The percentage of claimants with degenerative physical conditions who get awards of enhanced rate personal independence payment (PIP) mobility has fallen by up to two thirds when compared with disability living allowance (DLA), the BBC has revealed.
The BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire show has obtained the startling figures using the Freedom of Information act.
These show that there have been dramatic falls in the percentage of claimants with degenerative physical health conditions who get the enhanced rate of PIP mobility, compared to the percentage who were awarded DLA higher rate mobility for the same condition.
According to the BBC, the figures for dementia show that more claimants are getting enhanced PIP mobility. This may reflect the fact that PIP mobility takes more account of mental health issues than DLA does.
But for primarily physical conditions, it’s a very different picture.
For MS, 93% of DLA claimants got the higher rate of the mobility component, under PIP this has dropped hugely to 50%.
For Parkinson’s, 82% of DLA claimants got the higher rate of the mobility component, under PIP this has more than halved to 40%.
For rheumatoid arthritis, 83% of DLA claimants got the higher rate of the mobility component, under PIP this plummeted by more than two thirds to 24%.
Claimants with degenerative conditions are having their awards reduced from higher rate mobility to no mobility component at all, when they are moved onto PIP.
The programme interviews Diane, a claimant with Parkinson’s who lost her mobility award - and her Motability car - when she was moved from DLA to PIP. It took six months and an appeal tribunal to get her award reinstated.
Some claimants with degenerative conditions are also discovering that when an existing PIP award is reassessed it can be reduced, even though there is no possibility that their condition has improved.
Wendy, a claimant with Alzheimer’s interviewed by the programme, had been getting the standard rates of PIP mobility and care. When the award was reassessed after 18 months, however, it was taken away altogether. A mandatory reconsideration reached the same decision and Wendy doesn’t feel that she can cope with a full appeal.
For Wendy, it’s a disaster that will severely limit how she lives. For the DWP, it’s another good result.