Personal Independence Payments: Supreme Court Ruling

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:39 pm on 23rd July 2019.

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Photo of Justin Tomlinson Justin Tomlinson The Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions 12:39 pm, 23rd July 2019

The Supreme Court has ruled on the case of Secretary of State for Work and Pensions v. MM, which is known as MM. The case was about the definition of “social support” when engaging with other people face to face in the PIP assessment, and how far in advance that support can be provided.

We took the case to the Supreme Court because we wanted clarity on the issue and the judgment gives us that clarity. We welcome the court’s judgment. We are pleased it accepted that there is a difference between “prompting” and “social support”, and that there must be a need for social support to be provided by someone who is trained or experienced in providing such support.

PIP is already a better benefit for people with mental health conditions than the legacy disability living allowance. The proportion of them who get the higher rate of PIP is five times higher than under DLA, with PIP at 33% and DLA at 6%.

It is clear that there is an increasing understanding in society about mental health and how important it is to make sure that individuals with poor mental health get the right help. It is not an exact science, but the desire for an increased understanding of mental health issues is one of the few areas that has cross-party support.

Getting this clarity ensures that even more people who need help to engage face to face may now be eligible to benefit under PIP. I want to be clear that supporting disabled people and those with mental health conditions continues to be a priority for this Government. That is why we will now carefully consider the full judgment and, working with disabled people and engaging with Mind and other stakeholders, implement it fully and fairly so that claimants get the PIP support they are entitled to.