DR UK welcomes Govt decision not to appeal PIP psychological distress judgement

Thu,18 January 2018
News Benefits

In December 2017, a High Court decision found that PIP mobility component regulation changes, which affected those with psychological distress, were unlawful.

The Government had considered appealing this decision but Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Esther McVey has now confirmed that the DWP will not appeal

Disability Rights UK, who supported this case, welcome the Government's U-turn as it affects an estimated 164,000 claimants with mental health conditions.

You can read reports of the Government's announcement on the BBC and Guardian websites.


From 16 March 2017, new PIP regulations prevented an award of the enhanced PIP mobility rate in cases where someone cannot follow the route of a familiar journey without another person unless it is “for reasons other than psychological distress”.

This meant that those with serious mental health conditions, who are unable to plan or undertake a journey because of overwhelming psychological distress were only entitled to a lower level of support, if any. 

The High Court decision

The Public Law Project’s client, RF, won on all three grounds of her challenge to these changes.

The High Court Judge:

  • quashed the new regulations because they discriminate against those with disabilities in breach of Human Rights Act 1998 obligations
  • declared that the Secretary of State did not have lawful power to make the regulations (i.e. they were ‘ultra vires’) and should have consulted before making them

RF’s claim was supported by The National Autistic Society, Inclusion London, Revolving Doors and Disability Rights UK, Mind and the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC).

Read Public Law Project press release

Read judgment - RF v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions