Remaining politically neutral during General Election 2024


Under guidance from the Electoral Commission and Charity Commission, it's important that Scope remains politically neutral during General Elections.

While we understand that this period will see many passionate discussions and do not want to discourage open discussion, we cannot allow discussions which are purely intended to influence voting.

As ever, please make sure that your comments remain respectful of other people's opinions and keep to our online community house rules.
If we become concerned about you or anyone else while using one of our services, we will act in line with our safeguarding policy and procedures. This may involve sharing this information with relevant authorities to ensure we comply with our policies and legal obligations.

Ability to walk 20m repeatedly

Options
Matilda
Matilda Community member Posts: 2,593 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?
«1

Comments

  • Markmywords
    Markmywords Community member Posts: 419 Pioneering
    Options
    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.
  • Matilda
    Matilda Community member Posts: 2,593 Disability Gamechanger
    Options
    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 Community member Posts: 419 Pioneering
    Options
    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 Community member Posts: 2,593 Disability Gamechanger
    Options
    @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 Community member Posts: 419 Pioneering
    Options
    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.
  • Markmywords
    Markmywords Community member Posts: 419 Pioneering
    Options
    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.
  • Matilda
    Matilda Community member Posts: 2,593 Disability Gamechanger
    Options
    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?


  • Matilda
    Matilda Community member Posts: 2,593 Disability Gamechanger
    Options
    You have posted a couple of times that you have known people refused PIP mobility because they could walk 50m repeatedly.
  • Matilda
    Matilda Community member Posts: 2,593 Disability Gamechanger
    Options
    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.
  • Matilda
    Matilda Community member Posts: 2,593 Disability Gamechanger
    Options
    So you say that walking times and rest times should be added together to form a total.
  • Matilda
    Matilda Community member Posts: 2,593 Disability Gamechanger
    Options
    A tribunal awarded me enhanced mobility because I cannot walk farther than 20m before I have to stop and rest.
  • Matilda
    Matilda Community member Posts: 2,593 Disability Gamechanger
    Options
    The tribunal doc asked for how long can I walk.  I made sure my answer related 'for how long' to 'how far'.
  • Matilda
    Matilda Community member Posts: 2,593 Disability Gamechanger
    Options
    This is a very crucial issue.
  • BenefitsTrainingCo
    BenefitsTrainingCo Community member Posts: 2,621 Pioneering
    Options
    Matilda,
    I'm not sure I can add much to the comments above. First of all, yes the law is the Welfare Reform Act 2012 and the PIP regulations 2013. In there we also find the principles of safely, to a reasonable standard, repeatedly and no more than twice as long as someone without the condition. However, we don't find the answer to your question, as neither act nor regulations doesn't go into that sort of detail.

    The DRH is a good tool but it does get out of date as case law in PIP is so frequent now - made as discussed above by Upper Tier tribunals. An updater is issued a few times a year, but simply can't keep up with the case law.

    A minute is not a very long period of time in some contexts, but it could be a long time in the context of walking (much longer than simply pausing to catch a breath); in addition stopping so often would of course affect the time taken to cover any final overall distance, and could also affect the 'reasonable standard' issue.  I think a good tribunal would want to know more about what is going on. Is the claimant in pain or breathless? What is the reason for having to stop?

    I think there is a huge difference between what an assessor would find (which sadly I wouldn't expect to be consistent at all) and what a tribunal might find.

    For example in [2016] UKUT 326 (AAC) pain and breathlessness meant that someone might not be completing moving around to a reasonable standard, even though it was both repeated, and within a reasonable time. So I do not think there is one answer to your question - I think it would depend on the overall condition, effects and how the person is feeling as they move.

    I'd recommend having a look at the case law on moving around on the pipinfo site. There are some useful principles there. For example, even if someone is very slow, one case says we can't consider that if they nevertheless complete the distance in a time which is less than twice that of someone without the condition.

    Both how long and how far are relevant. As is how quickly, for how long without pain etc. Perhaps 2016 UKUT 261 AAC is particularly relevant to your question. 

    'there will be times when a halt has persisted for such length that it cannot realistically be said that any resumption is part of the same period of walking'

    A minute is quite a long time to pause when you look at how 'most' people walk. So on that basis, I think we would stop at your 20 metres. 

    But I'm afraid you are quite right to observe that not all assessors, or even all tribunals, would come to the same conclusions. Which is why proper findings of fact are so important.

    Does this help? Feel free to ask more questions about the case law.

    Will
    The Benefits Training Co:

  • Matilda
    Matilda Community member Posts: 2,593 Disability Gamechanger
    Options
    Thank you, Will.  

    Most PIP claimants would find it hard to get their heads around case law, even those with quite high-level academic qualifications.  I have no legal training but I do have a first degree and a post-graduate diploma in other disciplines - and I find it difficult to understand the myriad of 'rules' that apply to walking reliability criteria.

    I am interested in how the law is applied at assessment and tribunal.

    How can assessors judge a person's walking ability for sure unless they actually watch them walk?  Which rarely formally takes place.  My assessor decided that because I could walk 16m from waiting area to interview room then I must be able to walk 20-50m!  The DWP's own PIP Handbook states that walking ability should be judged outdoors using pavements and kerbs.

    Tribunals are not allowed to formally watch appellants walk.  At my tribunal both the doc and the judge asked a lot of questions about my walking and decided that I couldn't walk beyond 20m before I needed to stop and rest.  
  • Matilda
    Matilda Community member Posts: 2,593 Disability Gamechanger
    Options
    I read the Disability Rights Handbook before my tribunal hearing which stated that tribunals are not allowed formally to measure an appellant's walking but of course they will observe the appellant walking in and out of the hearing room.

    If the PIP Handbook is wrong about walking assessment, shouldn't you tell them?
  • Pat1960
    Pat1960 Community member Posts: 8 Listener
    Options
    I can't walk 20 meters with out having to stop on a number of times due to COPD and Cervical and lumbar spondulosis. I also have Dystonia in my spine and neck and shoulders and in both rib cages. I struggle and walk very slowly. I was on high rate mobility and middle disability before the swap over for PIP. My assesser lied in her report that she seen me walk 50 meters when I was on my bed the entire assessment. She told other lies in her report to. I was awarded no mobility and on mandatory appeal I was awarded standard rate. I then had to wait 8 months for tribunal we're I was humiliated by the doctor and mobility specialist. They had me crying.  They seem how badly I walked and for how long for etc. They still went off the assessers report on the 50 meters and I lost my tribunal. I've now got to put a fresh claim with new evidence etc to hopefully get the enhanced rate that I am entitled to. It's humiliating what they do to you they treat you like a criminal. It's all so very very wrong.
  • Matilda
    Matilda Community member Posts: 2,593 Disability Gamechanger
    Options
    @Pat1960

    Yes, going through PIP is a traumatic process.  One thing about tribunals - the panels are supposed to be inquisitorial, it's their job. So, if you ever have to go to a tribunal again, don't take their quizzing personally - just answer the questions and insist that you can't walk more than 20m (or for longer than 30 seconds) without needing to stop and rest.  At my tribunal the panel grilled me for half an hour and my head was spinning - but I did win my appeal.

    Good luck with your new claim.


  • Pat1960
    Pat1960 Community member Posts: 8 Listener
    Options
    Thank you Matilda i hope i dont get another lying assesser. Also that they look at my medical evidence properly  this time because they did not look at it properly. My Rheumatologist was disgusted with them and said there was more than enough evidence in my reports off him and my neurologist and GP about my mobility and how it affects my walking etc. Even that was not enough for DWP  or for the tribunal.  There just out to destroy people and take away there security and independence. I had my car taken off me which I rely on for all my hospital appointments.  Also getting me out of my bungalow and social reasons. They did not like the fact that I had my hair coloured they said I see you still manage to have your hair coloured . I said yes by someone who comes to me. It's sad that because your on PIP your not allowed your hair done.  Your not allowed to go to church 3 times a week for healing. It's all classed as you can get about which is so wrong. They exspect you to be stuck at home have no friends or social life at all. Im just totally disgusted at how were treated and how were grilled like we are.
  • Matilda
    Matilda Community member Posts: 2,593 Disability Gamechanger
    Options
    @Pat1960

    Yes, it's appalling how so many assessors lie in their reports.  Mine did.

    Unfortunately, at assessments and at tribunal hearings, people go very much by what they can see.  Not enough to be disabled, with medical evidence, but you have to 'look' disabled on the day.  People who look well-groomed will be assumed to have considerable physical ability.

    So, at assessments and tribunal hearings, don't dress up, wear minimal jewellery (only a watch and wedding band) and, if female, minimal make-up.  Don't get your hair cut or coloured recently.  Flat shoes and loose clothes without fastenings.

    It's a good idea to think what questions you would ask if you were an assessor or a tribunal panel member!  Be prepared.

    Don't drive yourself to assessment or hearing - take a taxi if necessary.

    Assessors and tribunals think that if you can drive then you must have a lot of physical ability and stamina!  At my tribunal I had to point out that I only make a few short journeys by car each week.

    With your new claim I recommend that you include a 7-day diary.  List all the aids you use in the diary and on your claim form.  Use of aids should get you some points especially if you struggle even using aids.

    Disability Right UK (DR) site has a good guide to PIP including a draft diary that you can adapt.  DR also publish a benefits Handbook, price £15, from their site.
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.
If we become concerned about you or anyone else while using one of our services, we will act in line with our safeguarding policy and procedures. This may involve sharing this information with relevant authorities to ensure we comply with our policies and legal obligations.

Find out how to let us know if you're concerned about another member's safety.