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Has the DWP changed the rules on mental health

Hi has DWP changed the rules for pip on mental health physiological stress ?

Replies

  • BenefitsTrainingCoBenefitsTrainingCo Member Posts: 2,692 Pioneering
    edited January 2018
    Hi Budgie2,

    In March 2017 the DWP amended the "Planning and following journeys" descriptor to exclude people from satisfying 1c, 1d and 1f if they only needed help because of "overwhelming psychological distress".
    Recently the high court decided that this amendment was unlawful. Last week the DWP confirmed it would not appeal against the high court's decision so the descriptors are back to as they were before March 2017 which is excellent news.
    The DWP have continually stated that the policy intention was for the descriptors to apply to those with sensory impairments (for example) rather than those who needed someone with them because of anxiety but they hadn't included that in the wording until the March 2017 amendments, and those amendments were found to be unlawful.

    Lee
    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 215 Listener
    @BenefitsTrainingCo Hi and thankyou for your reply so if my mums assessment  was last week will DWP look at the physiological stress. 
  • BenefitsTrainingCoBenefitsTrainingCo Member Posts: 2,692 Pioneering
    Budgie2Budgie2,

    I would expect that by the time the DWP get round to making the actual decision on your mum's PIP they will know about the current legal position. Therefore, yes, the planning and following a journey activity should be considered in its pre-March 2017 state and can take psychological distress into account. 

    If the DWP decision was considered before the Secretary of State's very recent announcement then it should be looked at again (by the DWP) to make sure your mum doesn't lose out on any mobility component award (standard or enhanced) she should have got under the old version of the regulations.

    Will
    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 215 Listener
    Budgie2Budgie2,

    I would expect that by the time the DWP get round to making the actual decision on your mum's PIP they will know about the current legal position. Therefore, yes, the planning and following a journey activity should be considered in its pre-March 2017 state and can take psychological distress into account. 

    If the DWP decision was considered before the Secretary of State's very recent announcement then it should be looked at again (by the DWP) to make sure your mum doesn't lose out on any mobility component award (standard or enhanced) she should have got under the old version of the regulations.

    Will
    Right so should it say it on the desion letter otherwise we won't know ...and thankyou for your reply
  • BenefitsTrainingCoBenefitsTrainingCo Member Posts: 2,692 Pioneering
    Hello Budgie2

    This is a good question.

    The descriptors in question are in Planning and Following a Journey and specifically, 1c., 1d and 1f. The pre March descriptors which should now be followed were:

    1c. Cannot plan the route of a journey. 8 points.

    1d. Cannot follow the route of an unfamiliar journey without another person, assistance dog or orientation aid. 10 points.

    1f. Cannot follow the route of a familiar journey without another person, an assistance dog or an orientation aid. 12 points.

    The decision letter lists the descriptors awarded, as such only if points are awarded for the descriptor 1c, 1d and 1f and it details the descriptor as above will you know that the recent court decision has been followed. 

    If no points are awarded, or different descriptors then the decision is unlikely to reveal in enough detail if a decision maker has followed the recent court decision. You can ask for an explanation of the decision, but the explanations I have seen are again not that detailed. The best way to get a fuller understanding is if you request a copy of the medical assessment, this will reveal what descriptors were considered as they list in full all the descriptors. Do not however let waiting for  a copy of  a medical assessment delay you requesting a Mandatory reconsideration beyond the 1 month time limit if you disagree with the PIP decision.

    Keep us posted.

    Maria

    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 215 Listener
    Thankyou I shall let you know 
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 215 Listener
    edited January 2018
    Sorry by saying the medical assessment, do you mean the report by the assessor whom assessed my mum ?
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 215 Listener
    Hi [email protected] just looked at mums report the assessor has ticked descriptor E cannot undertake any journey because it would cause overwhelming physiological distress to the claiment ..will DWP go with this or can they ignore it ..im confused...thankyou.
  • wildlifewildlife Member Posts: 1,314 Pioneering
    @Budgie2 Yes Marie does mean the assessment report and yes the Decision Maker will almost certainly go with the assessor's recommended descriptor. If not you will have every right to ask why DWP didn't go with the points recommended. This change also applies to me but I got higher mobility anyway so may as well wait for my review in 2 years.   
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 215 Listener
    edited January 2018
    @wildlife hi and thankyou but will the Discriptor E still apply because DWP are not going to argue the cours decision to change ?
  • wildlifewildlife Member Posts: 1,314 Pioneering
    @Budgie2 Let me put it like this. The court's decision to change this descriptor back to how it used to be has already been used by the assessor in choosing this descriptor for your Mum. The DWP will have to agree with the assessor because DWP workers don't have any medical knowledge. But no-one can say for sure until you get your Mum's decision. Most of us got the same points that the assessor had recommended.  
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 215 Listener
    @wildlife Ah right thankyou I understand now ...will update you what her desion is once she gets it ..also the assessor recommended she should be reviewed in 2 years so will that be the same time a year from when she claimed? And will she need to go through all this again ?
  • wildlifewildlife Member Posts: 1,314 Pioneering
    I'm not sure of the exact timescale except that they contact people at least a year before the end date that will be on the final decision. The Decision Maker might change this as it's a ridiculously short award. They don't need any medical knowledge to change it only common sense so fingers crossed. If not I would contact DWP to object and yes it does mean going through it all again. 
     
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 215 Listener
    edited January 2018
    @wildlife Yes what a stressful horrible time it has been for her and myself iv had to do everything we don't drive never learnt  so having a car means nothing to us mum never goes anywhere...I'm just worried about it because I know she is and should be entiltled to it ...so if they go with the Discriptor E she has got 21 points daily living and 14 mobility and yes 2 years is short hope she gets it for longer bless her because her crippling disease is only going to get worse ...thankyou for replying 
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 215 Listener
    @wildlife will she need to go through this with ESA she's been getting ESA for a few years now but I never knew how long for it is she gets it for i always thought she got it as long has DLA/ now PIP was in payment ?
  • leeCalleeCal Member Posts: 3,577 Disability Gamechanger
    About 2.5 years ago I was assessed and although I told them that I couldn’t make a journey without someone with me they said I couldn’t have any mobility because they couldn’t pay for taxis or anything. It was very upsetting and I didn’t go out at all. I don’t suppose they’ll automatically look back at my case at all?
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 215 Listener
    edited January 2018
    @leeCal That's awful so do you get daily living now ?my mum gets taxis to doctors wth mei and where she needs to go otherwise she wouldn't be able to get there.
  • wildlifewildlife Member Posts: 1,314 Pioneering
    @Budgie2 I'm sorry I can't answer your question about ESA but she should have a letter somewhere about ESA and how long she has got it for. It doesn't mean much from what others have said as they can assess her anytime. But no point in worrying about something that isn't happening. @leeCal I would think very carefully about trying to get the DWP to do anything. If you contact them they'll tell you to make a new claim and go through the whole process again with the risk of losing any daily living. If they refused you any PIP at all it might be worth doing a check on a benefit calculator to see if you might be eligible for PIP. Only you can decide. 
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 215 Listener
    @wildlife Ok I'm take a look tomorrow thankyou 
  • leeCalleeCal Member Posts: 3,577 Disability Gamechanger
    I think you’re right, if I complain I might lose what I’ve got, that’s why I didn’t complain in the first place. It’s a shame but there’s a lot fear involved in esa and pip, basically because they have the power to totally ruin your life! Anyway thanks for the advice.

  • SusiQSusiQ Member Posts: 10 Connected
    "It’s a shame but there’s a lot fear involved in esa and pip, basically because they have the power to totally ruin your life!" 
    I think you'll find that in life outside the DWP that's called "Blackmail"! - not that I'm cynical at all :wink:
  • leeCalleeCal Member Posts: 3,577 Disability Gamechanger
    It’s right that the dwp have people checking every claim as it comes in and probably right that they check on your condition periodically because if there were no checks and balances people would just lie about their conditions to get free money obviously but, and it’s a big butt, these days they are ruthlessly trying to pay the bare minimum or nothing if they can. Personally I believe it has got worse since the number of claimants rose dramatically, definitely the welfare overhaul/reform resulted in some benefits being stopped altogether and universal credit will pay less overall than working tax credit and other benefits. The system has been put under tremendous strain by the rapid increase in the claiming population, it’s obvious. We already had financial problems caused by the bankers greed Andy then we had a sudden increase in the poor. Something had to give, and it wasn’t going to be the government?    
    So now we all have to suffer.

  • CockneyRebelCockneyRebel Member Posts: 5,257 Disability Gamechanger
    Budgie2 said:
    @wildlife will she need to go through this with ESA she's been getting ESA for a few years now but I never knew how long for it is she gets it for i always thought she got it as long has DLA/ now PIP was in payment ?
    ESA is an open ended award. Reviews can happen anytime from three months following the award. Usually the longest review time is 3 years for SG but some are being defered

    CR
    Be all you can be, make  every day count. Namaste
  • BenefitsTrainingCoBenefitsTrainingCo Member Posts: 2,692 Pioneering
    Hi all,

    Cockey Rebel has given excellent advice on this thread and I can't add any more to it apart from to leeCal, the DWP amended the descriptors in March 2017 so it's only decisions from that date onwards that they need to look at again to see whether they were wrong. In my experience the DWP have always been considering 1c, 1d and 1f excluding "overwhelming psychological distress" even before the descriptor amendments so I can't see how anything will change in their decision making now.

    Lee
    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
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