April 2017 – PIP Changes to Enhanced Rate Mobility Component
While amending regulations prevent someone acquiring entitlement to the enhanced rate of mobility because of the effects of psychological distress, the change does not entirely negate the effect of the reference to a mental condition which gives entitlement to the mobility component at the enhanced rate if the persons ability to carry out mobility activities is severely limited by the persons physical or mental condition.
According to the Department of Works & Pensions (DWP) this is because there are circumstances where a person suffering from a mental condition may be entitled to the mobility component at the enhanced rate.
Responding to a request by the Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments to clarify whether recent amendments meant that a person with a mental condition could never be entitled to the mobility component at the enhanced rate, the DWP set out a list - which it highlights is non-exhaustive – of situations where a person with a mental condition (unaccompanied by a physical condition) could meet the necessary criteria. This included the following situations
A person with a cognitive impairment who cannot, due to their impairment, work out where to go, follow directions or deal with unexpected changes in their journey, even when the journey is familiar, would score 12 points under descriptor f in mobility activity 1, and hence be entitled to the enhanced rate of the mobility component - examples of such conditions could include dementia, or a learning disability such as Down’s Syndrome
A person with a developmental disorder could qualify if the disorder affects their ability to work out where to go, follow directions or deal with unexpected changes in their journey, and they have difficulty assessing and responding to risks, or in impulsivity, as they could also score 12 points under descriptor f on the basis that they need to be accompanied for their own safety - examples of developmental disorders which could have these effects include Autistic Spectrum Disorder and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
A person who suffers psychosomatic pain could qualify for the enhanced rate through satisfying descriptors e or f in mobility activity 2
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