The government has announced it’s draft PIP regulations now all of the consultations have closed. Two of the biggest issues with these draft regulations are as follows;
- Changing the criteria for enhanced mobility component of PIP for those with physical difficulties getting around - in a nutshell the Government has now decided that anyone who can walk more than 20 metres (it was initially supposed to be 50m) does not reach the threshold for the enhanced mobility component (unless they have difficulty planning and following a journey). The DWP itself admits that 42% fewer claimants will be awarded the enhanced mobility component that would be the case if DLA continued. We estimate about 200 people in each constituency will be affected by the loss of their car, Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle or wheelchair. That’s over 100,000 people losing out on access to the crucial Motability scheme. Higher rate DLA (which is being replaced with the enhanced mobility component) is also a gateway to many other benefits such as disabled persons travel cards taxi-schemes, bus passes and fast-track access to the blue badge scheme. It has been hinted that the enhanced mobility will take over where Higher rate DLA leaves off. So the impact of this is even more than just the loss of monthly income & cars/wheelchairs.
- Excluding the qualification that claimants must be able to perform an activity‘safely, reliably, repeatedly and in a timely manner’ from the regulations themselves. Campaigners, myself included, fear is that if these qualifiers are not included in the regulations, they will not be legally enforceable and tribunals may not be able to apply them on appeal. The Spartacus Campaign Group hope to get some legal advice on this as quickly as possible. If you combine this with the change above it means that theoretically someone who could walk a maximum of 25m once a month could have their mobility competent removed. A disaster for anyone with even a vaguely fluctuating condition.
We have very little time to persuade MP’s that this is not acceptable. Please do what you can.
Hardest Hit have put a ‘contact your MP’ tool on their website and the Spartacus Campaign Group have provided information and a link to this and other resources at http://wearespartacus.org.
A letter/email often works best but if you don’t feel up to it there are other ways you can get in contact; you can tweet your MP or post on their facebook page if they have one to spread the word.
Fibrogirl has provided some handy graphics to help illustarate the 20m rule to MPs on her blog such as the following;
Courtesy of Pseudo Living