Benefits Expert: The complex law around Personal Independence Payments
Q. I have just seen a news report about a court case concerning disability benefits.
It stated that people who claimed and were refused Personal Independence Payments (PIP) for mobility needs may have had their claim turned down incorrectly.
It also stated that such cases will be automatically reviewed.
I get PIP but I don’t know if this case is relevant to myself and if I need to do anything. Can you tell me more about this?
A. The High Court recently held that certain regulations for Personal Independence Payments (PIP) were discriminatory for people with mental health conditions and as a result claims will need to be reviewed.
This is a complex area of law but in essence people with mental health conditions who suffered from psychological distress when walking were not able to claim the enhanced rate of the mobility component.
The decision of the High Court has held that the regulations are no longer lawful and the government has indicated it will abide by this decision.
The government has also indicated it will take steps to identify those claimants who may benefit from the change in law.
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How this will be done has not yet been clarified and as always we would advise you to seek further advice.
For example it would appear that only current live claims for PIP will be reassessed.
Some people may have made a claim and been refused and not taken steps to challenge the initial decision.
Other claimants might have received the equivalent rate when they received Disability Living Allowance, transferred to PIP and lost or had the mobility component reduced in payment.
Claimants in this position potentially may not be picked up in the review.
It is likely that more information will be forthcoming in due course but if you believe you may benefit from the decision and have not claimed or if you currently receive PIP and think you may benefit then seek further advice.