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Ability to walk 20m repeatedly

Matilda
Matilda Member Posts: 2,610 Disability Gamechanger
Can someone qualify for enhanced rate PIP if they are able to walk up to 20m but then need to stop and rest for a minute or so, then walk up to another 20m but then need to stop again and rest for a minute or so....and so on?

Is there a limit to the number of times that someone can repeat this pattern of walking up to 20m then stopping for a minute or so, etc and qualify for enhanced rate PIP?
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Comments

  • Markmywords
    Markmywords Member Posts: 419 Pioneering
    Well it's irrelevant what the DWP says as they will say whatever serves them.

    If you have no choice but to stop before 20m on most occasions then I would expect a Tribunal would say that "Can stand and then move more than 1 metre but no more than 20 metres, either aided or unaided" applies.
    It would not be just to add 20m micro-journeys together.

    There are no guarantees though.
  • mikehughescq
    mikehughescq Posts: 8,845 Connected
    If you can do something but can't do it more than 50% of the time or can't do it reliably, repeatedly, safely or in a reasonable time... then you can't do it. Have a look at PIP regs 4 and 7.
  • Matilda
    Matilda Member Posts: 2,610 Disability Gamechanger
    I was awarded PIP enhanced mobility at a tribunal in May 2017.  I have asked this question because I would like to ask BenefitsTrainingCo what the legislation has to say.
  • Markmywords
    Markmywords Member Posts: 419 Pioneering
    I've yet to see anyone actually link to the statute on the Scope community so I'll do so. ;)

    @Matilda , what you are interested in is here.

    PIP is controlled by;
    The Social Security (Personal Independence Payment) Regulations 2013 and

    The Universal Credit, Personal Independence Payment, Jobseeker's Allowance and Employment and Support Allowance (Claims and Payments) Regulations 2013

    Be aware that a regulation (controlled by a Statutory Instrument) is a world away from Primary Legislation.
  • Matilda
    Matilda Member Posts: 2,610 Disability Gamechanger
    @Markmywords

    The gov.uk PIP Handbook states that if a claimant cannot complete walking 20m safely, repeatedly and in a reasonable time then they should be permitted to walk beyond 20m and still be eligible for enhanced rate mobility PIP (though it says nothing about how much farther).

    Therefore, logic dictates that if a claimant can walk 20m safely, repeatedly [my emphasis] and in a reasonable time (but no further without a rest first) then they are eligible for enhanced rate mobility PIP.

    But I shall be interested in what BenefitsTrainingCo has to say on the subject.
  • Markmywords
    Markmywords Member Posts: 419 Pioneering
    I agree with your understanding of it @Matilda. A claimant has the whole 20 metres. If they have to stop before getting to 20.1 metres then the descriptor still applies. If they start walking again after resting for several minutes then the descriptor still applies.

    They cannot add micro-journeys together. That is wrong in law.
  • mikehughescq
    mikehughescq Posts: 8,845 Connected

    I tend to not post links to the legislation itself for two reasons:

    1) Readily available on t'internet but also prone to misinterpretation by lay people.

    2) The law is the starting point. How it applies in practice is determined by the law, case law and elements of the guidance. Hansard can also assist in specific limited circumstances when looking at original intent.

    The PIP handbook in this instance is not a reliable guide to interpretation as it's been usurped many times over already by case law. It's also problematic because a number of its interpretations are simply disconnected from what the law itself says and reflect what politicians and the DWP want it to mean. When challenged it falls to pieces.

    A  good example of this is the recent decision on the interpretation of "safety" in the context of daily living. The conclusion of the UT was that DWP guidance was wholly wrong and disconnected to what the law said and any reasonable interpretation of that. Thus, the case law on safety has now effectively reverted to the interpretation used by DLA.

    Another good example is that the PIP handbook says PIP mobility activity 2 should be "... judged in relation to a type of surface normally expected out of doors such as pavements and includes the consideration of kerbs".

    Now, go look at the law and see where it says anything about mobility relating exclusively to mobility out of doors. The answer is that it doesn't. DWP have literally just made up an interpretation that suits.

    So, guidance can be helpful but case law is key.

    @Matilda's interpretation is close but not quite there. What the guidance says is simply that if you can do more than 20m you only qualify if that extra distance beyond 20m cannot be done "safely and reliably". This is misleading as "reliably" in the context of PIP means safely, repeatedly, to a reasonable standard and in a reasonable time.

    So, if a person does 20m and then a further 20m they are at risk of being found to be able to do it repeatedly and the only things which mitigate against such a finding would be if the distance was not done in a reasonable time; couldn't be done every time after the 1st 20m or there was good evidence of increased risk after the 1st 20m.

    So, the descriptor could still apply but 2e is by no means automatic. It's more accurate to say it "could apply".

  • Markmywords
    Markmywords Member Posts: 419 Pioneering
    You missed the part where Matilda wrote "but no further without a rest first." I see no room for doubt there.

    Tribunals cannot create case law either; precedent yes, case law no.

    This is why legal advice in forums is dangerous. I stick with the raw facts. To which I'll agree or keep schtum.
  • mikehughescq
    mikehughescq Posts: 8,845 Connected

    No, I didn't miss it. That bit is correct so there was no need to comment.

    First tier tribunals cannot create case law. Upper Tribunal is where case law is created. Nothing in my post suggested otherwise.

    If by "raw facts" you are referring to the law then that's the potentially dangerous territory in the sense that it can lead people to believe something is absolute. However, the law is simply a starting point.

  • Matilda
    Matilda Member Posts: 2,610 Disability Gamechanger
    I am interested in what happens in practice.  Are some assessors and some tribunals making different interpretations, i.e. are some saying repeated walking 20m (or 50m), with rests in between, = qualification for PIP mobility?  And others saying no?  Does it depend on the length of the rests in between?


  • mikehughescq
    mikehughescq Posts: 8,845 Connected

    Not really. Interpretation is fairly consistent although not perfect.  

    It comes down to how you make progress i.e. if you can do >20m but not reliably, repeatedly, safely or in a reasonable time or not >50% of the time then you ought to qualify under the 1 to 20m route. If you can do >50m but not... etc. then you should qualify under the 20 to 50m route and so on or even 1 to 20m depending on the detail.

    Also worth remembering that walking is not about walking out of doors exclusively even though DWP guidance thinks it is.


  • Matilda
    Matilda Member Posts: 2,610 Disability Gamechanger
    You have posted a couple of times that you have known people refused PIP mobility because they could walk 50m repeatedly.
  • mikehughescq
    mikehughescq Posts: 8,845 Connected

    Yes. If you can walk 50m repeatedly and do so reliably, repeatedly, safely in a reasonable time then you can walk at least 100m and would only score 4 points under 2b.

    If you can walk 50m repeatedly but not, for example, in a reasonable time (which is defined as more than twice as long as a healthy person) then you could qualify via 2c onwards.

    The test is not exclusively one of distance it's one of reliability etc.

  • Matilda
    Matilda Member Posts: 2,610 Disability Gamechanger
    Surely the amount of time that someone has to rest between repeated walking is a factor.  Whether, for example, it's a just few seconds or 10 minutes.
  • mikehughescq
    mikehughescq Posts: 8,845 Connected
    Yes. That's what I've just said in the middle paragraph of my previous post.
  • Matilda
    Matilda Member Posts: 2,610 Disability Gamechanger
    So you say that walking times and rest times should be added together to form a total.
  • mikehughescq
    mikehughescq Posts: 8,845 Connected

    Yes. If you can walk then it depends on how far; how often (repeatedly); how quickly and how safely. If the time taken for whatever distance you specify is more than twice the time it would ordinarily take a healthy person then the appropriate descriptor would apply.

    Extreme example but... If you could walk 500m without stopping but you couldn't do it repeatedly or it took you 20 minutes to do then you potentially qualify for a descriptor as you could argue that you couldn't do 1 to 20 or 20 to 50 etc. in a reasonable time.

    Obviously that isn't going to apply to many people as most walking that slow would presumably be stopping or at risk of falls but you get the gist.

  • Matilda
    Matilda Member Posts: 2,610 Disability Gamechanger
    A tribunal awarded me enhanced mobility because I cannot walk farther than 20m before I have to stop and rest.
  • Matilda
    Matilda Member Posts: 2,610 Disability Gamechanger
    The tribunal doc asked for how long can I walk.  I made sure my answer related 'for how long' to 'how far'.

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