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Mobility Component of PIP

PIPmad Member Posts: 7 Listener
edited November 2016 in PIP, DLA, and AA
(If you're looking for advice about applying for PIP, you can ask one of our expert benefits advisors.)

The DWP has decided that my Daughter, who has suffered from Ataxic CP
since birth, can 'Plan and follow the route of a journey unaided' and so
scored her 0 points for her PIP claim. This is despite the fact that
she has to have someone else to help her make the car journey and she
has to use a SAT NAV to find her way there in her car (she is unable to
walk more very far). Descriptor (d) of the DWP's 'rules' states that if
somoene 'Cannot follow the route of an unfamiliar journey without
another person, assistance dog orientation aid' the score is 10 points.
My daughter needs someone else to be with her and she needs the SAT NAV.
We think it is but does anyone know for sure if a SAT NAV is an
'orientation aid'?


  • Debbie_Alumni
    Debbie_Alumni Member Posts: 944 Pioneering

    Dear PIPmad,

    Thank you for posting your question and for contacting us at the helpline today. I'm really sorry to hear about your daughter's situation following her reassessment under PIP. We have seen an increase in the number of people contacting us who have been reassessed under PIP and are not qualifying for the enhanced mobility component. This of course is leading to disabled people losing their Motability vehicles and it is very distressing.

    As we discussed, you have been through the Mandatory Reconsideration process and the decision was upheld so the next stage is to lodge a formal appeal and this is where it is advisable to seek help from an organisation such as DIAL (contact details given for you local service).

    You have raised a very interesting point about the use of satnav and whether this could be considered as an orientation aid. On your behalf I have forwarded your email to another disability organisation to see what they think about this and whether we should be looking at this orientation aids issue more carefully.

    There is no definition regarding orientation aids that include satnavs (so far as I can find) but as I explained over the phone, we need case law to help clarify these issues and terms so your case could be helpful in achieving this not only for your daughter but for the other people affected by PIP.

    I would love to hear how things go and if anyone on our community has anything they can offer you about the use of orientation aids, or indeed any other help this would be greatly welcomed.

    Many thanks and good luck.


    helpline Information Officer (Benefits, Finance and Housing)

  • ande0208
    ande0208 Member Posts: 2
    noun: orientation
    1. 1.
      the action of orienting someone or something relative to the points of a compass or other specified positions.

      • The SAT NAV was designed as a aid for a person to get from a to b in unfamiliar
      • places,
      • Point of the compass are directions hence orientation aid, a SATNAV is a compass
      • and makes directions from a to b.
      • Specified positions are locations.
      • Locations are places, and if you are unfamiliar with them an orientation device such as a SATNAV are used.
      • Hope this helps.

  • PIPmad
    PIPmad Member Posts: 7 Listener
    Dear ande0208 - That is extremely helpful. Thank you very much. Best wishes
  • Debbie_Alumni
    Debbie_Alumni Member Posts: 944 Pioneering
    Hi ande0208,

    Thanks for your input to this discussion. 

    The PIP regulations specify an 'orientation aid' and this is defined in the regulations as 'a specialist aid designed to assist disabled people to follow a route safely'. The legal definition can be found by following this link

    A satnav with no specially designed feature will not meet the definition. The ability to use a standard satnav is not likely to warrant any points under descriptor concerned. 

    I have carried out some research to try and find out more about this but have been unable to find a specially designed satnav for disabled people. There has been some specialist software in the past but I was unable to find any current products and this could be because standard satnavs do the job and are generally inclusive these days.

    Whether it can be challenged in court remains to be seen and this is something I will be following.

    Best wishes

  • milo
    milo Member Posts: 130 Pioneering
    If that's the case, could you not argue that if she has an adapted mobility car with fitted sat navigation then the car itself constitutes a specialist navigation aid.
  • Debbie_Alumni
    Debbie_Alumni Member Posts: 944 Pioneering
    Hi Milo,

    I think yes there is some potential to argue this. Whether you would be able to successfully argue it is another matter though and much does depend on the individual's circumstances. As PIP is a new benefit we do not yet have any case law to rely on to help with the interpretation of the legislation and it's likely that it will be quite a while before we see any such case law.

    All we can do for now is keep researching and challenging decisions. Unfortunately it has become very difficult and in some areas near to impossible to get legal advice and representation for Welfare Benefits issues. You can't get legal aid for Welfare benefits issues any more and this is leaving people unrepresented and trying to navigate through a very complex appeals process alone. This will clog up the tribunals and slow down the process for many people. It's not good at all.

    I would love to hear from anyone who has challenged this particular descriptor and whether they were successful.

    Best wishes

  • Debbie_Alumni
    Debbie_Alumni Member Posts: 944 Pioneering
    Thanks Community Team :)

    Hi PIPMad,

    If you go back into the link it will give you the option to look at other versions including the latest version.
    That aside we come back to the definition of an 'orientation aid' and the definition is quite clear. An 'orientation aid' means a specialist aid designed to assist disabled people to follow a route safely. Until someone challenges this, we will not know whether this interpretation of the legislation can be used.
    I have been unable to find anything else on the subject which could help shed some more light.
    If I do come across anything that might provide some clarity I will post on the community but I fear that we will not be able to get a definitive answer until we have some case law to support this. In the meantime I will keep researching this subject and I will raise it with other colleagues internally and externally.
    Best wishes

  • strych
    strych Member Posts: 2
    I did some research on this and this link takes you to an orientation aid specifically aimed at disabled people, hope it helps someone x
  • Debbie_Alumni
    Debbie_Alumni Member Posts: 944 Pioneering

    Hi Strych,

    Thanks for researching this. Great link.

    Many thanks


  • Ceejay
    Ceejay Member Posts: 6 Listener
    I have tried to apply to mobility using a satnav as well, unsuccessfully so far. My satnav has been adapted to show blue badge spaces, which may help. I can but try.
  • Ceejay
    Ceejay Member Posts: 6 Listener
    Well, my PIP application number 2 is away now. re the satnav, I have argued that I acknowledge that before my ME/CFS became severe, it was just an occasionaly used add on. However, I cannot even remember the route to the local shops, and it is adapted to show blue badge spaces. It is therefore a necessary aid now.
    I will update this when I get the result of this application.
    Bestest Wishes
  • PIPmad
    PIPmad Member Posts: 7 Listener
    Thank you so much for your feed-back. I sincerly hope you win and we all send you our very best wishes. regards, PIPMAD
  • Debbie_Alumni
    Debbie_Alumni Member Posts: 944 Pioneering
    Hi Ceejay,

    Thanks for posting an update of your 2nd PIP application. I look forward to hearing the outcome and hope that it is a positive one.
    I am keen to hear people's tips on what evidence they have provided to support their claims and appeals and I would encourage people to post here so that we can start building up some resources for people to use to help them.

    A recent tip I heard from a lady who called our helpline was that she obtained a copy of her blue badge assessment report which she said was more detailed that the PIP assessment report. I will feedback to you all when I hear if it helped. Personally I thought it was a great idea and I wondered if anyone else has tried this and whether it helped?

    Please do post any questions you might have about PIP. I will do my best to answer them.

    PIPmad, have you made any progress?

    Best wishes to you all
  • sanlyo
    sanlyo Member Posts: 1 Listener
    My husband was receiving DLA high rate but was prompted by medical staff to apply for PIP to get the care component side. His DLA mobility was an indefinite award. He applied by phone on 11th May. He has had assessment and it has been decided that he is no longer entitled to the enhanced rate of mobility and is to lose his car (which we are appealing) He was also awarded standard rate care component( which he did not receive before)
    The pip has not been awarded until 25th August and no back money is due?
    How can this be? Does this mean that people are losing out on money due because the decision makers are taking so long to complete forms.(my husband had his assessment on 1st July)
  • PIPmad
    PIPmad Member Posts: 7 Listener
    Research the 'Reliability Criteria' for the Mobility component which is all about being able to preform an activity safeley, reliably and in a reasonable time (I don't have the exact words and references to hand now so let me know if you need them using my email address if you prefer which is [email protected]). The 'Moving Around' component is extremely difficult to overcome. They (DWP) seem to place strong emphasis on ability to use public transport, read timetables etc and also on the definition of 'orientation aids' which has been referred to in this thread. Again, let me know if anyone needs any help.

    Good luck and regards,

  • Debbie_Alumni
    Debbie_Alumni Member Posts: 944 Pioneering
    Hi Sanlyo,

    I'd like to talk with you a little bit more about this. Are you able to contact me at the helpline so I can get some more information from you about the award? Hopefully I can then help you with some information. Is anyone supporting you with the appeal? If not I can search for some local help for you with this.

    PIPmad, thanks for your help with this one, it's always good to hear from you.

  • Leighj1972
    Leighj1972 Member Posts: 1
    My son and I had a PIP assessment and now have the son suffers from spastic cerebral palsy and has just turned 16. Al throughout the assessment he was prompted by me and needed help answering the questions. He struggles to walk and uses a wheelchair for long distance and a crutch to walk short distance. He is unable to prepare food for himself and could not go to somewhere on his own. He has been assessed as able to make his own meals and find his way somewhere following a map. The assessor asl s if he had 3 meals a day which he does because I make them. He has not been awarded the enhanced mobility category as the has been assessed as being able to follow a map. He has also been state as having 3 meals a day which he would not have if I didn't make them! Has anyone else had experience of he assessor putting something different to what was discussed ?
  • Debbie_Alumni
    Debbie_Alumni Member Posts: 944 Pioneering
    Hi Leighj1972,

    In answer to your question, we have heard from a number of people who have informed us that what was discussed at the assessment is different from what ends up on the report.
    This sounds like it needs challenging. Have you asked for a Mandatory Reconsideration?
    Let me know if you want some local help and I'll start looking for some services which can assist you with this.
  • Christine Tempest
    Christine Tempest Member Posts: 3 Connected
    edited February 2016
    I have my pip appeal next week and have had to do most of it myself I will challenge about the use of sat navs I have been waiting for 9 months I had a hp on my assessment and he too put things on that didn't happen but silly things like I blew my nose and brushed my hair away from my face I never said I couldn't use my arms he also put in his assessment that medication I was taking would not affect me and didn't need help in daily care because of them yet in every medication box is a leaflet with side effects from the medication not to operate machinery not to drive ect ect. That make you feel exhausted so you do need help These are there guide lines how can they get away moving the goal posts where they want how can this be a fair system they are treating people with disabilities like criminals.


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