Government decision not to appeal the high court decision on PIP mobility descriptors
I have a diagnosed ASD (Autism) and, after a late diagnosis in December 2016 (aged 58) I applied for PIP. After a Face to Face Assessment with ATOS, I was finally awarded Low Care Award and Nil Mobility component dated 20th March 2017.
I asked for a Mandatory Reconsideration with support from my GP, Autism Support Worker and Consultant Psychologist, but DWP refused to alter my Award.
I appealed,and finally attended a County Court Tribunal on 11th January 2018
I won an increase to my Care Award, which was increased to "High Level", however, the Judge stated that, although under the old Descriptors (prior to March 2017) I would have been eligible for a Mobility Award, under the new Descriptors, "Psychological distress" is no longer considered relevant when looking at an individuals ability to undertake journeys.
The Judge informed me that, as DWP had applied the new Descriptors unilaterally, and without advice/consultation with Disability Groups etc, the decision had been taken to the High Court to be challenged in December 2017.
Although the High Court ruled in the Disability Groups favour, and stated that the change to and application of the Mobility Descriptors was illegal, the DWP appealed, and was granted leave for a Judicial Review.
At the time of my Tribunal (11.1.18) it was not known what the outcome of these legal wranglings would be, and therefore the Judge had no alternative but to apply the Descriptors as they stood on the day of my Court appearance. My Nil mobility award was therefore upheld.
I now learn that DWP have decided NOT to appeal the High Court's decision, and have withdrawn their Judicial Review request - re-establishing the original Descriptors. This means that I WOULD now be entitled to the mobility Award.
My question is this....has anyone else got caught up in this debacle?
Additionally, is it best for me to appeal through Second Tier Tribunal at Court (I am still within 1 month of my initial Court decision) or do I have to go back to DWP and begin the whole appeal process again through "Change of Circumstances"?
Also in the statement that was issued by DWP, they intimated that they would be looking at claims, and contacting anyone who had been in receipt of a reduced Award as a result of the legal changes, but how can they possibly achieve this? Are they going to re-assess every PIP Claim submitted after March 2017?
All thoughts/experiences/advice would be welcomed....