Personal Independence Payment: Regulations

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:44 pm on 29th March 2017.

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Photo of Debbie Abrahams Debbie Abrahams Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions 3:44 pm, 29th March 2017

If the hon. Gentleman will give me just two minutes, I will make a little bit more progress and come back to him.

Someone who experiences psychological distress because of a mental health condition can score a maximum of 10 points under “planning and following a journey”, unless they also have a cognitive, sensory or physical impairment. That falls short of the 12 points needed to qualify for the higher rate of the mobility component. In the 2016 case of MH v. the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, the upper tribunal ruled that psychological distress by itself cannot satisfy descriptors under activity two unless the psychological distress causes a change in someone’s physical condition. It is therefore the regulations, not the tribunal rulings, that undermine the intention of the primary legislation by restricting the number of people whose mobility is severely limited by their mental health condition who are able to qualify for the enhanced mobility rate of PIP.