote: If it is not possible to argue cognitive impairment, is there any point going into details on this question since she could only score 4 points in total for the mobility elements?


I can't answer this, I don't know your daughter, only you do :)

Gordon

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PIP Mobility Questions and Mental Health 3 weeks 2 days ago #200315

The questions are general, not specific to my daughter:

1) would an assertion that cognitive impairment resulting from anxiety and panic causes someone to be unable to follow a route, or re-plan a route if something goes wrong (eg a bus or train is cancelled or missed) be valid (or because it relates to emotional distress would it be rejected)?

2) If the above assertion would not be valid, is there any point going into detail on this question since she would then only score 4 points maximum under the two mobility questions?

I have since thought about two further arguments that could be made, is it possible these could be accepted so she can receive points for not being able to plan or follow a journey:

1) Because of social anxiety, if something goes wrong, she could not re-plan a journey, she would need help (she would phone me or return home).

2) Her condition causes her to drink alcohol to (temporarily) relieve her painful emotions and depression. This can make it impossible for her to successfully follow a journey to an unfamiliar place, or to re-plan if something goes wrong.

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PIP Mobility Questions and Mental Health 3 weeks 2 days ago #200323

  • Gordon
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Mel

1. If you can clearly show that it is the cognitive effect that is causing the problem with navigating the route then it is a possible argument, but it must be clear that it is not the psychological distress that is preventing the claimant following the route.

Your example suggests the latter rather than the former.

2. Unless you can show that the claimant cannot leave their house due to agoraphobia, social anxiety or a similar condition then it is difficult to see how they could score higher than (b)

(1) How is this different from psychological distress

(2) Could be an argument but can you show that she that she is so effected on the majority of days and if you can how is this reflected on the rest of the form as it is reasonable to expect some impact to their ability to complete the Daily Living activities.

Gordon

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