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In a shock move the DWP have today completely abandoned their attempts to discriminate against claimants with mental health conditions trying to claim the mobility element of Personal Independence Payment (PIP). It has been estimated that the move will affect around 160,000 PIP claimants.

This victory was only made possible by the bravery of a single claimant and the generosity of Benefits and Work readers, who raised most of the funding to bring the case in the first place.

Linked cases
Less than a week ago we wrote about the case known as RF, in which a claimant won a vital high court challenge against changes to the law relating to PIP mobility brought in last March.

The changes made it much harder for claimants who have difficulty going out because of overwhelming psychological distress to successfully claim the PIP mobility component.

It was very widely expected that the DWP would appeal against this decision.

But, in an astonishing turnaround, the new secretary of state for work and pensions, Esther McVey announced today that the DWP would not be challenging the decision.

Not only that, but McVey also revealed that the DWP will no longer be challenging the decision in the case known as MH. It was this case that prompted the changes in the law last March.

Now, however, they are accepting the original decision in MH and McVey says the DWP will:

“. . . now undertake an exercise to go through all affected cases in receipt of PIP and all decisions made following the judgment in MH to identify anyone who may be entitled to more as a result of the judgment. We will then write to those individuals affected, and all payments will be backdated to the effective date in each individual claim.”

You can read McVey’s full statement here.

Funded by you
Back in May 2017, through the newsletter we asked our readers to contribute to crowdfunding appeal for a legal challenge by a claimant known as Billie who has severe mental health issues. As a result Billie is extremely vulnerable when travelling. She needs a lot of support to do this reliably and safely.

Billie was refused an award of the mobility component of PIP under the new regulations and bravely launched a challenge with the help of the Public Law Project.

Billie needed £3,000 to begin the process.

When our newsletter went out Billie had raised £750. Within just a few hours our readers had pushed the total past the £3,000 mark. In the end you helped to raise over £8,000 towards Billie’s legal costs.

You also posted dozens of messages of support for Billie.

At the time Billie told us:

“I’m utterly overwhelmed by everyone’s generosity and support.

“There have been many tough decisions in standing up to take this case to the High Court.

“The speed with which your readers pledged money and their comments made me realise just how many people are angry about these changes, and are behind me.

“I was literally crying with relief watching the pledges flood in from so many strangers.”

Further updates
The DWP say they will be contacting individuals affected by their change of heart. However, it’s not clear how they will decide who they think has been affected or how they will contact them.

We’ll be keeping you posted and offering guidance in future updates about what steps to take to make sure you aren’t overlooked, if you believe you have been affected.

But for now we’re just delighted to be able to celebrate a hugely successful case brought by a claimant, funded by claimants and fought with the support of the voluntary sector.

Here’s hoping there will be many more.

Comments  

#8 pomaus 2018-02-05 12:22
@ Patrick

I don't want to give you false hope, but I do not think this has anything to do with you being 65 in March.
You did not say whether this was for your ESA or for migrating from DLA to PIP.
As this is a renewal, you should not be effected.
People over the age of 65 are not able to make a NEW claim for PIP, but if PIP is already in payment before reaching the age of 65, you should be able to continue to claim it and renew it.

You might be best off asking the question in the main forum, to get a more learned answer from one of the Mods who might be able to help you further. Good Luck
#7 Patrick 2018-02-04 14:19
Quote:
Silverfox656 facetoface
Can anyone give me and help ease my anxiety? I have recurring depressive disorder and Have been long term sick on DLA and ESA support group since 2008 due to a serious RTC, however, two weeks prior to Christmas 2017 I received a letter for a face to face assessment for work to be held at Lincoln assessment centre on the 02/02/2018. As you can imagine our Christmas celebrations were ruined amongst other things. I duly attended the assessment that took about ten minutes as the interviewer said she wasn’t qualified enough to assess me when she read in my report that I had punctured the lining to my brain in the RTC of 2007 and was hospitalised for two months, thirteen days of which were in intensive care in a coma. I have just received a new appointment for a face to face on the06/02/2018. Both my wife and I have suffered much distress over the past two months an wonder what the motive is behind this because I reach the age of sixty five in March 2018. I would be grateful for any feedback on this post. Kind regards from Silverfox656
+1 #6 Cheryl Morris 2018-01-25 21:32
well done billie and thanks
#5 Jonesey 2018-01-25 12:12
Does this mean that any claimant who received 10 points for descriptor (e) on Mobility on grounds of a mental health condition will now receive 12 points and the Enhanced rate of Mobility?
#4 pomaus 2018-01-21 20:46
Quoting cats6:
What about the regulations that were amended in March 2017 as a result of the MH case ??????
Is the Law now going to be changed in favour of the MH
Will the governments change be completely reversed??
Rewritten ??? To now include ALL mental health claims be awarded the points under mobility descriptors. ?.

Clear information regarding the above would be appreciated.


What this mean is that the legislation changes that the government brought in, will be removed, i.e the government will have to remove the wording "apart from Psychological Distress".
All applications that were affected by these changes that were submitted after November 2016 (when the original tribunal made its ruling) will have to be looked at again and the DWP should back pay all those claims. * Note this only affects PIP claimants who submitted an application after November 2016. All previous applicants prior to this date will have to wait until their case is up for a review, or they could submit another application for PIP, which of course runs it's risks. Hope this helps
+3 #3 Crazydiamond 2018-01-21 13:13
Quote:
It was very widely expected that the DWP would appeal against this decision.
The reason why the DWP didn't appeal the judgement was because the government legal department have obviously told McVey that there wasn't a snowball in hell chance of winning the appeal in RF v The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions where Mr Justice Mostyn really went to town with the DWP, in declaring at paragraph 28 that he fully agreed with the UT judgement in Quote:
MH v The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions
McVey still maintains that it was the original policy intention to exclude claimants with mental health problems from the descriptors in question despite the High Court judgement, and furthermore, she says she doesn't agree with some of the determinations contained therein. Well tough McVey, in the absence of an appeal it is now the law!
#2 cats6 2018-01-21 11:17
What about the regulations that were amended in March 2017 as a result of the MH case ??????
Is the Law now going to be changed in favour of the MH
Will the governments change be completely reversed??
Rewritten ??? To now include ALL mental health claims be awarded the points under mobility descriptors. ?.

Clear information regarding the above would be appreciated.
+3 #1 ThisGovernmentsGoneToFar 2018-01-20 17:12
What a momentous Victory justice prevails.

A big well done to everyone involved, and their for support in the first place and to all those that contributed to billie and this cause and in bringing justice for those with Mental Health disability's.

I hope the trend will continue into the future and bringing justice to those that can't fight on their own.

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