The DWP appear to be planning to only pay the enhanced rate of the mobility component of personal independence payment (PIP)on physical grounds to claimants whose mobility is so restricted that they have difficulties moving between rooms indoors. Those who can manage indoors but have difficulty outdoors may only be awarded the lower rate of the mobility component.
The evidence is contained at page 74 of the DWP document ‘Government response to the consultation on the personal independence payment assessment criteria and regulations’ which you can download from a link on this page.
Although the document begins by saying, in relation to ‘Moving around’:
“This activity should be judged in relation to a type of surface normally expected out of doors such as pavements on the flat and includes the consideration of kerbs.”
It goes on to add that:
“20 metres is considered to be the distance that a claimant is required to be able to walk in order to achieve a basic level of independence in the home such as the ability to move between rooms.
“50 metres is considered to be the distance that a claimant is required to be able to walk in order to achieve a basic level of independence such as the ability to get from a car park to the supermarket.”
Almost identical guidance is give in the ‘PIP Assessment Guide. A DWP guidance document for providers carrying out assessments for Personal Independence Payment’ which states at page 97:
“20 metres is considered to be the distance that a claimant is required to be able to repeatedly walk in order to achieve a basic level of independence in the home.
“50 metres is considered to be the distance that a claimant is required to be able to repeatedly walk in order to achieve a basic level of independence outdoors.”
To score the required 12 points to get enhanced rate mobility for physical health problems alone, a claimant must prove that they can’t stand and move more than 20 metres even using aids and/or with assistance. This means that in the majority of cases the private sector health professionals are likely to be looking for evidence that the claimant has problems with indoor mobility, rather than outdoor, if they are to be awarded the enhanced rate.
Under DLA, if you are unable to walk more than 50 metres you are likely to qualify for the higher rate of the mobility component and whilst aids and appliances are taken into account, you are not required to show you could not manage this distance even with assistance from another person.
It seems then, that without ever disclosing it during consultations, the DWP have decided that PIP higher rate mobility is primarily for people with such restricted mobility that they are unlikely to be fully independent when moving around indoors. Claimants who can manage to move around indoors independently but are very limited in their mobility outdoors may only be eligible for lower rate mobility.