An Upper Tribunal Appeal judgement means that mentally ill people who need to be accompanied on unfamiliar journeys will likely be denied eligibility for Personal Independence Payment (PIP).
The tribunal ruled that the PIP descriptor “Cannot follow the route of an unfamiliar journey without another person, assistance dog or orientation aid” only applies to a disabled person’s ability to navigate ‘in terms of following a route’.
People who meet the requirement of the descriptor are awarded 10 points, which on its own is enough to be eligible for the low rate PIP mobility component – worth £21.80 per week.
The new judgement overrules a previous decision that allowed mentally ill people prone to anxiety or panic attacks, and whom need to be accompanied, the “planning and following a journey” PIP mobility components.
Those affected by the ruling may still meet the requirements of PIP descriptor “Needs prompting to be able to undertake any journey to avoid overwhelming psychological distress to the claimant”, which is awarded just 4 points – not enough to qualify for PIP on its own.