26 July 2007
The DWP has updated requirements for medical evidence relating to the higher rate of the mobility component on new and renewal claims.
The May issue of Decision Makers Exchange reveals that guidance to decision makers about 'safeguarding' awards of higher rate mobility have been altered. The new guidance is as follows:
"23. Safeguarding is a measure introduced to ensure that awards of the HR mobility component are not made unless medical evidence is available. It requires that medical evidence must be obtained whenever an award of HR mobility component is being considered as a result of a new claim. It is also required when renewing an existing award of HR mobility/HR care and H/R mobility/middle rate (MR) care, even if evidence was obtained for the earlier award. This evidence must be a medical report (GPFR, HFR, EMP report, IB85 etc) or medical evidence gathered over the telephone by Medical Services from the customer's GP or health care professional (HCP). As long as the medical adviser records in writing the information received from the GP/HCP and explains how their advice is based on this information, this is acceptable.
It is not necessary to obtain mandatory medical evidence under the Safeguarding process where it is clear to the Decision Maker from the evidence available that an award of HR mobility component is not appropriate.
Note: Medical evidence for safeguarding the H/R mobility component is not needed in the following cases:
Severe Mental Impairment (SMI)
Invalid Vehicle Scheme Beneficiaries (rare but possible)
Deaf and Blind"
The main changes to the guidance appear to be the introduction of IB85 incapacity for work reports as acceptable medical evidence, the explicit instruction that there is no need to obtain medical evidence where it is clear that an award is not appropriate and the list of categories for which an award can be made without medical evidence. It is perhaps surprising that severe mental impairment appears on this list.