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The Court of Appeal has decided that the DWP’s consultation on personal independence payment (PIP), which initially hid the fact that the qualifying mobility distance was to be reduced from 50 metres to 20 metres, was fair. The decision brings to an end any hopes of avoiding an estimated 548,000 working age disability living allowance (DLA) claimants losing their higher rate mobility award on being forced to apply for PIP.

Second consultation
The original consultation into PIP failed to disclose the reduction in the qualifying distance which will lead to many thousands of current higher rate DLA mobility claimants having their award cut or stopped altogether.

The legality of the consultation process was then challenged by a disabled claimant who launched a judicial review.

As a result, before the case could be heard, the DWP hastily arranged a second consultation just on this issue. In spite of overwhelming opposition to the reduction, the DWP went ahead with the planned cut.

In the Court of Appeal, the claimant’s representatives argued that the consultation was not fair because by the time it took place legislation had already been enacted and systems put in place for the 20 metre rule to be used. They claimed that because of this there was no genuine possibility of the second consultation making any difference.

548,000 to lose out
The judges accepted that, because of the changes, by 2018 there were expected to be 602,000 PIP enhanced mobility component claimants as opposed to 1,030,00 claimants who would have got disability living allowance (DLA) higher rate mobility.

In addition, the judges also accepted that, because more claimants are likely to qualify for PIP mobility on mental health grounds than under DLA, the number of claimants with physical health conditions who will lose out will be even higher than the 400,000 indicated.

In fact, the DWP estimated in their response to the second PIP consultation that 548,000 (61%) of the 892,000 working age claimants who were getting higher rate mobility DLA in 2013 will have lost it by 2018 as a result of the transfer to PIP.

349,000 (39%) are expected to be left with no mobility award at all and 199,000 (22%) with standard instead of enhanced mobility.

However, the Court of Appeal held that the fact that many claimants with physical health conditions would lose out was clear at the time of the second consultation.

They also found that by holding the second consultation the DWP had remedied what might otherwise have been an unfair process and that the minister had approached the issue with an open mind at the time of the second consultation.

‘Not perfect’
In the words of Lord Justice McCombe:

“As I understand the law, consultation has to be fair; it does not have to be perfect. With the benefit of hindsight, it will no doubt often be possible to show that a consultation could have been carried out rather better, but that will not necessarily mean that it was unfair.”

These are words which will no doubt encourage the DWP when they draw up bogus new consultations for future benefit cuts.

But for working age claimants with a higher rate DLA mobility award due to a physical health condition, they could not be more disastrous.

You can read the full Court of Appeal judgement here.

You can download the DWP’s response to the second PIP consultation here.


#6 Shitmagnet55 2015-10-27 16:14
I'm absolutely gobsmacked! Whatever next? I'm only on support until next march and lower pip till 2017 apparently! We all need to stand sit or lie together on these changes! Where to start? Me thinks a naked stroll stopping every 20m of course to catch my breath! With banner held high??? By someone else! Lol! Or video of my day.night? Wish it could be of inside my head ,the dark worrying place planning things it oughtn't!
#5 sarahj63 2015-10-24 22:04
I am disgusted my husband earlier this year was awarded dla high rate mobility indefinitely but had to claim for pip and now has been declined either rate of mobility. They don't seem to listen to a word you say even when you do go to an assessment.
#4 Inspectorpob 2015-10-22 21:41
I have my tribunal hearing for the higher rate of mobility on the 30th. Really terrified I will lose what I have. Will post when I have my outcome. God help me I am petrified
#3 kelly 2015-10-22 18:54
I am waiting for my case to go to court at the moment. When they made their decision they went only by the medical assessment No GP report. When I first contacted them they asked if they could use my DLA reports which I said YES. Now they are telling me that DLA reports do not count when making a decision. I have claimed DLA for 20 Years and now I am losing my mobility car which means I might have to give my job up as I am unable to travel on public transport. I will let you know how my case goes.
#2 shell 2015-10-21 10:50
does any one know if anyone has won a case in the courts where it has involved adults and the dwp or do we need to have alook at the connections between judges and the gov and the companies working for the dwp
#1 ThisGovernmentsGoneToFar 2015-10-21 00:19
Ok looks like I'm gonna have to try a find a cheap old banger, my high rate mobility DLA car goes back looks like I'm gonna be a buggered when transferred to PIP. O what joy. Does not look good for us.

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