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Higher rate mobility for anxiety and depression

JazCoJazCo Member Posts: 48 Courageous
edited August 2018 in PIP, DLA and AA
I know it is only since 2018 they have been told they must treat mental health equally to physical in the mobility section, but this is probably still rare.

Just wondering if anyone (even if just on appeal) was granted the higher rate mobility for severe anxiety, agoraphobia, and depression?

I tried to explain that for a long time I am 100% unable to undertake any journey without someone with me, short or long, familiar or unfamiliar. I have taxi's paid for once or twice a week from my home to university by student finance, but for the first 2/3 months I had my partner with me until I got to know my driver well enough that he knew not to talk to me unless I spoke to him as I didn't feel okay talking a lot of the time.

The criteria is:
Cannot undertake any journey because it would cause overwhelming psychological distress to the claimant. 10 points
Cannot follow the route of a familiar journey without another person, an assistance dog or an orientation aid. 12 points

These, in my opinion, are much of a muchness in the same. I'm not sure how the 10 pointer is any better than the 12 pointer - can anyone clarify the difference here and whether my description above fits either or both of these? I have a feeling I will only be recommended the 10 points but personally, I feel like I am 100% fitted to the 12 pointer - I don't go the shops around the corner without my partneMy MY partner explained I can't even take the bins out because I'm scared of running into neighbours and them talking to me.

Does that all make sense? Just pre-empting only getting 10 points for mobility so want to make sure that I know exactly why I should have been given 12 points.

Thanks

Replies

  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,652 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @JazCo, unfortunately other people have posted about this before: https://community.scope.org.uk/discussion/44878/is-it-worth-appealing there is always the appeal process if the points aren't give though
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    Scope

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  • markyboymarkyboy Member Posts: 368 Pioneering
    This Descriptor is one of the hardest to get points many people who previously had points lost them at the review time
    I am not sure if you would qualify for 12 points  as i am not sure about the interpretation of this descriptor other more street wise members will clarify this
  • susan48susan48 Member Posts: 2,229 Disability Gamechanger
    I was awarded 0 points for the mobility part, Iv got mental health problems, which I was ok with.
    At appeal however I scored 10 points for the journey part.
    Hope this helps
  • BenefitsTrainingCoBenefitsTrainingCo Member Posts: 2,692 Pioneering
    JazCo,

    Yes, your query makes sense. The descriptors are looking at two distinct situations - for 1.e, someone who can't undertake any journey. That person is likely to be confined to their home & they would have additional expenses because of that. In 1.f in contrast, the person can go out, but even on a familiar journey they need someone with them (or a dog or orientation aid) - this is likely to cause different expenses (whether more or less is something we could argue about for ages, & I don't personally think it is clear cut at all).  A person who scored 12 points under 1f. could get a Motability car, whereas if someone doesn't qualify for the enhanced mobility component, they can't - but the logic is that if someone can't go out at all, there is no advantage to being able to get a vehicle.

    So you might say, it's the difference between making up for the extra costs of not being able to go out at all, & being able to go out but only with help. Anyway, in your case, what you are saying is that you can't go out, even on a familiar journey, without another person with you. As a result of the case law, & the regs changing back again, your psychological reasons for this ARE relevant and can be taken into account.

    You CAN go out, so an award of 10 points under 1.e would be simply inaccurate. But you can only go out with another person, and so it must be 1.f - 12 points. This is exactly the issue that was considered in the case which prompted the government to change the regs (before a later case decided the change was unlawful!). This is what they said in that case: 'the legislation contemplates that, where descriptor 1e is satisfied because the claimant needs to avoid overwhelming psychological distress by not undertaking any journey, the claimant will not undertake journeys so that the need for consideration of descriptor 1f due to such severe anxiety while on a journey will not arise.'

    But you are NOT in that situation - you can undertake journeys, with help. The only reason that 1e would apply to you would be if, even with another person, you were simply too distressed to undertake any journey.

    This doesn't mean it will be easy to get the right descriptor. I'm not sure what stage you are at, and whether you have had an assessment. Unfortunately, it's very common for your difficulties to be downplayed by the assessor. If that happens and you don't get the right result, do consider asking for a mandatory reconsideration and then appealing if you need to.

    Will
    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
  • JazCoJazCo Member Posts: 48 Courageous
    JazCo,

    Yes, your query makes sense. The descriptors are looking at two distinct situations - for 1.e, someone who can't undertake any journey. That person is likely to be confined to their home & they would have additional expenses because of that. In 1.f in contrast, the person can go out, but even on a familiar journey they need someone with them (or a dog or orientation aid) - this is likely to cause different expenses (whether more or less is something we could argue about for ages, & I don't personally think it is clear cut at all).  A person who scored 12 points under 1f. could get a Motability car, whereas if someone doesn't qualify for the enhanced mobility component, they can't - but the logic is that if someone can't go out at all, there is no advantage to being able to get a vehicle.

    So you might say, it's the difference between making up for the extra costs of not being able to go out at all, & being able to go out but only with help. Anyway, in your case, what you are saying is that you can't go out, even on a familiar journey, without another person with you. As a result of the case law, & the regs changing back again, your psychological reasons for this ARE relevant and can be taken into account.

    You CAN go out, so an award of 10 points under 1.e would be simply inaccurate. But you can only go out with another person, and so it must be 1.f - 12 points. This is exactly the issue that was considered in the case which prompted the government to change the regs (before a later case decided the change was unlawful!). This is what they said in that case: 'the legislation contemplates that, where descriptor 1e is satisfied because the claimant needs to avoid overwhelming psychological distress by not undertaking any journey, the claimant will not undertake journeys so that the need for consideration of descriptor 1f due to such severe anxiety while on a journey will not arise.'

    But you are NOT in that situation - you can undertake journeys, with help. The only reason that 1e would apply to you would be if, even with another person, you were simply too distressed to undertake any journey.

    This doesn't mean it will be easy to get the right descriptor. I'm not sure what stage you are at, and whether you have had an assessment. Unfortunately, it's very common for your difficulties to be downplayed by the assessor. If that happens and you don't get the right result, do consider asking for a mandatory reconsideration and then appealing if you need to.

    Will
    Hi,

    I had my assessment, and in my application and at the f2f we were very clear I absolutely cannot undertake any journey without someone with me. I went to uni last year and had taxis paid for by SFE, but had my partner with me for the first couple months until I got to know the driver (it's the same driver everytime). I get this again this year but last year I still missed some days. It is only once or twice a week and strictly from point A-B and back.

    I explained that in uni I have a close friend in all my classes and my partner explained if my friend isn't in uni one day I wouldn't go in, as she is with me the whole time I am there.
    I did also have a job in September, in retail - which I was scared would go against me, but I explained that I had to be signed off sick in November because I kept getting dizzy and close to passing out and I explained they couldn't accommodate me for this and it was too dangerous for me to work there with these faint spells, caused by my anxiety and pregnancy.

    I told them how last time I got a bus, it was to the hospital, with my partner and newborn and I had a panic attack 5 minutes in and had to get off and we got picked up by his parents. 

    For me, I don't know how else this could be construed differently. But I'm not naive, I know it probably will do - regardless of what I have said.

    So my main point, would be how, during the MR (as this is almost a guarantee) how am I best approaching this (wording of letter, who else can send letters to support/convince, should I ask for a call from the DM?) to try and get the MR to succeed - as I know the percentage of successes at this stage are slowly rising with the courts putting pressure on the DWP to be more inclusive of mental health.

    I'll update when I have received the copy of the report etc
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    Descriptor E and F are totally different. E is you cannot undertake any journey because it will cause overwhelming psychological distress to the claimant. Any journey’ means that in order to satisfy the descriptor on any particular day the person must not be able to manage to undertake a single journey. If the person can manage to leave the home to undertake a journey once then on that day the descriptor is not satisfied, even if they are unable to undertake other journeys during the same day. As you are able to go out, then you most likely won't score points in the descriptor. 

    Descriptor F. 11d or 11f only apply where a claimant could not reliably make their way along a route without an accompanying person, assistance dog or orientation aid. The presence of another person out of preference, is not sufficient.

    ‘Follow the route’ means make one’s way along a route to a destination. This involves more than just navigation of the route. Safety should be considered in respect of risks that relate to making ones’ way along a route (for example, tendency to wander into the road, inability to safely cross a road or risk of self-harm due to overwhelming psychological distress caused). For example, a claimant with a severe visual or profound hearing impairment may be at a substantial risk from traffic when crossing a road. If you think this descriptor applies then you'll need to give examples of why you can't follow the route of a familiar journey and what will happen if you weren't with another person. 

    Proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice I have given to members here on the community.
  • JazCoJazCo Member Posts: 48 Courageous
    Descriptor E and F are totally different. E is you cannot undertake any journey because it will cause overwhelming psychological distress to the claimant. Any journey’ means that in order to satisfy the descriptor on any particular day the person must not be able to manage to undertake a single journey. If the person can manage to leave the home to undertake a journey once then on that day the descriptor is not satisfied, even if they are unable to undertake other journeys during the same day. As you are able to go out, then you most likely won't score points in the descriptor. 

    Descriptor F. 11d or 11f only apply where a claimant could not reliably make their way along a route without an accompanying person, assistance dog or orientation aid. The presence of another person out of preference, is not sufficient.

    ‘Follow the route’ means make one’s way along a route to a destination. This involves more than just navigation of the route. Safety should be considered in respect of risks that relate to making ones’ way along a route (for example, tendency to wander into the road, inability to safely cross a road or risk of self-harm due to overwhelming psychological distress caused). For example, a claimant with a severe visual or profound hearing impairment may be at a substantial risk from traffic when crossing a road. If you think this descriptor applies then you'll need to give examples of why you can't follow the route of a familiar journey and what will happen if you weren't with another person. 

    See now, Poppy, your explanation of 11f is quite different to the above from Benefits Training Co to me.

    Your explanation, to me, disqualifies those who are unable to make a journey without a close friend or relative with them because if they go out they suffer from panic attacks or panic symptoms if they are able to follow a journey in a car for example? I have had numerous panic attacks and near panic attacks on public transport and out in public due to severe anxiety that now, ESPECIALLY as I have a baby with me, I cannot go out without my partner. This is partial preference because I think it is dangerous for my baby if someone isn't with me, but also because I physically and mentally cannot put myself through it - it's hard enough with my partner or a friend with me, I still get panicked if I have to walk past a bus stop with people there for example, but at least with someone with me I know I will be okay if I do start to panic. They can help calm me down or sit with me whilst I calm down.
    But my navigation skills are okay - although of course, if I start to have a panic attack when out and I am on my own, I can't think straight enough to move anywhere, never mind get to my destination. If I was in a car, with someone else driving, I could verbally tell them where to go. But I don't think this should stop people from getting the higher rate, because, without it and the motability car, they have no independence, cannot go out independently and are stuck to going places within walking distance.

    I was also never actually asked about my navigation skills during the f2f. I explained in other sections that my anxiety, as well as my learning difficulty makes, is hard for me to concentrate, process information and communicate sometimes - my psychological education report backs up that I have short term memory problems, concentration issues, and issues with expression (explaining verbally or through writing what is in my head) but there was never an opportunity to say this can affect my travelling. Of course, I will see for sure what conclusions were made in a week when I receive my report.

    But can you understand my confusion when a Benefits advisor explains that 11f is the descriptor I may fit based on the information I provided, but then others are suggesting because I can navigate under certain circumstances, that I don't qualify? What is your take on this with what I have said?
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    You stated that it's partial preference that you don't go out without your partner or someone with you and that's the issue here in my opinion, that's not a good enough reason to score you 12 points in this descriptor.

    My daughter scored 12 points in this because she never goes out alone. She has a learning disability, ASD and a social anxiety disorder. When she's out with another person you have to watch her near roads because she doesn't have the capacity to know when it's safe to cross. She's actually walked in front of moving vehicles when someone has taken their eyes off her for a second. I told the HCP about this during her assessment.  She would also not be able to find her way home if she got lost because she doesn't have the capacity to be able to do this. Psychologists reports proved beyond doubt that she's a vulnerable person when outside and would be at risk if she were to go out unaccompanied. She has one 2 one support all the time when she's at college and is not to be left alone. The contacted the college to verify this. 

    What i'm saying is that you have to give examples and saying it's partial preference that you don't go out alone will not score you 12 points here. 
    Proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice I have given to members here on the community.
  • YadnadYadnad Posts: 2,856 Member
    You stated that it's partial preference that you don't go out without your partner or someone with you and that's the issue here in my opinion, that's not a good enough reason to score you 12 points in this descriptor.

    My daughter scored 12 points in this because she never goes out alone. She has a learning disability, ASD and a social anxiety disorder. When she's out with another person you have to watch her near roads because she doesn't have the capacity to know when it's safe to cross. She's actually walked in front of moving vehicles when someone has taken their eyes off her for a second. I told the HCP about this during her assessment.  She would also not be able to find her way home if she got lost because she doesn't have the capacity to be able to do this. Psychologists reports proved beyond doubt that she's a vulnerable person when outside and would be at risk if she were to go out unaccompanied. She has one 2 one support all the time when she's at college and is not to be left alone. The contacted the college to verify this. 

    What i'm saying is that you have to give examples and saying it's partial preference that you don't go out alone will not score you 12 points here. 
    I agree, but if that is the truth then that is the only thing you can say.
    I wouldn't want anybody to think that if they don't use the words 'partial preference' they would get an award - they probably will. However that award will have been obtained by fraud.
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