DWP to decide PIP claims using unlawful and discriminatory rules until summer 2018

Thu,19 April 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, welcomed the Government's U-turn as it affects an estimated 164,000 claimants with mental health conditions.

Esther McVey has now announced that both backdated payments and payments to new claimants, based on this decision, cannot be made until new PIP Assessment Guidance has been published.

This Guidance is expected to be published in ‘early' Summer 2018 with first payments, based on it, expected to be made from Summer 2018.

Commenting, Disability Rights UK welfare rights adviser, Ken Butler, said:

“It is appalling that the Secretary is openly pursuing a policy of making unlawful decisions on disabled people’s benefit claims.

“The High Court ruled back in December last year that the PIP regulations were unlawful not just because of lack of any consultation but because they were “blatantly discriminatory against those with mental health impairments.

“And that the Government “wish to save nearly £1 billion a year at the expense of those with mental health impairments is not a reasonable foundation for passing this measure.

“It is difficult to avoid the conclusion that the Government is delaying implementation of the judgment so as to better draft restrictive guidance to limit the effect of the judgment.

“In addition, it is far from certain that those disabled people who have received unlawful decisions will be told when their PIP claim is being reviewed let alone be given the right to challenge any negative review decision.”

Timescale for PIP payments and revised guidance.