PIP, DLA and AA
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PIP - Planning a journey

RonLeeRonLee Member Posts: 6 Listener
Could you let me know what "plan the route of a journey" means, for the purposes of PIP? I can't find a definition of it anywhere.
Does it mean the ability to read a map or understand information on a bus or train timetable, forinstance?

Replies

  • NystagmiteNystagmite Member Posts: 609 Pioneering
    I found - https://www.epilepsysociety.org.uk/pip-going-out#.WOPU8m_yuUk from The Epilepsy Society which might be of use to you?

    It does talk about planning and following a journey; so I would say it does mean the ability to read and understand a map or other information; such as a bus timetable.
  • wildlifewildlife Member Posts: 1,314 Pioneering
    Maybe in theory but in practice if you can walk a short distance to local shops or go out anywhere, any distance on your own the assessor and the decision maker will say you can plan and follow a journey. You have to have a cognative mental health problem that means you are not able to read signs or look after yourself or a sensory (sight, hearing) disability that would make it dangerous to travel alone. I am not an expert this is just from my own experience. 
  • NystagmiteNystagmite Member Posts: 609 Pioneering
    That was my experience too. Unfortunately, my safety and disabilities were ignored completely. Because I can get on a bus and manage the short journey to my parents, I have no mobility problems, apparently. Yet, some familiar roads as someone with partial sight and mild hearing loss are pretty unsafe to cross.
  • Castleford1Castleford1 Member Posts: 61 Courageous
    My daughter has severe learning disabilities and cannot plan anything, let alone a journey.  She cannot go out alone as she has no road sense, would go off with anybody who approached her and would get confused as to where she was actually going.
  • BenefitsTrainingCoBenefitsTrainingCo Member Posts: 2,692 Pioneering
    Hi RonLee,

    None of these terms are defined, but there is case law which looked at the meaning - for example, there is a case which says this part of the mobility activities is about the ability to navigate (2015 UKUT 694 AAC).  One useful approach is to remember that the purpose of PIP is to help with the extra costs of disability - things other people can do, which you might not be able to do without prompting, assistance or an aid, for example. 

    You can see the mobility activities and descriptors by using the PIPinfo website.

    So looking at descriptor 1.d about unfamiliar journeys, people can usually attempt an unfamiliar journey by as you suggest reading a map (even if it is Google maps), or using signs, bus timetables etc. The case I mentioned said that the activity is about the claimant’s ability to navigate
    along pathways and 'is not concerned with other possible problems that a
    claimant may have when being in the natural environment', but it does say that problems which might arise such as having to deal with roadworks or other obstructions can be considered.

    So for example, if something comes up which you can't predict from a map, such as roadworks or an accident, and you would manage that with another person there to help you but not by yourself, you could score points.

    Risk is relevant to all PIP activities -  so I agree with the epilepsy guidance too. For example someone who if they had a seizure whilst out and about would be confused and would need help to get home could score points if as a result they needed someone to be with them. 

    You may have heard that the government have changed the regulations so that psychological distress which prevents someone undertaking a journey is only relevant to descriptors 1b and 1e. Though that change only came in on 16th March the government are also appealing against the case that said distress could be relevant to the other descriptors. However, it's important to be clear that doesn't mean that if you get distressed because you are confused and can't follow a journey you can't get points. Even if it didn't make you distressed, you still can't do the activity due to the confusion, so you should score points!

    I hope this helps.

    Will
    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
  • wildlifewildlife Member Posts: 1,314 Pioneering
    Umm! Am no wiser. My assessor's reasons were: she reported not to plan journeys and to rarely go anywhere alone in the PIP questionnaire (true). She reported her husband drives to Church weekly (DM changed this to me going on my own have now sent a letter from our Church President), feels she is OK in her local area (not always and irrelevant to an unfamiliar journey), Doesn't like to go anywhere on her own (doesn't like = can't), but she gets the coach to the club every other week on her own (this is a private coach pick up is 40 meters from the house, then a 3 min. journey to the village hall and brought back the same way and am with friends from the village ALL the time). At my assessment I had only been once been too ill to go again). She is diagnosed with anxiety and depression but is not prescribed any medication (I take antipressants every night) and has no specialist input (I have 46 years of specialist input). So I scored 0 points for this. Now I'm appealing on the grounds of having a long standing Mental health condition and Opthalmic Migraines where I lose my vision which slowly returns to normal over a few hour period. They happen anytime with no warning so the risk is always there.
  • BenefitsTrainingCoBenefitsTrainingCo Member Posts: 2,692 Pioneering
    edited April 2017
    hi wildlife,

    I think you are right to appeal. It is similar to the situation I described above. You have an ever present risk whilst you are out and about; if a migraine happened you would not be able to complete your journey, so you need someone with you. Giving examples of when this has happened and you've needed your husband to be there will help.

    Will
    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
  • RonLeeRonLee Member Posts: 6 Listener
    Thanks to everyone for your responses. I'm trying to work out if my wife would fulfill the criteria of not being able to plan the route of a journey.
    She has CP, which has left her with severe walking difficulties and dyslexia.
    If I were to ask her how we could get to the local shops, where we've been many times before, she could tell me (although she could well get left/right directions wrong, as she has a problem with this).
    However, if I were to ask her how to get to a nearby town that we don't visit very often, and she had to refer to maps or bus/train timetables in order to do this, she would have huge difficulty, and in the unlikely event that she did eventually manage it, it would certainly take her more than twice as long as the longest time a person without her problems would take to do it.
  • wildlifewildlife Member Posts: 1,314 Pioneering
    Hi @RonLee , Your wife's walking ability will not be taken into account for this activity as this is dealt with separately. I know that sounds silly but it's mentioned in the criteria as not applicable. You would have to provide medical evidence of your wife's cognitive decline if possible unless you get a good assessor who will carry out a few simple tests and be honest about the results. If she hasn't had a face2face assessment please note you are entitled to see the computer screen and watch what is written about her. Any attempt at falsifying what is said or test results can then be corrected at the assessment saving you a battle later on. Sorry to be so blunt but forewarned is forearmed. Also look out for questions about any short local trip your wife could do on her own as they will latch on to it and use it to deny offering her the higher Mobility rate. If your wife never goes out without someone with her say this from the beginning and stick to it with reasons to do with her mental state as this will help. But be aware it's not enough to say she never goes out on her own you have to have an acceptable reason why she doesn't. In other words they don't look at what you actually do they try to argue for any small reason that you WOULD BE ABLE TO DO IT. Lastly hearing and sight problems can help with this.
  • johnny100johnny100 Member Posts: 125 Pioneering
    I also asked my DM about this as I stated I would and have used a SAT NAV for unfamiliar routes and they would not accept it as the PIP questuin is not meant to mean this.Obviously if you go shopping locally and have lived in that area you know all the other routes you can take to get to the destination,I argued this and said it states an unfamiliar route,Its total rubbish qhat they say,another misleading question to confuse us 
  • RonLeeRonLee Member Posts: 6 Listener
    My wife has already had an assessment and was awarded only 10 points for mobility because they wouldn't accept that she can't walk more than 20 metres and they said she was able to plan and follow the route of a journey unaided. I asked for a reconsideration but there was no change in their decision.
    We are going to appeal and now have a letter from her doctor supporting our contention that she can't walk more than 20 metres, but I want to challenge their decision on the planning a route aspect too, although I'm aware this only concerns her mental ability.
    My wife's dyslexia was not tested at the assessment (despite my mention of it on the application form) and they have refused to accept it on the grounds that she speaks well and can understand spoken language, which is nothing to do with dyslexia! This has also affected her points in the daily living section, where they won't accept that she's unable to make budgeting decisions.
    Her doctor has stated in his letter that she is dyslexic and has discalculia, but as his background is as a surgeon and he's not an expert in cognitive disorders, I'm wondering if we should also try to get a report from somebody who is.
  • BenefitsTrainingCoBenefitsTrainingCo Member Posts: 2,692 Pioneering
    Hi RonLee,

    As people have commented, the two aspects of mobility are considered separately, but it may be that your wife should score some points for planning and following so that altogether she then has 12 points or more (the enhanced mobility component). 

    It will obviously help if you can provide some evidence from a specialist who understands more about the cognitive side of your wife's condition. Ask them if you can to have a look at the descriptors in Activity One of the mobility component. In order to be considered able to get to an unfamiliar destination a person has to be able to use public transport, and as you mention your wife would struggle with planning this. The potential for disruptions along the way (bus diversions for example) should also be taken into account - would your wife cope with this, or does it mean that realistically, she has to have someone with her?

    Just to let you know, if you are successful in getting the tribunal to agree that she can't walk more than 20 metres, and she gets 12 points, the tribunal may decide not to go on to consider the other activity, so you may feel there is no point getting the additional evidence if you are likely to get 12 points anyway on the 'moving around' activity. You don't get more money for more than 12 points. On the other hand, there is no guarantee that you will get agreement on the 20 metres issue so you may wish to 'cover' every angle by getting specialist evidence about cognitive abilities too.

    Will
    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
  • johnny100johnny100 Member Posts: 125 Pioneering
    As you say the 20 mtr is the only issue you are concerned with,dont sy things like maybe he/she could walk a little further if pushed ,dont fall into this trap.If you use walking sticks tell them,the stock dont help with your walking the sticks are only used for stability  
  • RonLeeRonLee Member Posts: 6 Listener
    Thanks, once again, for your responses. I've been in touch with the Dyslexia Association re getting a specialist to test my wife re cognitive abilities. They're able to arrange this, but it would cost us over £500. Therefore, I'm thinking of waiting to see the DWP response to our appeal submission, including the doctor's letter, before proceeding with this. Even with a walking stick and me holding on to her at the same time, my wife can't walk 20 metres, so there's no way we would say she could do more than that.
  • johnny100johnny100 Member Posts: 125 Pioneering
    I have gone as far as a solicitor with mine I am not bothered about cost if it goes my way and hopefully it will.Surely your Doctor should have your wifes conditions on her medical history,you should not have to go to that expence.
  • RonLeeRonLee Member Posts: 6 Listener
    My wife's doctor has mentioned her cognitive difficulties in his letter, so I'm hoping they'll accept that. Her dyslexia hasn't been tested since she was at special school though, over 25 years ago, and they no longer have any records, other than that she attended the school.
  • johnny100johnny100 Member Posts: 125 Pioneering
    look on web sites to prove and show your wife has dyslexia and ask atos,dwp what they need yo prove this condition
  • wildlifewildlife Member Posts: 1,314 Pioneering
    If your wife went to a special school and was found to be Dislexic it doesn't matter how long ago this was and your GP has confirmed this that should be enough. Dislexia is for life you don't get cured. How ridiculous are ATOS and DWP going to get before something is done..!!!! 
  • RonLeeRonLee Member Posts: 6 Listener
    Thanks Wildlife. Let's not forget Capita too, who were the ones who did my wife's assessment. It's obvious to me it's all just a cynical government ploy to reduce the benefits of people with disabilities, instead of taxing the rich, scrapping Trident etc.
    They find any excuse to take benefit away and then hope people won't fight back, which they know a lot of vulnerable people won't do, because of the problems they already have. All this, together with cuts to vital services, which are just as harmful as benefit cuts, if not more so.
  • NystagmiteNystagmite Member Posts: 609 Pioneering

    johnny100 said:

    look on web sites to prove and show your wife has dyslexia and ask atos,dwp what they need yo prove this condition


    How would that prove she has Dyslexia? She needs the report done by an educational psychologist.
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