As readers of previous SIBF news items will be aware, over the past few months the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has been undertaking work to implement the findings of the Upper Tribunal in the case of mental health, relating to how overwhelming psychological distress is considered when assessing a PIP claimants’ ability to plan and follow a journey.
The Department has now published updated guidance to reflect the Upper Tribunal judgment in mental health in order to implement the changes arising from the review:
The Minister for Disabled People has laid a Ministerial Statement in Parliament confirming this, which can be found here:
The Minister’s statement included the following:
‘On 2nd November 2017 the Department published updated guidance following an Upper Tribunal judgment on RJ that was handed down on 9th March 2017 on how the Department considers a claimant to be carrying out an activity safely and whether they need supervision to do so. The review exercise will now also look back at PIP claims to consider whether an increase in entitlement should be awarded as a result of RJ.
In addition, the Department is also beginning a review of approximately 420 PIP cases where the main disabling condition is haemophilia to identify and review claimants with haemarthropathy, following feedback from external stakeholders that the functional needs of claimants with haemarthropathy were not being adequately assessed. We expect this exercise to be completed in 6 weeks. ‘
Case Managers will now be applying the new guidance to all decisions from 26th June and the administrative exercise to identify affected claimants (either those already on the caseload, or who have made a claim for PIP since the original judgment) will now commence. This exercise will look back at these claims to apply the decisions of both mental health and review judements (relating to safety and supervision) in order to identify claimants who are affected and may be entitled to more support. Payments will then be backdated to the effective date in each individual case. There is also a plain English description of the changes and the administrative exercise available here: www.gov.uk/government/publications/personal-independence-payment-changes