Login FormClose

Free, fortnightly PIP, ESA and UC Updates

Over 80,000 claimants and professionals subscribe to the UK's leading source of benefits news.

 

Over 1,000 people who had claimed, or tried to claim the PIP mobility component on mental health grounds completed our survey before we closed it on 22 June. We’re very grateful to everyone who took the time and trouble to share their experiences with us.

And people did take a lot of time and trouble.

The average time spent on the survey was 7 minutes and there were almost 4,000 comments in the ‘Any other information’ boxes that we provided throughout the survey.

They run to over 200 pages of text in a very small font.

Clearly PIP mobility on mental health grounds is an issue that is important to a lot of claimants.

There is more information than we can possibly deal with in a single article, so we are going to divide the survey result into two or more pieces.

In this article we look at:

  • What mobility award members who were forced to move from DLA to PIP received.
  • Whether claimants with more common mental health conditions, such as depression or anxiety, get a mobility component award.
  • What difference having both a mental health condition and a physical health condition makes.

In further articles we’ll be looking at:

  • The main reasons for being turned down for PIP mobility and why they are wrong.
  • Which makes a bigger difference, help from friends and family or help from a welfare rights worker?
  • How crucial is supporting evidence?
  • What mobility questions are asked at the assessment.
  • Your experiences of challenging their mobility decision.

We will be updating our PIP claims guide in the next two weeks to reflect the information we have collected.

We are also running a free two hour webinar for Benefits and Work members on Claiming the PIP mobility component on mental health grounds on 20 July. 

In brief

A quick round-up of the main conclusions of this article.

It’s very definitely worth giving evidence about your mobility issues even if you didn’t get an award of the mobility component for DLA An extraordinary 69% of respondents who were only getting the care component of DLA got an award of the mobility component of PIP.

Don’t assume that getting higher rate DLA mobility will mean that you will get enhanced PIP mobility. 45% of claimants who got the higher rate of the DLA mobility component did not get the enhanced award of PIP.

More common conditions, including anxiety and depression do lead to awards of PIP mobility. Autistic spectrum disorder and PTSD attracted the highest proportion of awards. Nonetheless, 60% of claimants with depression and 67% of claimants with anxiety as their main condition got an award of the mobility component.

Claimants with both physical and mental health conditions are more likely to get the enhanced rate of PIP mobility. However, having co-existing conditions had very little effect on the overall award rate, just on the level of award.

Levels of award

Please note: all the figures below have been rounded, so may not add up to 100%.

69% of those who completed the survey had been awarded PIP mobility on mental health grounds:

No mobility award 31%
Standard rate mobility 34%
Enhanced rate mobility 35 %

DLA to PIP

One of the issues our survey underlined, was the lack of connection between DLA awards and subsequent awards of PIP.

This applies in both directions, with many people getting better mobility awards under PIP than they did for DLA, but others getting lower awards or no awards at all when they were switched.

We asked respondents, what award of DLA they were getting before they were moved to PIP:

No award 39%
Care component only 5%
Lower rate mobility 39%
Higher rate mobility 17%

Of those who were only getting the care component of DLA before being moved to PIP:

No mobility award 31%
Standard rate mobility 41%
Enhanced rate mobility 28%
(Any award 69%)

This was a relatively small sample, 54 people in total. But it remains the case that the majority of them went from getting no mobility under DLA, to getting an award when they moved to PIP with over a quarter getting the enhanced rate.

For those who had been getting the lower rate of the mobility component of DLA before being moved to PIP:

No mobility award 32%
Standard rate mobility 32%
Enhanced rate mobility 35%
(Any award 67%)

Almost one third of this group lost their mobility award altogether, whilst slightly over one third moved up to the enhanced rate on transfer to PIP.

Many people who had been getting the higher rate of the mobility component of DLA lost out on moving to PIP.

No mobility award 12%
Standard rate mobility 33%
Enhanced rate mobility 55%
(Any award 88%)

So, more than one in ten lost their award, whilst a third went down to the standard rate. Just over half moved from higher rate DLA mobility to enhanced PIP mobility.

Conditions

Anxiety and depression were the two most common main conditions reported by people who completed the survey, making up 40% of respondents between them.

Rather not say 2%
Anxiety 25%
Depression 15%
Bipolar disorder 7%
Obsessive-compulsive disorder 1%
Personality disorder 7%
Autistic spectrum disorder 8%
Post-traumatic stress disorder 10%
Psychosis 4%
Substance dependency 0.1%
Learning difficulties 3%
Other 18%

For some conditions, the sample was too small to draw any real conclusions.

Amongst the rest, overall award rates ranged from 60% for claimants experiencing depression up to 75% for autistic spectrum disorder (ASD).

Awards of the enhanced rate varied even more widely, from 22% for depression to 43% for ASD.

Anxiety
No mobility award 33%
Standard rate mobility 36%
Enhanced rate mobility 31%
(Any award 67%)

Depression
No mobility award 40%
Standard rate mobility 38%
Enhanced rate mobility 22%
(Any award 60%)

Bipolar disorder
No mobility award 41%
Standard rate mobility 30%
Enhanced rate mobility 30%
(Any award 60%)

Personality disorder
No mobility award 36%
Standard rate mobility 26%
Enhanced rate mobility 38%
(Any award 64%)

Autistic spectrum disorder
No mobility award 25%
Standard rate mobility 32%
Enhanced rate mobility 43%
(Any award 75%)

Post-traumatic stress disorder
No mobility award 27%
Standard rate mobility 32%
Enhanced rate mobility 41%
(Any award 73%)

When the DWP compile statistics about disability benefit claims, they select one condition as ‘the main disabling’ one and base their figures around that.

In a similar way, we asked respondents to choose the condition that they consider had the most effect on their mobility.

What became clear was that for a significant proportion of respondents, singling out one condition as the major one was not straightforward. Many people are dealing with a range of conditions that may be relevant to a PIP mobility award, as they explained in their responses:

"I suffer with both depression and anxiety, panic attacks etc, so not sure which one"

"PTSD, social anxiety and personality disorder all 3 too debilitating to not be main condition"

"There isn't one main health issue, it's the combination of diagnosed General Anxiety, Social Anxiety, Chronic Depression & Borderline Personality Disorder. They all impact my mobility depending on the day."

"I have a clinically diagnosed personality disorder and PTSD. However, it is the anxiety caused by these diagnoses that affects my mobility."

This may mean that some people who we have recorded as receiving an award mainly for depression, say or anxiety, may have had other mental health issues too.

It remains true, however, that an award of PIP mobility on the grounds of more common mental health conditions is a real possibility.

What was also clear though, was that some people had never been made aware that an award of the PIP mobility component could be made on mental health grounds.

"I didn't think mental health were grounds for mobility"

"I did not know an award was possible on mental health"

"I was surprised to actually, at appeal, get the award of PIP mobility on mental health grounds. I initially did not claim the mobility component of PIP, because it was not at all apparent to me that I could get it."

Others were aware of the possibility, but were given little opportunity by the assessor to provide relevant evidence or, if they did give it, that evidence was not recorded in the report.

"The assessor basically had no interest in my mental health whatsoever even tho I had seen many many different professions over the years"

"When I had a home visit they were not very interested in my mental health only asked if I was able to go outside and how far I could walk"

"I had evidence to show I needed support on journeys for both mental and physical disabilities. The mental disabilities were completely omitted from the report, despite lengthy discussion at the f2f assessment."

All this underlines the value of understanding the qualifying criteria and giving as much detailed evidence as possible in your claim form. It may be ignored by the assessor and the decision maker, but it will not be ignored by most tribunals.

Combined mental and physical health

Two thirds of respondents, 66%, said that they also had a physical health condition that affected their mobility.

Almost 400 people used the ‘Any other information’ box to tell us what their physical health condition was.

Around 25% listed arthritis, making it by far the most common condition.

Next most frequent was fibromyalgia, which was mentioned by around 14% of respondents.

Other conditions which appeared repeatedly were, back problems, COPD, ME/CFS and diabetes.

For many, there were numerous physical conditions.

Surprisingly, having both physical and mental health conditions had little effect on the overall award rate. 70% of those with a physical health condition as well as a mental health one got an award of the mobility component, compared to 67% of those who did not have a physical health condition.

Where it did make a major difference, however, was in the level of the award. 39% of claimants with a physical health condition got the enhanced rate, compared to 27% of those with no co-existing physical condition.

Physical and mental health
No mobility award 30%
Standard rate mobility 31%
Enhanced rate mobility 39%
(Any award 70%)

Physical health only
No mobility award 33%
Standard rate mobility 40%
Enhanced rate mobility 27%
(Any award 67%)

Clearly, if you have both physical and mental health conditions it is very important that you give details of how both affect you, even if you consider one to be relatively minor. An additional 4 points for being unable to walk more than 200 metres would mean an extra almost £40 a week for claimants who can follow familiar routes but not unfamiliar ones.

But, whatever your condition, don’t be put off claiming because people tell you that you can’t get PIP mobility for mental health – that very definitely isn’t the case.

And, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect disabled people so disproportionately, there are likely to be many more claimants who develop conditions including PTSD, anxiety and depression or who have their existing conditions exacerbated. Relatives and carers of people who are seriously affected by COVID-19 may also experience mental health issues. And all this at a time when treatment is much harder to access. As a result, many more people may meet the eligibility conditions for PIP mobility.

We’ll have more information from the survey over the next two weeks and, if you are a subscribing member, you can register for our free webinar on claiming the PIP mobility component on mental health grounds on 20 July.