PIP, DLA and AA
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PIP walking distance measurements

MatildaMatilda Member Posts: 2,616 Disability Gamechanger
edited May 2017 in PIP, DLA and AA
My understanding is that PIP mobility points are awarded for ability/inability to walk outdoors, using pavements and kerbs, not indoors on a level surface.  Therefore, should only a claimant's ability to walk outdoors be assessed and their ability to walk indoors disregarded (up to a point)?

Would a PIP tribunal ignore the distance a claimant could walk indoors, as long as it wasn't more than about twice as far as their ability to walk outdoors?  Or would a tribunal assume that the distance a claimant could walk indoors and outdoors would be the same?




Replies

  • BenefitsTrainingCoBenefitsTrainingCo Member Posts: 2,692 Pioneering
    Hi Matilda,

    You are right, points are awarded in relation to the type of surface experienced out of doors, not indoors. Dealing with pavements, roads and kerbs should be taken into account.

    As regards ability to walk indoors, I would not go so far as to say it should be disregarded. But in taking it into account, a tribunal should consider the differences between walking indoors on a level surface (where, for example, you might be near a wall for support if necessary, and the level surface makes things much quicker) and the very different challenge of walking outdoors. I think it would almost certainly be an error of law for a tribunal to assume you could walk the same distance indoors and out.

    Obviously though if your ability to walk indoors appeared to be completely unimpaired compared to people without your condition, then it would not be unreasonable for the tribunal to factor this into consideration of your walking out of doors.

    The 'twice as long' principle only comes into play when comparing the activity (mobilising outdoors) to that of someone without a disability. I don't think it would necessarily relate to comparing indoor and outdoor walking. As with everything else in PIP, if you feel your ability in and out of doors is very different, then the more evidence you can provide about the difficulties you experience outdoors, the better.

    When is your tribunal hearing Matilda? I do hope it goes well for you.

    Will
    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
  • MatildaMatilda Member Posts: 2,616 Disability Gamechanger
    edited May 2017
    Thank you, Will.

    My hearing is this Wed, 24 May.

    I have stated in all my written submissions that I cannot walk more than 20 metres outdoors (on bad days which average five out of seven) without needing to stop and rest.

    If asked by a panel member how far I can walk indoors, would I be 'safe' to estimate 30 metres - or 'safer' sticking to 20 metres for indoors as well.?

    The Disability Rights Handbook says that, while tribunals are not allowed formally to measure how far claimants can walk, they do observe how they walk into the hearing room.  So, they make a judgement based on indoor walking.

    Even indoors I can only walk very slowly, using a stick, and have a limp.  Sitting down (and getting up) is difficult because of stiff knee joints - I have to 'fall' onto a chair, even dining-chair height.

    So no way would my walking indoors appear to be unimpaired compared with someone without my condition (rheumatoid arthritis).

    As far as comparing my walking, indoors or outdoors, with someone without a disability is concerned, it takes me at least four times as long as anyone who walks at an average pace to cover 20 metres.






  • BenefitsTrainingCoBenefitsTrainingCo Member Posts: 2,692 Pioneering
    Hi Matilda,

    Yes, the tribunal will observe your indoor walking, but they are unlikely to see very much of it. They are in a room and you only go in when you are called. They may of course make assumptions about how far you walked from the door of the building, but they are unlikely to have seen it. 

    As regards what is 'safe' to say about your indoor walking, I would be as honest as possible. The tribunal will judge all your verbal evidence according to how reliable they think it is, so be up front. If your indoor walking is a little further, say so, and explain why.

    It's very unfortunate but sitting down doesn't come into it, although standing does. The most important thing perhaps is to make sure that you explain that regardless of terrain, covering the same ground as someone who has no health issues would take you at least four times as long.

    Be prepared for the tribunal to ask you questions about how you got to the venue; these are almost always asked. If you experience problems moving from the front door to the waiting area, and then again getting up from the waiting are to walk into the tribunal hearing room, then I would mention this.

    All the very best for Wednesday.

    Will
    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
  • MatildaMatilda Member Posts: 2,616 Disability Gamechanger
    Thank you very much Will.


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