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  #1  
Old 22nd December 2017, 16:17
gregarious_introvert gregarious_introvert is offline
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Default A victory for PIP claimants with mental health issues

I'm not sure if I'm putting this in the right place, but I wanted to share the news I was given yesterday by Michael Henson-Webb, the Head of MIND's legal department.

Some time ago, MIND took legal action against the Government for changes to PIP which were introduced in March and which, in MIND's opinion, discriminated against those with a mental disability in that it made it difficult to qualify for the mobility element of PIP and almost impossible to qualify for the enhanced rate, on the grounds of psychological distress. I submitted written evidence relating to my own experiences in applying for PIP which were used as part of MIND's case (hence the e-mail from Mr Henson-Webb) and yesterday, the High Court agreed that the changes to PIP were unlawful.

It is too early to start celebrating as this does not mean that the DWP will reverse the changes; it is likely (although MIND is pushing for the Government not to challenge this ruling) that there will be further legal challenges beginning in June 2018 and dragging on throughout next year. However, it is a first step towards restoring parity between mental and physical disability.

You can see MIND's response to the ruling here.

Coincidentally, this news came a day after I had returned home from Malta to news from the DWP that my own PIP reassessment had been completed (I discovered several months ago how much I was being underpaid and have been pressing for a reassessment ever since) and I am now in receipt of enhanced rate daily living and basic rate mobility, which also qualifies me for a further enhancement in ESA (about which I knew nothing until this week), effectively doubling my income (excluding Housing Benefit, which I no longer count as part of my income as it's paid internally with my being a local authority tenant). It just shows that it pays to know how the system works, because there are so many of us not receiving our full entitlement, mostly because the DWP keeps its workings secret and makes arbitrary rulings based on targets rather than the needs of individuals.
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  #2  
Old 22nd December 2017, 16:44
Dougella Dougella is offline
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Default Re: A victory for PIP claimants with mental health issues

Really good news. It's no good the government trying to say they take mental health seriously if they are not going to then make sure that people with mental health problems have access to the same levels of help and support that people with physical illnesses do.

If they had any decency they would accept the ruling and not appeal it any further, but unfortunately I think they will.

Also very good news about your own PIP case
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  #3  
Old 22nd December 2017, 18:36
Mo34 Mo34 is offline
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Default Re: A victory for PIP claimants with mental health issues

Yeah I got an email the other day about that too.

I suspect the DWP will challenge the decision but at least it's a start in getting things changed.

That's great about your PIP claim! I'm still on the old DLA and kind of dread the change over process
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Old 22nd December 2017, 21:42
Schmosby Schmosby is offline
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Default Re: A victory for PIP claimants with mental health issues

Welcome back GI
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  #5  
Old 23rd December 2017, 00:31
hollowone hollowone is offline
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Default Re: A victory for PIP claimants with mental health issues

Well done for taking action and getting your case across and doing your part. The way this government treats the vulnerable, I find it nearly irresistable to go off on a rant. Those DWP scumbags have no right to be taking advantage of vulnerable people. Many of the reforms of this welfare system are in breach of the law.
Quote:
It just shows that it pays to know how the system works, because there are so many of us not receiving our full entitlement, mostly because the DWP keeps its workings secret and makes arbitrary rulings based on targets rather than the needs of individuals.
Absoutely, the targets the DWP have to work towards, not just in declining PIP, but also sanctioning people at the JC. The tragic thing is that those who need help most get treated worst and are the worst equipped. The current system does not save much money, it costs more to both administer, and to deal with tribunal fees, lost productivity due to mental ill health and a myriad of other things than it saves in benefits expenditure. This system was sold to the public as saving public money using the 'idle scrounger' scapegoating technique to get the public to support it which I hope people see through the con that it is.

I had my DLA stopped in the summer and went for a PIP assessment. I had my application declined. Some clerk who knows nothing about Autistic spectrum disorders. Anyway, that's my rant over.

Once again, well done for making your mark, well done for getting your case across as evidence to prove that their deeds are unlawful. It's little things like this that add up to make a difference. We all need to be calling out the Tory toff scum in this way. Keep up the good work mate.
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  #6  
Old 23rd December 2017, 00:53
ynwa247 ynwa247 is offline
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Default Re: A victory for PIP claimants with mental health issues

Woo, things are looking up for my inevitable failure of mental fortitude as I pass further into the depths of adulthood.
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  #7  
Old 23rd December 2017, 12:53
gregarious_introvert gregarious_introvert is offline
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Default Re: A victory for PIP claimants with mental health issues

Quote:
Originally Posted by hollowone
Once again, well done for making your mark, well done for getting your case across as evidence to prove that their deeds are unlawful. It's little things like this that add up to make a difference. We all need to be calling out the Tory toff scum in this way. Keep up the good work mate.
Thanks, hollowone, I can't take any credit, it was MIND who fought the case, I just provided a case study (I didn't even appear in court in person).

I hope you have appealed against having your PIP declined; I know this has been mentioned on the forum before, but benefitsandwork.co.uk can be a useful resource. There are certain buzzwords and phrases you have to use (like "severe psychological distress") otherwise you can say exactly the same thing in different words and it doesn't trigger in the mind of the assessor (although even then, as there are quotas which have to be refused, it may not be successful).

As you say, it is ridiculous that so many cases have to go through mandatory reconsideration / appeal / tribunal and the cost involved in those processes, which far outweighs the "savings" made by forcing further hardships on those who need help most, especially as the vast majority of appeals are successful (I got declined myself in 2014 and only got awarded anything under mandatory reconsideration - at the time, I couldn't appeal further as I was totally housebound by agoraphobia so unable to attend a hearing).

I've been one of the lucky ones, as even though I was being underpaid for the past three or four years, I had enough coming in to live to a reasonable standard (I admit I am quite a frugal person, which helps); there are others who need more help than I and are existing on less financial support and these are the people least able to speak up for themselves.
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  #8  
Old 15th January 2018, 23:31
choirgirl choirgirl is offline
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Default Re: A victory for PIP claimants with mental health issues

I believe that most of the savings in welfare have actually come about because of freezing benefits rates and changes to uprating, not because of 'cracking down' on particular classes of 'scrounger'.
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