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Turn2us Personal Independence Payment information sheetPersonal Independence Payment (PIP) and mobility

Eligibility for mobility benefits in relation to Personal Independence Payment (PIP) has been the subject of much discussion in Parliament, the press and among disability campaigners recently.

Read our guide to find out the latest news about mobility and Personal Independence Payment.

Contents

What is PIP?

PIP will be a new benefit to replace Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for people of working age (16 - 64 years). It will be introduced for new claims for people of working age from 8 April 2013 in Merseyside, Cumbria, Cheshire and North East England (the areas covered by Bootle Disability Benefits Centre (link opens in a new window) - followed by the rest of the UK from 10 June 2013.

People of working age already receiving Disability Living Allowance (DLA) may be transferred over to PIP at some point after these dates. For more information, see the proposed timetable on the Turn2us Personal Independence Payment information sheet.

PIP rules and mobility component

The rules for eligibility to PIP have not yet been finalised, but they are due to become law soon. There are particular concerns about the expected reduction in the number of people who will be entitled to the enhanced rate of PIP mobility component compared with the existing DLA higher mobility component. The Department for Work and Pension's impact assessment of PIP estimates that 428,000 fewer people will be entitled to the higher rate of assistance for mobility needs than are currently entitled under DLA.

DLA higher rate mobility component and PIP enhanced mobility component will be paid at the same rate - £55.25 from April 2013.

Qualifying for the enhanced or higher rates of mobility

To qualify for PIP mobility component, a person will have to score either 8 or 12 points from the table of mobility descriptors (see table below). There are two main areas of mobility difficulties considered by the PIP rules:

  • Planning and following a journey – this activity is designed to cover the difficulties experienced by people with learning difficulties, mental health problems or sensory impairment
  • Moving around – this activity is for people who have physical problems moving around.

A person who scores 8 or 10 points will be entitled to the standard rate of PIP mobility, and a person who scores 12 or more will be entitled to the enhanced rate.

Under PIP a person with physical problems moving around will only qualify for the enhanced rate of PIP mobility component  if they can walk no more than 20 metres. This is significantly different to the rules around DLA higher rate mobility component, which specifies no set maximum distance. To qualify for DLA higher mobility a person must be 'virtually unable to walk', and this takes account of speed of walking, manner of walking and whether walking causes severe discomfort. This change of rule for PIP may account for some of the expected drop in eligible claimants.

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) assessment criteria: mobility activities

Source: The Social Security (Personal Independence Payment) Regulations 2013 (link opens in a new window)

Amendment

On 1 February, the Government agreed to amend the proposed rules so that the assessment of PIP eligibility should take account of whether the claimant can complete an activity, such as walking 20 metres:

  • Safely
  • Reliably
  • Repeatedly, and
  • In a reasonable time period. 

Travel concessions

There are a number of travel concessions available to a person who receives DLA higher mobility, and the government has been considering how entitlement to PIP mobility will bring entitlement to these. 

Motability

Entitlement depends on higher rate DLA mobility or enhanced PIP mobility only.

For more information, see the Motability website information on PIP (link opens in a new window).

Car Tax

You can be exempt from Vehicle Excise Duty (Vehicle or Car Tax) for one vehicle if you receive enhanced mobility element PIP or DLA higher mobility.

From April 2013, you can get a 50 per cent discount on Car Tax if you receive the standard mobility element of PIP.

The vehicle must be registered in the disabled person’s name or their nominated driver’s name. It must only be used for the disabled person’s personal needs and can’t be used by the nominated driver for their own personal use.

See the Gov.UK information on vehicles exempt from Vehicle Tax (link opens in a new window)

Blue Badge for parking

In England a person who receives enhanced mobility element PIP or DLA higher mobility will automatically be entitled to a Blue Badge from their local authority. Also a person who scores eight points or more in the ‘Moving Around’ activity of PIP will be automatically eligible for a Blue Badge. A score of eight points is awarded to a person who cannot walk further than approximately 50 metres.

For more information, see the Gov.UK information on Personal Independence Payment and eligibility for a Blue Badge (link opens in a new window).

PIP: Scotland and Wales

PIP is also being introduced in Scotland and Wales, but the national governments are still consulting on arrangements. Some aspects may have a different effect in these countries to England.

PIP: Northern Ireland

The Welfare Reform Bill for Northern Ireland is not yet law. It is not known, therefore, when PIP will be introduced or whether any aspects will be different from those introduced in England, Scotland and Wales. 

Date of publication: Turn2us News February 2013

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