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PIP regulations to be amended

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Daphne
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Statement just out saying PIP regs to be amended and regulations are being laid but not yet published.

Looks like amendment to daily living activity 3 and mobility activity 1 -

Two recent Upper Tribunal judgments have broadened the way the PIP assessment criteria should be interpreted, going beyond the original intention. In order to make sure the initial purpose of PIP is maintained, we are making drafting amendments to the criteria which provide greater clarity. This will not result in any claimants seeing a reduction in the amount of PIP previously awarded by DWP.

The first judgment held that needing support to take medication and monitor a health condition should be scored in the same way as needing support to manage therapy, like dialysis, undertaken at home. Until this ruling, the assessment made a distinction between these two groups, on the basis that people who need support to manage therapy of this kind are likely to have a higher level of need, and therefore face higher costs.

The second held that someone who cannot make a journey without assistance due to psychological distress should be scored in the same way as a person who needs assistance because they have difficulties navigating. By way of example, the first group might include some people with isolated social phobia or anxiety, whereas the second group might include some people who are blind. Until this ruling, the assessment made a distinction between these two groups, on the basis that people who cannot navigate, due to a visual or cognitive impairment, are likely to have a higher level of need, and therefore face higher costs.

If not urgently addressed, the operational complexities could undermine the consistency of assessments, leading to confusion for all those using the legislation, including claimants, assessors, and the courts.

Due to the ‘urgency’ of the amendments the regulations are not being referred to the SSAC…

Edit - regulations now out…

      [ Edited: 23 Feb 2017 at 04:56 pm by Daphne ]
stevenmcavoy
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feeling of dread when i seen this on the home page.  going to read them now and see if justified!

     
shawn
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Press release now out with a link to an Equality Analysis:

This is not a policy change and will not result in any claimants seeing a reduction in the amount of PIP previously awarded by the Department for Work and Pensions. The purpose is to restore the original intention of the benefit which has been expanded by the legal judgments.

.... Failing to reinstate the original intention of the policy would have led to substantial unplanned increases to public expenditure totalling £3.7 billion (between 2016 to 2017 and 2021 to 2022).

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/changes-to-personal-independence-payment-regulations

 

     
Steph F
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does this mean that people requiring assistance with tens machine and creams etc. are no longer due the points..

     
Dan Manville
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I really hoped that this Govt would move away from the knee jerk legislation that characterised IDS’s reign. Instead we see it will continue apace.

     
davidsmithp1000
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Steph F - 24 February 2017 08:32 AM

does this mean that people requiring assistance with tens machine and creams etc. are no longer due the points..

It’s difficult to put your finger on what amounts to extra costs - but this tries to draw a line between ‘managing therapy’ and ‘manage medication or monitor a health condition’;

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/593392/pip-assessment-criteria-equality-analysis.pdf

     
Phil R
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Why are we bothering? The government continues to simply change any legislation or court ruling it disagrees with. Democracy at work.

     
John Birks
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because ....... It illustrates once again the gaps left in the drafting of that Schedule, requiring a large expenditure of effort to render its provisions coherent and thus making it ineffective as a simple day-to-day test of disability needs to be applied by non-lawyers.

     
Peter Turville
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John Birks - 24 February 2017 11:47 AM

because ....... It illustrates once again the gaps left in the drafting of that Schedule, requiring a large expenditure of effort to render its provisions coherent and thus making it ineffective as a simple day-to-day test of disability needs to be applied by non-lawyers.

Because the drafting of the legislation was intended to make “the benefit fairer, more straightforward to administer, and for it to be easier and clearer to understand” and negate the need and scope for the regulations to be interpreted by the upper tribunal and higher courts.

And that was done by introducing a raft of definitions particularly in Regs 4, 7 & Sch. 1 that have to be read together and interpreted and applied to the facts of the individual case acroos the whole range of conditions and disabilities.

Also by reproducing the assessement process that had failed so lamentably failed to achieve the same objective for IB/IS and ESA for best part of 2 decades by trying to fit individuals into complex legally defined boxes (functional Activities) as a proxy test that bares little relationship to the real cost of disability (or capability for work), real life etc.

All of which has the caviat attached to it - we could see it coming a mile off even of you couldn’t!

But then I’m just bitter and twisted having had to grapple with the application of MH, SB and other decisions to the facts of a case at tribunal this morning!

     
Benny Fitzpatrick
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I seem to remember the original purpose of PIP was simply about saving money. This seems in keeping with that intention.

I wonder why they actually bother with the pretence that they have any consideration for those with disabilities. (Or with the pretence that anyone in the DWP has any shred of humanity, for that matter!)

     
shawn
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From the FT:

... Labour and the Liberal Democrats are preparing to resist the move, threatening a repeat of the row which last year forced George Osborne, former chancellor, to abandon plans to cut £4.4bn in tax credits for low-income families ...

Labour is expected to raise the issue in an urgent Commons question on Monday and Liberal Democrats in the House of Lords are planning a “fatal motion” intended to block the changes when they are put to the upper house next month.

More: https://www.ft.com/content/2b3a7aa8-faa8-11e6-9516-2d969e0d3b65

     
shawn
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Head of No.10 Policy Unit:

“These tweaks are actually about rolling back some bizarre decisions by tribunals that now mean benefits are being given to people who are taking pills at home, who suffer from anxiety.

We want to make sure we get the money to the really disabled people who need it.

... I total understand anxiety and so does the Prime Minister. We’ve set out in the mental health strategy how seriously we take it.

My point was that these PIP reforms are partly about rolling back some frankly bizarre decisions in tribunals which have seen money that should go to the most disabled spent on people with really much less urgent conditions.”

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/02/26/no-10-policy-head-george-freeman-says-disability-payments-should/

 

     
Paul_Treloar_AgeUK
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2 UT decisions from end of November 2016 and the effect is that urgent changes to regulations must be rushed through.

Meanwhile, a Supreme Court ruling on bedroom tax at the start of the November and we hear…...nothing.

     
Jane OP
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Looking at the new mob regs, to qualify any need for help planning or need to be accompanied on a journey must be “For reasons other than psychological distress”, and the regs define psychological distress as “distress related to an enduring mental health condition or an intellectual or cognitive impairment”

So, the new regs don’t say outright that you can’t score for issues relating to a MH, LD or cognitive impairment. But if your MH, LD or cognitive impairment causes distress and that distress affects your mobility that doesn’t count.

For example if someone was very distracted, preoccupied etc so that they got lost a lot, but were not ‘distressed’ about it they could qualify?  Or if someone had hallucinations or delusions that impaired their route finding ability as long as they were not ‘distressed’ they could qualify? If someone has LD and got lost very easily they would qualify as long as they didn’t find that upsetting?

What a strange criteria!

     
Phil R
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Benny Fitzpatrick - 24 February 2017 03:32 PM

I seem to remember the original purpose of PIP was simply about saving money. This seems in keeping with that intention.

I wonder why they actually bother with the pretence that they have any consideration for those with disabilities. (Or with the pretence that anyone in the DWP has any shred of humanity, for that matter!)

I worked for the DWP for a number of years and there are plenty of people with humanity. Unfortunately, the higher up the ladder they go, the less humane they become.

     
HB Anorak
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Jane OP - 27 February 2017 10:51 AM

Looking at the new mob regs, to qualify any need for help planning or need to be accompanied on a journey must be “For reasons other than psychological distress”, and the regs define psychological distress as “distress related to an enduring mental health condition or an intellectual or cognitive impairment”

So, the new regs don’t say outright that you can’t score for issues relating to a MH, LD or cognitive impairment. But if your MH, LD or cognitive impairment causes distress and that distress affects your mobility that doesn’t count.

For example if someone was very distracted, preoccupied etc so that they got lost a lot, but were not ‘distressed’ about it they could qualify?  Or if someone had hallucinations or delusions that impaired their route finding ability as long as they were not ‘distressed’ they could qualify? If someone has LD and got lost very easily they would qualify as long as they didn’t find that upsetting?

What a strange criteria!

That’s not quite how I read it, I think they are attempting surgical regulation that will prevent mobility awards to people whose only obstacle to planning or undertaking a journey is psychological distress, unless it is on the “overwhelming” scale under descriptor (e).  Obviously someone with LD who cannot plan a journey or undertake one unaided might well experience distress if they get lost, but it isn’t the distress in itself that earns the points, it’s the inability to plan or undertake to an acceptable standard in the first place. Being distressed as well isn’t going to prevent points being awarded.