PIP walking times (not distances) — Scope | Disability forum
Find out how to let us know if you're concerned about another member's safety.

PIP walking times (not distances)

Matilda Member Posts: 2,610 Disability Gamechanger
Both the Atos paramedic who assessed me for PIP and the tribunal doctor at my hearing asked me for how long can I walk, not for how far.  Why would these two be interested in for how long I can walk, rather than for how far - when PIP points are awarded for distance not time?


  • ScopeHelpline
    ScopeHelpline Member Posts: 207 Courageous
    Hi Matilda

    You raise an interesting point. It is indeed distance that's measured, not time.

    I think that both the assessor and the tribunal were using time as a starting point to drill down into distance.  Often, people say that they can walk for, say, 5 minutes, for example, however if they stop to think further about it, a person can often walk quite a distance in this time, and actually they don't walk for this long at all.

    If you're preparing for an assessment or a tribunal hearing, it's a good plan to think about how long it takes you to walk any distance you can walk, in case you are asked this. (Hindsight is great, but not necessarily helpful. I hope that if you did give an over-optimistic answer about how long you can walk for, Matilda, that this was explored further and a realistic distance was arrived at).

    Has anyone else been asked about time rather than distance?  I expect that many people have.

    Scope Helpline

  • Matilda
    Matilda Member Posts: 2,610 Disability Gamechanger
    edited June 2017

    Thank you, Gill.

    The Atos paramedic made no attempt to ask how far I could walk in the time I said I could walk.  She never asked me once how far I could walk outdoors.  She decided in her report that because I could walk 16 metres from waiting room to interview room, on a level, carpeted surface, then I could walk 20-50 metres outdoors - which is a preposterous extrapolation.  I was awarded standard mobility.

    At tribunal the doctor picked up the Atos paramedic's point about for how long could I walk - and 'ran' with it (no pun intended).  I argued with him saying that, for example, the distance different people could walk for three or four minutes could vary enormously.  I didn't actually say so at the time, but asking for how long a person can walk is like asking how long is a piece of string.

    The doc and I really didn't understand each other on the point of walking time but he settled for how long it took me to walk round a shop including rest stops. 

    The tribunal awarded me enhanced mobility.
  • clarabelle
    clarabelle Member Posts: 71 Courageous
    My pip assessor stated in walked to her office and suggested this was 20 metres so declared I could walk 200.

    On pip net there is case law that clarifies these things - time x distance, pain, etc.

    One utt decided that even if you could walk at normal speed if that caused excessive pain you should be awarded the upper mobility rate. 
  • BenefitsTrainingCo
    BenefitsTrainingCo Member Posts: 2,628 Pioneering
    clarabelle and Matilda,

    What Clarabelle says is exactly right - whilst the activity (moving around) refers to distance, time is also important because of the PIP 'reliably' factors, one of which is whether you can do things 'within a reasonable time period'.

    So, whichever of the descriptors they are looking at, whether it's 200 metres or less, they should also be looking at whether you take more than twice as long as someone without the condition to complete that distance.

    As Clarabelle also says, one case at Upper Tribunal says that if you experience pain or breathlessness whilst walking, it may be that you can't walk 'to an acceptable standard', and so you can't be said to walk that distance.

    The level of the mobility component you get should still depend on the overall number of points, but the right descriptor should relate to the distance you can walk without unreasonable amounts of pain or breathlessness, within a reasonable time period, as often as you reasonably needed to do it, and safely.

    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
  • Matilda
    Matilda Member Posts: 2,610 Disability Gamechanger
    edited October 2017

    Will.  Yes, but in that case surely assessors and tribunals should consider walking times and distances together?   My assessor only asked about walking time, not one question about walking distance (because she'd already decided that because I could walk 16 meters from waiting area to interview room then I must be able to walk 20-50 meters outdoors!).  And the tribunal doctor asked about walking time, repeating his question several times, and distance - but questions about time and distance were asked several questions apart, with questions about other issues in between.

    I persisted in asking the doctor back: was he asking how far I could walk a certain distance?  Anyway, the first tier tribunal in my case awarded me enhanced mobility.  

    Walking times could be used by assessors and tribunals to contradict stated walking distances.  E.g. if a claimant says it takes them 15 minutes to walk 20 meters, they might well not be believed, i.e. if they say they can walk for 15 minutes without stopping then assessors and tribunals might well think that they must be able to walk further than 20 meters without stopping.

    It appears that often only upper tribunals understand how to apply the walking reliability criteria.

    PIPPERMAN Member Posts: 14 Listener
    I'm just going through this myself.

    The relevant Upper Tribunal decision that blows most assessments out of the water is
    CPIP/2292/2016 Which states that under regulation 4 (4) (c) if a person cannot walk any distance repeatedly, without discomfort and within a reasonable time they should be awarded the lower mobility component of PIP under descriptor 2. The actual distance become irrelevant if their average walking speed is too slow.

    "A reasonable time" is less than twice the time is takes for the slowest fit person to do this.
    Of course the DWP are not going to tell people what this is because then everyone could quote it.

    What it means is you could say that you can walk 150 metres before taking a rest and you will be awarded 4 points for being able to walk up to 200 metres. Now you can repeat this process to walk another 150 metres and then repeat it again and continue to repeat until you have walked enough for it to be considered to be sufficient to carry out a normal life. Again this is not set in stone.

    However if you get increasingly slow or if your pace and the amount of rest you take means that your average speed is not reasonable you should be awarded 8 points as if you can't walk any distance at all. Most assessors and most tribunals do not apply this ruling.
    If you are appealing to the Upper Tribunal you should state the above decision so that the upper tribunal will state this a reason to set aside. Therefore the next tribunal will have no defence if they again fail to apply it.

    The speed that you claim that you walk will have to be consistent with your original application for PIP if you try to alter it, the tribunal will simply reject your plea. The speed that you claim you walk will have to be consistent with the speed you walk into the tribunal hearing. Even if it is just 20 metres they will be watching carefully to calculate how long it took you to walk that short distance to see if it matches what you have said.
    Really the best way to calculate this is to simply walk a known distance naturally (maybe look at google maps) and then time yourself.
  • mikehughescq
    mikehughescq Posts: 8,845 Connected
    Might I politely suggest you re-read the decision as it says no such thing and you have somewhat misinterpreted it. There is no statement within the decision that if x, y and z are satisfied then an award of standard rate is to be made. 

    What it actually says, very clearly, at paragraph 8 is that walking which is slow but not so slow as to be deemed unreasonable cannot be taken into account when looking at reliability. No more and no less. 

    Here’s the quote should anyone be in any doubt on the point. 

    “ Another way of looking at it would be to say that since regulation 4 (I have in mind the specific definition in 4(4)(c)), indicates that spending no more than twice as long as a person without limiting physical conditions when walking a particular distance means that such is accomplished within a “reasonable time period” then that degree of slowness is deemed under the PIP scheme to be acceptable. As such, it might be thought inconsistent to then say that that degree of slowness could be a contributory factor to the scoring of points at all. Having considered matters I prefer the latter view. It seems to me that the intention is only to take slowness of walking into account in the event of that slowness fulfilling the relevant 4(4)(c) definition. It would, accordingly, result in inconsistency if a lesser degree of slowness was then to be taken into account elsewhere. So, if a tribunal finds a claimant does walk at a slower than normal pace but is nevertheless able to cover relevant distances within the “reasonable time period” criteria, it will not be able to take that slowness into account when considering the “acceptable standard” criteria. I should stress, though, I have only received argument as to this concerning mobility activity 2 and would not dismiss the possibility that, for whatever reason, a different approach might be appropriate with respect to other activities and descriptors.”

    The statement that walking which is not competed in a reasonable time doesn’t count as walking is not some unique piece of caselaw. It’s merely a restatement of the law as originally written i.e. if you can’t do it reliably then you can’t do it.

    Also worth saying that HCPs have no role in knowing, interpreting or applying case law so there is nothing for them to “apply”. They are trained on the descriptors and the HCP guidance. If a law change is not reflected in the guidance (and they’re often not) then a HCP has no way of knowing it. That said, this was not a law change and the whole issue of reliability us well covered in the guidance. The reason HCPs don’t address reliability is bizarrely because the software allows them little scope to do so. 

    The assertion that tribunals do not apply the reliability criteria is plainly incorrect given that 76% of all such appeals win. Your comments re: the UT have no relationship to reality at all. A FTT is never bound by the directions from a UT to begin with. 
    PIPPERMAN Member Posts: 14 Listener
    edited June 2020
    May I politely suggest I don't.

    In decision CPIP/2292/2016, the Upper Tribunal has confirmed the 'Regulation 4(4)(c)' rule.
    This states, effectively, that someone with a limiting condition who walks twice as slowly as a person who doesn't have their limiting condition is entitled to an award of the mobility component of PIP under descriptor 2.

    This is a separate issue

    The Upper Tribunal also said that anyone who walks more than twice as slowly as a non-disabled person can't claim that their walking is too slow to be of an acceptable standard under Regulation 4(2A)(b).

    Basically it means you cant claim for points under 2 separate regulations for the same thing.

    It seems to me that the intention is only to take slowness of walking into account in the event of that slowness fulfilling the relevant 4(4)(c) definition

    It would, accordingly, result in inconsistency if a lesser degree of slowness was then to be taken into account elsewhere.

    The point I was making is Yes indeed most tribunals are not aware of this ruling, therefore quoting it as a reason to set aside a decision, puts it at the top of the agenda for an appeal hearing. You don't have to resort to quoting case law to the panel. Nothing I said was relevant to "HCP'S " but to appealing to have a tribunal decision set aside.

  • mikehughescq
    mikehughescq Posts: 8,845 Connected
    I don’t need the law explaining to me thanks. The case law you cite says literally nothing new; set no precedent etc, it clarified one fairly obvious point and doesn’t feature in tribunals for exactly that reason. 

    It also does not say what you say it does. If you walk “twice as slowly” (your words above) as a healthy person you will not qualify. You would need to walk more than twice as slowly. That’s a precise and important difference. That has also been in the law from day one. It didn’t become case law or law after the cited decision. 

    As regards unreliable walking not counting elsewhere that Is an accurate reading but then I’ve never met anyone dumb enough to argue the point in the last 7 years so I’m not sure why it would arise.

    Your points re: the: FTT, HCPs and UT remain wholly incorrect. 

    PIPPERMAN Member Posts: 14 Listener
    Please stop badgering me and trolling this thread. You refuse to listen to reason and keep quoting the same incorrect assumption repeatedly. Calling me dumb is insulting and I would hope this website takes action against someone as rude as you despite your impressing looking number of posts.

    Oh let's jump all over the n00b and not actually consider what he actually said. I guess I will just quit this site and leave it up the the people running it to deal with this conflict. Have a nice life.

    PIPPERMAN Member Posts: 14 Listener
    Let's start again.

    In decision CPIP/2292/2016, the Upper Tribunal has confirmed the 'Regulation 4(4)(c)' rule.
    This states, effectively, that someone with a limiting condition who walks twice as slowly as a person who doesn't have their limiting condition is entitled to an award of the mobility component of PIP under descriptor 2.

    I am currently on my 3rd appeal to have this applied in my case.
    end of story

  • mikehughescq
    mikehughescq Posts: 8,845 Connected
    I'd once again ask you to read my post carefully and reread the decision.

    I did not troll you. I corrected your misleading interpretation. I also didn't call you dumb. I observed that I'd met no-one dumb enough to make the alternative argument considered in the decision. 

    Sadly once again you have repeated the error. The decision does nod say twice as slowly. It says more than twice as slowly. 

    Please withdraw your false accusations. 
  • Adrian_Scope
    Adrian_Scope Posts: 8,553

    Scope community team

    I'm closing this thread as I think it's served its purpose. While we welcome open discussion and understand that inevitably people will have contrasting views and sometimes interpret not only case law but the intent of language used in posts differently, it's important to remain civil and keep your comments to the posts, rather than the posters themselves.
    Community Manager

    Tell us how to make the community better for you. Complete our feedback form.
This discussion has been closed.


Complete our feedback form and tell us how we can make the community better.

Do you need advice on your energy costs?

Scope’s Disability Energy Support service is open to any disabled household in England or Wales in which one or more disabled people live. You can get free advice from an expert adviser on managing energy debt, switching tariffs, contacting your supplier and more. Find out more information by visiting our
Disability Energy Support webpage.