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First published:
26/04/2018

Top Tips & Advice

What the 2018 PIP ruling means for those living with mental health issues

A High Court ruling found that the Personal Independence Payments (PIP) policy had discriminated against people with mental health conditions. We explain what the changes could mean for you.

What was the High Court ruling against PIP?

Personal Independence Payments for a mental health condition is assessed in two components:

  • Daily living component (how your mental health affects your daily life) and,
  • Mobility component (how your mental health affects your ability to travel and make journeys).

Regulations introduced by the Government in March 2017 meant people unable to travel independently on the grounds of psychological distress - rather than other conditions - were not entitled to the enhanced mobility rate of the benefit.

In December 2017, the High Court ruling declared that this policy had been "blatantly discriminatory" against people with mental health conditions and was unlawful because there had not been any consultation on the issue.

How will my PIP claim be affected?

How your PIP claim will be affected is determined by the date you started claiming. The catalyst for the ruling focused on how people with mental health conditions had been discriminated against.

So you’re most likely to benefit from the changes if you meet the following criteria:

  • You don’t currently get the higher rate of the mobility component of PIP.
  • You’re unable to make a familiar journey alone due to psychological distress.

If you started claiming PIP on or after 28 November 2016

If you claimed PIP on or after 28 November 2016 and you receive the standard mobility component or no mobility component at all the DWP will automatically review your claim.

You will not be required to attend a face-to-face assessment, but may be contacted by phone or post if they need further information about your claim.

If you already receive the enhanced mobility component of PIP, nothing will change as you are already claiming the highest component

If you started claiming PIP before 28 November 2016

If you started claiming PIP before 28 November 2016 the government will not be reviewing your case.

In addition If you don’t receive the mobility component or the standard rate you are entitled to make a new claim. You should be aware, however, that your PIP could go up or down based on the new assessment, so it is recommended you seek advice before starting this process.

If you have been identified as having been underpaid, you could receive payments backdated to 28 November 2016, meaning in some cases you could be owed 1000s

How much PIP could I be entitled to?

The amount of PIP you are entitled to will vary between claimants and depend on your level of disability and the time in which you started claiming.

If you have been identified as having been underpaid, you could receive payments backdated to 28 November 2016, meaning in some cases you could be owed 1000s.

When will the 2018 changes to PIP be established?

The DWP have updated their guidance and the new changes are now being implemented.

What if I have a PIP assessment coming up?

If you are currently in the process of applying for PIP due to a mental health issue you will be contacted by the DWP.

If a decision is made on your claim before the new guidance was established and you are affected by the change then your claim will subsequently be identified and payments will be backdated.

If your mental health affects your ability to travel and make journeys because you experience psychological distress then you should explain this in your assessment, and provide any supporting evidence you can.

What if I am currently going through a PIP appeal?

When you go through the PIP appeal process a tribunal decides whether or not the DWP has made the correct decision. Tribunals are already applying the new rules.

So if you are waiting for a tribunal, they will look at whether or not you find it hard to make a journey because of ‘overwhelming psychological distress.’

If a decision was made on your claim before the new guidance was established and you are affected by the change then your claim will subsequently be identified and payments will be backdated.

Need more advice?

If you would like further advice on the PIP changes and how this may affect you, contact Hafal advisers, or one of these useful contacts.

Top tips and advice

  1. What the 2018 PIP ruling means for those living with mental health issues
  2. Why the Mental Health and Money Advice service is helping people with mental illness and money issues
  3. What to do if money worries are affecting your mental health

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