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mobility award for someone who can cycle

 

JAS1
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Advice Worker, Gaddum Centre

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Happy Christmas,

Has anyone ever managed to get someone who has problems with walking, but who is able to cycle, on to PIP mobility?

Client’s argument is that cycling involves totally different impact on joints, muscles, bones etc than walking does. Walking is painful and she stumbles often but she can cycle as it is much softer impact.

She is right, but is there any case to be made for PIP on this basis?

Cheers

     
Damian
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Although it is different the same bones and joints are involved and mostly the same muscles. Walking is not really high impact like running I think it would need quite a bit of explaining why using those joints, bones, muscles to cycle isn’t restricted by pain if she does any significant amount of cycling.

     
ClairemHodgson
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what is wrong with her might be relevant as well.

If, for example, her issues are in her feet/ankles when she weight-bears, but not in her hips/knees ... for instance, a neuropathy in the feet making it painful to walk might not be relevant to cycling (but, on the other hand, might be…)

it would be very difficult, i would have thought, and require very persuasive MEDICAL evidence in support of your client’s own evidence.

     
Peter Turville
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Aside from weight bearing etc cycling uses muscles in different combinations / co-ordination so persons with some conditions say they find cycling easier than walking e.g. MS, Parkinson’s, muscular dystrophy (without considering an electric bike) and I can testify that riding a bike is a lot less painful than walking during an attack of gout!

     
neilbateman
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According to a book on cycling and health I read a few years ago, half the body weight is supported on the cycle saddle, so that alone can make it easier to cycle than walk.

     
past caring
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It’s definitely different.

I have, periodically, had a problem with my right knee where it would ‘go’ after twisting it laterally when playing football. I could barely walk for the week or so it took to clear up. But because there is no lateral knee movement involved in cycling I could do that without problem. My dad had really bad arthritis in his right knee and his mobility was barely improved by a replacement surgery - but he was able to cycle for miles, well into his late 70s, even when he could barely walk to the bottom of the road.

     
A Stavert
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I’ve not tried it yet with PIP but did get a client into UC support group at tribunal last week. At the time of the disputed decision he could not repeatedly mobilise 50m due to chronic bilateral knee pain.  It was not reasonable to use a wheelchair as he also has an intermittent shoulder problem which would be aggravated by propelling a wheelchair. 
When his shoulder wasn’t hurting he would cycle for exercise (he is trying to lose weight so he can have his knees replaced) but could only manage four or five miles and couldn’t do hills.  Tribunal accepted cycling is not the same as walking.  They were very sympathetic, especially as he can’t now cycle at all as some scumbag stole his bike.

I have arthritis which fortunately is well controlled at present.  At its worse my hip was so stiff that I could only hobble short distances.  I discovered that not only did my hip not affect cycling at all but a thirty mile bike ride did more to kill the pain and ease the stiffness than any amount of anti-inflammatories.

     
Dan Manville
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It’s been said already but…

I had a client with a knee deformity and once every few years they would take more bone out of the knee joint. I was gobsmacked when I saw him on his bike but it was under medical advice as the knee isn’t taking too much strain when cycling.

High Rate mob DLA was awarded by Tribunal.

     
JAS1
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This has been very helpful, thanks all for the responses!

Glad to know it’s possible although may require evidence/challenging

     
Paul_Treloar_AgeUK
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Would the bicycle be seen as an aid for the purposes of the descriptor?

     
AliceBWC
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I successfully argued at tribunal that my client should be awarded standard rate mobility on the basis that his mobility is limited despite riding a bicycle almost daily.  My client had two bikes, one of which was a lightweight fold up that he rode short distances to the shops and then used as an ‘aid’ (once folded) to support him as he walked around the shopping centre.  The second bike which he used for longer distances was a ‘sit up and beg’ style and had been adapted to include a shorter distance between the seat and handle bar and wider and more upright handle bars.  Along similar lines to the other commenters, my client was able to explain the difference between walking and riding e.g. less weight bearing, different muscles used and joints used in a different way to walking.  He also explained that prior to his health issues he had ridden seriously long distances, but now could not even try and manage that.  The judge was most interested in these points and asked a lot of questions (in a good way) which made me quite intrigued.  It turned out that he was also a keen cyclist which I found out when I was out in the local area and saw him commuting on and off the train.

     
Dan Manville
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Paul_Treloar_AgeUK - 03 January 2019 11:44 AM

Would the bicycle be seen as an aid for the purposes of the descriptor?

Stand and then move… Using a bicycle would involve additional components; stand, climb onto a bike, then move, the “climbing on” bit might be more difficult for a lot of people who score without ever being able to use a bike.

I think a bike is therefore out of scope as an aid in this context.

     
Paul_Treloar_AgeUK
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Dan Manville - 03 January 2019 01:05 PM

Stand and then move… Using a bicycle would involve additional components; stand, climb onto a bike, then move, the “climbing on” bit might be more difficult for a lot of people who score without ever being able to use a bike.

I think a bike is therefore out of scope as an aid in this context.

After the saga of the invisible wheelchair and all the fun and games that’s entailed, I do hope that you’re right Dan.