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Walking aids and PIP points

MatildaMatilda Member Posts: 2,616 Disability Gamechanger
Is it correct that using a walking aid on wheels (shopping trolley, walker) will not qualify for enough points to be awarded any PIP mobility?

Replies

  • BenefitsTrainingCoBenefitsTrainingCo Member Posts: 2,692 Pioneering
    Hi Matilda,

    If you usually use a walking frame or similar, this is considered as something which you use to support your mobility without assistance from another person. Descriptor 2.d refers to 'using an aid or appliance', and most of the other descriptors use the phrase 'aided or unaided', apart from 2c which uses the phrase 'unaided'. 

    However, of course, all the issues of 'reliability' come into it. If you would take more than twice as long as someone else to complete a particular distance whilst using a frame, you should be considered NOT to be able to do it. If you would not be able to repeat the activity (due to pain or fatigue) you should be considered NOT to be able to do it.

    Unfortunately there is conflicting case law about 2c and whether that means if you can't walk more than 50 metres unaided (without a frame, trolley etc) you should score 8 points. You can have a look at the arguments here.

    So if you have a decision which relies on the distance you can walk with no aid at all, it is useful if you have some other arguments about points you should score because of reliability issues when you are using an aid (because it is tiring, painful, slow, risky etc).

    I'm sorry there isn't a simpler answer to this question!

    Will

    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
  • MatildaMatilda Member Posts: 2,616 Disability Gamechanger
    edited April 2017
    Thank you Will - this is complex as you say, not sure I understand!

    I don't use walking aids on wheels myself.  But two members of the Online community have said that they were refused any PIP mobility element because they use walking aids on wheels - one a walker, the other a shopping trolley.

    I used a walking stick at my assessment, and another Online community member said she did the same.  We were both awarded 10 points.  

    So, if a claimant can't walk further than 50 metres using a walker or shopping trolley, should they score 10 points?

  • BenefitsTrainingCoBenefitsTrainingCo Member Posts: 2,692 Pioneering
    Hi Matilda,

    Absolutely, if someone cannot walk further than 50 metres even with their walker or trolley, they should score 10 points. The descriptor reads 'can stand and then move using an aid or appliance more than 20 metres but no more than 50 metres'.

    If someone is refused PIP mobility because they use walking aids on wheels we would need to look at it further. It could be, for example, that the DWP (based on the assessor's report) decided they could 'stand and then move more than 200 metres, either aided or unaided' - that is zero points. As discussed, if someone can do this, and they meet the 'reliably' criteria (they can do it repeatedly, within a reasonable timescale etc) then arguably (but see below) they would score no points, even if they can only do this with their aid.

    Or it may be the community members were told they could 'stand and then move more than 50 metres but no more than 200 metres, either aided or unaided'. Again, the assessor should look at this bearing in mind what they can do with the aid. But it would only get them 4 points, not enough to get the mobility component unless more points are scored in 'planning and following a journey'.

    The conflicting case law is an issue when we look at how far claimants can walk unaided. If, unaided, a claimant cannot move more than 50 metres, perhaps they should score 8 points under descriptor 2.c, as one case says, regardless of what they can do with their aid.  But we have other cases which say no, if aided someone can move a further distance, that descriptor doesn't apply. 

    So the 'safe' position for a claimant is, for now, to think about how far they can move with the aid or appliance, and bearing in mind the 'reliably' principles. I hope that makes it a bit clearer!

    Will
    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
  • MatildaMatilda Member Posts: 2,616 Disability Gamechanger
    Thank you, that does make things clearer.

    It does seem that assessors decide that someone who uses a walking aid on wheels can walk further than someone who uses a stick!

    It would be wise for anyone who uses a walker or trolley not to mention this on their PIP form and not to take one to their assessment.  Just take a stick (or maybe crutches).


  • lynnehollorenlynneholloren Member Posts: 4 Listener
    Can you explain that because I have a balance issue using just my walking stick is now not a viable option as I need the stability a walker gives me.
  • BenefitsTrainingCoBenefitsTrainingCo Member Posts: 2,692 Pioneering
    Hi lynneholloren

    As discussed previously on this thread, generally speaking it is your ability to walk whilst using any aids that are available or could reasonably be available. And so in your case it will be your walking ability whilst using the walker that matters. As my colleague Will has also indicated above, it is not whether you can perform the activity absolutely but whether you can do it reliably. And the reliably criteria is that (even with your walker) you must be able to perform the activity safely, to a necessary standard, as often as you need to and in a time that is no more than twice the time it would typically take someone else. And so if, for example, it takes you more than twice as long as other people to walk a distance then even though you can actually walk that distance you cannot do it reliably and you should score the points. Or for example if it wasn't safe because of the risk of a fall then again you would not be able to do it reliably and would score the points.

    I hope this helps.

    David
    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
  • ollieconureollieconure Member Posts: 53 Courageous
    i used my walker at assessment i took my time because i cant do it faster in fact the assessor kept looking at her watch but i wasn't going to rush i couldn't any way a tortious is faster then me i got 10 points standard mobility which I'm not happy about because i don't usually use walker and after that day it took my 3 days to recover that 20 metre assessment i was in so much pain
  • TellytubbiesTellytubbies Member Posts: 28 Listener
    So.is.it.right.if.you.can.use.aids.less.points.i.just.had.face.to.face.ok.i.had.no.stick.my.hip.was.in.cronic.pain.till.i.got.there.i.was.lopped.sided.at.end.interview.she.told.me.to.see.my.ocupathional.therapist.i.knew.then.i.have.no.chance.of.getting.dla.she.watched.me.get.out.chair.in.pain.i.shouted.out.oh.god.it.s.pain.i.said.sorri
  • MatildaMatilda Member Posts: 2,616 Disability Gamechanger
    @Tellytubbies

    If you use aids and still have difficulty in performing tasks and walking then you should get some points.  If you can do things 'normally' using aids then probably you won't get points.

     


  • MatildaMatilda Member Posts: 2,616 Disability Gamechanger
    I was awarded 10 points after assessment because assessor decided I could walk 20 to 50 meters using a stick. I appealed to a tribunal who decided I could walk less than 20 meters using a stick.

    Less than 20 meters aided - 12 points 

    20 - 50 meters aided - 10 points 

    20 - 50 meters unaided - 8 points 
  • shazz53shazz53 Member Posts: 8 Listener
    I mentioned in a statement about trolleys. i can't walk far as for pain and also emphasemia slows me up and I get tired very quickly. so I have to keep stopping taking my pumps may  I add three a day.I think this trolly business is unreal and very unfair to anyone who has walking difficulties it is very cruel 
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