PIP, DLA and AA
If this is your first visit, check out the community guide. You will have to Join us or Sign in before you can post.

Community updates


• Read over some of our recent discussions and have your say!

• Upload a new profile picture and give your profile a personal touch.

• Get the latest information on issues relating to coronavirus.

Mobility Component of PIP

PIPmadPIPmad Member Posts: 7 Listener
edited November 2016 in PIP, DLA and AA
(If you're looking for advice about applying for PIP, you can ask one of our expert benefits advisors.)

The DWP has decided that my Daughter, who has suffered from Ataxic CP
since birth, can 'Plan and follow the route of a journey unaided' and so
scored her 0 points for her PIP claim. This is despite the fact that
she has to have someone else to help her make the car journey and she
has to use a SAT NAV to find her way there in her car (she is unable to
walk more very far). Descriptor (d) of the DWP's 'rules' states that if
somoene 'Cannot follow the route of an unfamiliar journey without
another person, assistance dog orientation aid' the score is 10 points.
My daughter needs someone else to be with her and she needs the SAT NAV.
We think it is but does anyone know for sure if a SAT NAV is an
'orientation aid'?
Tagged:

Replies

  • Debbie_ScopeDebbie_Scope Member Posts: 947 Pioneering

    Dear PIPmad,

    Thank you for posting your question and for contacting us at the helpline today. I'm really sorry to hear about your daughter's situation following her reassessment under PIP. We have seen an increase in the number of people contacting us who have been reassessed under PIP and are not qualifying for the enhanced mobility component. This of course is leading to disabled people losing their Motability vehicles and it is very distressing.

    As we discussed, you have been through the Mandatory Reconsideration process and the decision was upheld so the next stage is to lodge a formal appeal and this is where it is advisable to seek help from an organisation such as DIAL (contact details given for you local service).

    You have raised a very interesting point about the use of satnav and whether this could be considered as an orientation aid. On your behalf I have forwarded your email to another disability organisation to see what they think about this and whether we should be looking at this orientation aids issue more carefully.

    There is no definition regarding orientation aids that include satnavs (so far as I can find) but as I explained over the phone, we need case law to help clarify these issues and terms so your case could be helpful in achieving this not only for your daughter but for the other people affected by PIP.

    I would love to hear how things go and if anyone on our community has anything they can offer you about the use of orientation aids, or indeed any other help this would be greatly welcomed.

    Many thanks and good luck.

    Debbie

    helpline Information Officer (Benefits, Finance and Housing)

  • ande0208ande0208 Member Posts: 2
    orientation
    ˌɔːrɪənˈteɪʃ(ə)n,ˌɒr-/
    noun
    noun: orientation
    1. 1.
      the action of orienting someone or something relative to the points of a compass or other specified positions.

      • The SAT NAV was designed as a aid for a person to get from a to b in unfamiliar
      • places,
      • Point of the compass are directions hence orientation aid, a SATNAV is a compass
      • and makes directions from a to b.
      • Specified positions are locations.
      • Locations are places, and if you are unfamiliar with them an orientation device such as a SATNAV are used.
      • Hope this helps.





  • PIPmadPIPmad Member Posts: 7 Listener
    Dear ande0208 - That is extremely helpful. Thank you very much. Best wishes
  • Debbie_ScopeDebbie_Scope Member Posts: 947 Pioneering
    Hi ande0208,

    Thanks for your input to this discussion. 

    The PIP regulations specify an 'orientation aid' and this is defined in the regulations as 'a specialist aid designed to assist disabled people to follow a route safely'. The legal definition can be found by following this link http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukdsi/2013/9780111532072/schedule/1

    A satnav with no specially designed feature will not meet the definition. The ability to use a standard satnav is not likely to warrant any points under descriptor concerned. 

    I have carried out some research to try and find out more about this but have been unable to find a specially designed satnav for disabled people. There has been some specialist software in the past but I was unable to find any current products and this could be because standard satnavs do the job and are generally inclusive these days.

    Whether it can be challenged in court remains to be seen and this is something I will be following.

    Best wishes
    Debbie




  • milomilo Member Posts: 165 Pioneering
    If that's the case, could you not argue that if she has an adapted mobility car with fitted sat navigation then the car itself constitutes a specialist navigation aid.
  • Debbie_ScopeDebbie_Scope Member Posts: 947 Pioneering
    Hi Milo,

    I think yes there is some potential to argue this. Whether you would be able to successfully argue it is another matter though and much does depend on the individual's circumstances. As PIP is a new benefit we do not yet have any case law to rely on to help with the interpretation of the legislation and it's likely that it will be quite a while before we see any such case law.

    All we can do for now is keep researching and challenging decisions. Unfortunately it has become very difficult and in some areas near to impossible to get legal advice and representation for Welfare Benefits issues. You can't get legal aid for Welfare benefits issues any more and this is leaving people unrepresented and trying to navigate through a very complex appeals process alone. This will clog up the tribunals and slow down the process for many people. It's not good at all.

    I would love to hear from anyone who has challenged this particular descriptor and whether they were successful.

    Best wishes
    Debbie




  • CommunityTeamCommunityTeam Administrator Posts: 86 Scope community team
    edited March 2015
    Due to a problem using the site PIPMad emailed us this response:

    Milo - Many thanks.

    Debbie - The link was headed 'Draft legislation'. Was it final? The PIP Handbook states that aids and appliances ‘may include mainstream items used by people without an impairment where the claimant is completely reliant on them to complete the activity’. Pages 90 & 116 of the PIP Assessment Guide may also help our argument. Could you/your colleagues have a look at these and give opinion please.

    Regards, PIPMad
  • Debbie_ScopeDebbie_Scope Member Posts: 947 Pioneering
    Thanks Community Team :)

    Hi PIPMad,

    If you go back into the link it will give you the option to look at other versions including the latest version.
    That aside we come back to the definition of an 'orientation aid' and the definition is quite clear. An 'orientation aid' means a specialist aid designed to assist disabled people to follow a route safely. Until someone challenges this, we will not know whether this interpretation of the legislation can be used.
    I have been unable to find anything else on the subject which could help shed some more light.
    If I do come across anything that might provide some clarity I will post on the community but I fear that we will not be able to get a definitive answer until we have some case law to support this. In the meantime I will keep researching this subject and I will raise it with other colleagues internally and externally.
    Best wishes
    Debbie



  • strychstrych Member Posts: 2
    I did some research on this and this link takes you to an orientation aid specifically aimed at disabled people, hope it helps someone x
  • Debbie_ScopeDebbie_Scope Member Posts: 947 Pioneering

    Hi Strych,

    Thanks for researching this. Great link.

    Many thanks

    Debbie

  • CeejayCeejay Member Posts: 6 Listener
    I have tried to apply to mobility using a satnav as well, unsuccessfully so far. My satnav has been adapted to show blue badge spaces, which may help. I can but try.
  • CeejayCeejay Member Posts: 6 Listener
    Well, my PIP application number 2 is away now. re the satnav, I have argued that I acknowledge that before my ME/CFS became severe, it was just an occasionaly used add on. However, I cannot even remember the route to the local shops, and it is adapted to show blue badge spaces. It is therefore a necessary aid now.
    I will update this when I get the result of this application.
    Bestest Wishes
    Ceejay
  • PIPmadPIPmad Member Posts: 7 Listener
    Thank you so much for your feed-back. I sincerly hope you win and we all send you our very best wishes. regards, PIPMAD
  • Debbie_ScopeDebbie_Scope Member Posts: 947 Pioneering
    Hi Ceejay,

    Thanks for posting an update of your 2nd PIP application. I look forward to hearing the outcome and hope that it is a positive one.
    I am keen to hear people's tips on what evidence they have provided to support their claims and appeals and I would encourage people to post here so that we can start building up some resources for people to use to help them.

    A recent tip I heard from a lady who called our helpline was that she obtained a copy of her blue badge assessment report which she said was more detailed that the PIP assessment report. I will feedback to you all when I hear if it helped. Personally I thought it was a great idea and I wondered if anyone else has tried this and whether it helped?

    Please do post any questions you might have about PIP. I will do my best to answer them.

    PIPmad, have you made any progress?

    Best wishes to you all
    Debbie
  • sanlyosanlyo Member Posts: 1 Listener
    Hi
    My husband was receiving DLA high rate but was prompted by medical staff to apply for PIP to get the care component side. His DLA mobility was an indefinite award. He applied by phone on 11th May. He has had assessment and it has been decided that he is no longer entitled to the enhanced rate of mobility and is to lose his car (which we are appealing) He was also awarded standard rate care component( which he did not receive before)
    The pip has not been awarded until 25th August and no back money is due?
    How can this be? Does this mean that people are losing out on money due because the decision makers are taking so long to complete forms.(my husband had his assessment on 1st July)
  • PIPmadPIPmad Member Posts: 7 Listener
    Research the 'Reliability Criteria' for the Mobility component which is all about being able to preform an activity safeley, reliably and in a reasonable time (I don't have the exact words and references to hand now so let me know if you need them using my email address if you prefer which is [email protected]). The 'Moving Around' component is extremely difficult to overcome. They (DWP) seem to place strong emphasis on ability to use public transport, read timetables etc and also on the definition of 'orientation aids' which has been referred to in this thread. Again, let me know if anyone needs any help.

    Good luck and regards,

    PiPmad
  • Debbie_ScopeDebbie_Scope Member Posts: 947 Pioneering
    Hi Sanlyo,

    I'd like to talk with you a little bit more about this. Are you able to contact me at the helpline so I can get some more information from you about the award? Hopefully I can then help you with some information. Is anyone supporting you with the appeal? If not I can search for some local help for you with this.

    PIPmad, thanks for your help with this one, it's always good to hear from you.

    Debbie
  • Leighj1972Leighj1972 Member Posts: 1
    Hi
    My son and I had a PIP assessment and now have the outcome.my son suffers from spastic cerebral palsy and has just turned 16. Al throughout the assessment he was prompted by me and needed help answering the questions. He struggles to walk and uses a wheelchair for long distance and a crutch to walk short distance. He is unable to prepare food for himself and could not go to somewhere on his own. He has been assessed as able to make his own meals and find his way somewhere following a map. The assessor asl s if he had 3 meals a day which he does because I make them. He has not been awarded the enhanced mobility category as the has been assessed as being able to follow a map. He has also been state as having 3 meals a day which he would not have if I didn't make them! Has anyone else had experience of he assessor putting something different to what was discussed ?
  • Debbie_ScopeDebbie_Scope Member Posts: 947 Pioneering
    Hi Leighj1972,

    In answer to your question, we have heard from a number of people who have informed us that what was discussed at the assessment is different from what ends up on the report.
    This sounds like it needs challenging. Have you asked for a Mandatory Reconsideration?
    Let me know if you want some local help and I'll start looking for some services which can assist you with this.
  • Christine TempestChristine Tempest Member Posts: 3 Connected
    edited February 2016
    I have my pip appeal next week and have had to do most of it myself I will challenge about the use of sat navs I have been waiting for 9 months I had a hp on my assessment and he too put things on that didn't happen but silly things like I blew my nose and brushed my hair away from my face I never said I couldn't use my arms he also put in his assessment that medication I was taking would not affect me and didn't need help in daily care because of them yet in every medication box is a leaflet with side effects from the medication not to operate machinery not to drive ect ect. That make you feel exhausted so you do need help These are there guide lines how can they get away moving the goal posts where they want how can this be a fair system they are treating people with disabilities like criminals.
  • AmyGreen12AmyGreen12 Member Posts: 3
    I am currently waiting for my decision. I know I will get higher rate of daily living. I have Ehlers danlos syndrome. So my joints can dislocate up to 50 times a day. Some days I can walk around town but am laid up for a few days after and some days I can't walk at all. To go out I have to have someone with me as when they come out I can't put them back in myself it's normally my husband who has to do it for me and if I'm on my own I end up having a panic and anxiety attack. I'm just wondering based on this do you think I will get enhanced or standard rate of mobility. Thanks
  • PIPmadPIPmad Member Posts: 7 Listener
    Dear Amy,

    Page 11 of the PIP Handbook on ‘Moving around principles’ states that ‘However, as with all of the activities in the assessment, in order for a descriptor to apply, consideration must be given to the manner in which the claimant can complete the activity’ and ‘This means that if individuals can stand and then move more than 20 metres but can’t do so in a safe and reliable way, they should receive 12 points and the enhanced rate’.

    Page 92 of the PIP Assessment Guide, states ‘Reasonable time period means no more than twice as long as the maximum period that a non-disabled person would normally take to complete the activity.’

    If it takes you more than 2 times longer than someone without a disability to walk 20 metres, I think you should be assessed as ‘Can stand and then move more than 1 metre but no more than 20 metres, either aided or unaided’ and so you should be awarded 12 points and the Enhanced rate of Mobility.

    I sincerely hope this helps.

    Best wishes, PIPMAD
  • BethfairsBethfairs Member Posts: 1
    Hiya, I've just been reading the comments about the PIP assessments and I was wondering what the outcomes were with all of the appeals, as I myself have just been refused higher rate because of a sat Nav not being classed as an aid.
  • PIPmadPIPmad Member Posts: 7 Listener
    Hello,

    Our appeal that a sat nav is an essential orientation aid failed too I'm afraid. They do not say why a sat nav is not an orientation aid. They do not, in my opinion, clearly state what they consider is an orientation aid. The truth and a clear definition might be out there somewhere but I could not find it. Sorry.

    PIPMAD
  • Debbie_ScopeDebbie_Scope Member Posts: 947 Pioneering
    Hi All,

    Thanks for keeping in touch and letting us know how things went in relation to the use of sat navs as orientation aids. I've not been around for a while but I'm around now so if anyone has anything they want to talk about, please do get in touch.

    Best wishes
    Debbie
  • PammiePammie Member Posts: 12 Listener
    I have recently tried to help a few fellow Spina Bifida sufferers to request mandatory reconsiderations for PIP. These are mainly people who are losing their cars because they have lost the higher rate mobility component. In all cases there is little or no reference in either the assessment report or the decision maker's report, to the time it takes for them to walk the distance for the activity, and also little or no reference to the pain involved. I know that there is reference in the assessors guide stating that the time taken should be no more than twice the maximum time taken by a non disabled person, but does anyone know what that actually means, as without a definition of the timescale it seems to me that very few people will qualify. Also, at what point do they consider pain to be a factor ? Is it being in pain for the whole activity or just at the point where, for example, you can walk no further because of the pain or discomfort ? I use a wheelchair most of the time and walk very slowly with elbow crutches. I can walk around 8-10 paces before I have to stop because of the pain in my back and hip. The people I have tried to help are in a similar situation and yet all lost their entitlement. There is also little or no reference made in their assessment reports, to the ability to reliably repeat the walking activity - in other words what effect it has on pain levels, and the impact on the ability to do other things afterwards. The reconsideration requests have focused mainly on the lack of attention to these factors but without a definitive explanation of what the DWP are looking for with regard to time taken, the ability to repeat, and pain involved, it seems to me they can pretty much do as they like. To me this is looking more and more like a concerted effort to get disabled people out of their cars. Assessors frequently award 10 points for the 30-50m category where there is a substantial walking disability - this being just 2 points shy of the higher rate. Any ideas anyone ?
  • PIPmadPIPmad Member Posts: 7 Listener
    • The PIP2 Booklet has just a sentence ‘You won’t get any points if you can do these safely, to an acceptable standard, as often as you need to and in a reasonable time without any help’.
    • DWP’s PIP Handbook and PIP Assessment Guide and the 'Reliability Criteria' therein refers to:
    o Safely - in a manner unlikely to cause me harm.
    o To an acceptable standard – although ‘acceptable’ is not defined.
    o Repeatedly - as often as is reasonably required
    o In a reasonable time period - no more than twice as long as the maximum period that a non-disabled person would normally take to complete that activity.
    • Page 11 of the PIP Handbook on ‘Moving around principles’ states that ‘However, as with all of the activities in the assessment, in order for a descriptor to apply, consideration must be given to the manner in which the claimant can complete the activity’ and ‘This means that if individuals can stand and then move more than 20 metres but can’t do so in a safe and reliable way, they should receive 12 points and the enhanced rate’.
    • Page 92 of the PIP Assessment Guide, states ‘Reasonable time period means no more than twice as long as the maximum period that a non-disabled person would normally take to complete the activity.’

    Try timing how long it takes to walk 20 metres unaided.

    For example, if a person with a disability walks 20 metres unsteadily and nearly fell but could do it but I did it took them, say, 38 seconds, yet at the same time, 2 other people without a disability walked the same 20 metres but it took them, say, 14 seconds and 16 seconds, respectively, then it took the person with the disability between 2 to 3 times longer than each of the other two to walk those 20 metres.

    If correct and true, for those reasons, the person with the disability should be as ‘Can stand and then move more than 1 metre but no more than 20 metres, either aided or unaided’ and be awarded 12 points and the Enhanced rate of Mobility.

    Not sure about the pain factor but review the 'Reliability Criteria' above - as well as the 'speed' consideration (‘Reasonable time period means no more than twice as long as the maximum period that a non-disabled person would normally take to complete the activity.’), could they do it safely and repeatedly in view of the pain suffered??

    Sincerely hope the above helps.

    Best wishes, PIPMAD



  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 4,668 Disability Gamechanger
    The reg refers to an orientation aid. An orientation aid can be anything from a  cane to a sat nav. Using audio clicks off buildings to orient yourself could also be an aid. Caselaw is still arguing as to whether ordinary everyday items used for something else can count. Doesn't look good at present on that thanks to a Judge Jacobs decision but it's not a tribunal of UT judges so there's still scope for argument.

    I'm very surprised it has been suggested otherwise. The term specialist is essentially redundant in this context. A Trekker Breeze may look specialist because it's a stand alone device but it has less functionality than many apps performing a similar purpose in an iPhone for example.

    However, as has already been mentioned, the key thing with PIP is to look at whether you can do something repeatedly, reliably, safely and/or in a reasonable time.
  • pziecinapziecina Member Posts: 2 Listener
    PIPmad said:
     Descriptor (d) of the DWP's 'rules' states that if somoene 'Cannot follow the route of an unfamiliar journey without another person, assistance dog orientation aid' the score is 10 points. My daughter needs someone else to be with her and she needs the SAT NAV. We think it is but does anyone know for sure if a SAT NAV is an 'orientation aid'?
    Maybe you, me (and everyone else) are approaching this from the wrong angle?

    As the descriptor says the PIP claimant would need another person with them to follow an unfamiliar journey, surely the use of a satnav becomes irrelevant, and the satnav nothing more than a personal aid.

    If someone using a satnav would have to be accompanied by another person in order to plan and follow an unfamiliar journey if the satnav was not available. Then this would mean that the full 10 points should be awarded anyway, making the question of a satnav being an orientation aid irrelevant.
  • Debbie_ScopeDebbie_Scope Member Posts: 947 Pioneering
    Hello All,

    See CPIP/239/2016 it's still not looking good for sat navs.

    Requirement to consider the ‘reliability’ criteria when assessing mobility descriptors / whether a satnav can be an ‘orientation aid’ when following a route

    [2016] UKUT 304 (AAC)

    Background

    The claimant was awarded the standard rate of mobility component of personal independence payment (PIP) on the basis of shortness of breath linked to lung dysfunction and chronic pain. She relied on her car to get about, as she said her ability to walk was limited and she tried not to use public transport due to infection risk of being with crowds of people where her natural immunity had been lowered by anti-rejection medication for a heart transplant. She appealed to a tribunal arguing that she was entitled to the enhanced rate mobility component but the tribunal rejected her appeal.

    The claimant appealed to the Upper Tribunal.

    Issues before the Upper Tribunal

    Requrement for tribunals to consider the ‘reliability’ criteria when assessing mobility descriptors / whether a satnav can fall within the definition of an ‘orientation aid’ for mobility descriptors 1d or 1f.

    Decision

    Appeal allowed and case referred to a new tribunal for rehearing with guidance on whether a particular satnav can meet the definition of an 'orientation aid’.

    Reasons

    Judge Rowley set aside the tribunal decision because the statement of reasons failed to show whether the tribunal considered the mobility activity having regard to the ‘reliability’ factors set out in regulation 4(2A) of the Social Security (Personal Independence Payment) Regulations 2013, particularly ‘to an acceptable standard,’ ‘repeatedly’ and ‘within a reasonable time period’. She concurred with the views of Judge Parker in CPIP/2377/2015 -

    ‘Matters such as pain, and its severity, and the frequency and nature, including extent, of any rests required by a claimant, are relevant to the question of whether a claimant can complete a mobility activity descriptor ‘to an acceptable standard’… Whether a claimant can stand then move a particular distance ‘to an acceptable standard’, inevitably links with two of the further relevant matters under regulation 4(2A): ‘repeatedly’ and ‘within a reasonable time period…’ (paragraph 4)

    Having set aside the decision, Judge Rowley addressed the claimant’s contention that a satnav built in to a car obtained under the Motability Scheme, fell within the definition of ‘orientation aid’ in schedule 1 to the regulations. Giving guidance to the new tribunal on when a satnav will not amount to an ‘orientation aid’ Judge Rowley notes -

    ‘In contrast to the general definition of ‘aid or appliance’ in regulation 2, the definition of ‘orientation aid’ is expressly limited to a ‘specialist aid’ which is ‘designed to assist disabled people to follow a route safely’.

    Thus, if a claimant’s satnav is one which is in fact commonly available, without a particular modification or specially designed feature as envisaged by the definition, it will not, in my judgment, constitute an ‘orientation aid’ under mobility descriptors 1d or 1f.' (paragraphs 11 and 12)

    Additionally, Judge Rowley advised that even were the tribunal to accept that a satnav was an ‘orientation aid’, points could only be awarded for descriptor 1d if the claimant was unable to follow an unfamiliar route without it -

    ‘… if the new tribunal is satisfied, on the basis of evidence which may be presented to it by the claimant, that the claimant’s satnav is an ‘orientation aid’, the claimant would only be entitled to points under mobility descriptor 1d if, because of her physical or mental condition, she would be unable to follow the route of an unfamiliar journey without it.' (paragraph 14)



  • lexystarshinelexystarshine Member Posts: 1 Listener
    Hi I am new to this, so please bear with me..... I am in the midst of changing to PIP and currently have standard care and higher mobility. I have just read this thread through and just want to clarify what the state of play is currently..... From previous in this thread..... "Additionally, Judge Rowley advised that even were the tribunal to accept that a satnav was an ‘orientation aid’, points could only be awarded for descriptor 1d if the claimant was unable to follow an unfamiliar route without it - ‘… if the new tribunal is satisfied, on the basis of evidence which may be presented to it by the claimant, that the claimant’s satnav is an ‘orientation aid’, the claimant would only be entitled to points under mobility descriptor 1d if, because of her physical or mental condition, she would be unable to follow the route of an unfamiliar journey without it.' (paragraph 14)" Just checking that I aren't reading this wrong, so if I have to use a normal Sat nav to follow an unfamiliar journey, I would be entitled to points under the 'orientation device' grey area? Here's hoping someone can clarify this for me!
  • bobnchrisbobnchris Member Posts: 2 Listener

    PIP assessment guide, designed for health professionals so they can all sing from the same hymn book - I will come back to that

    Start at page 126 for mobility component, it is a good read.  Designed for peoples mental state and if you are not seeing a mental health worker there is not much chance of scoring points

    Bob 

  • pziecinapziecina Member Posts: 2 Listener
    I received my appeal decision for the mobility component 2 weeks ago, and the original assessment by ATOS was upheld.

    On the assessment 2 years ago I was awarded 8 points for planning and following a journey and 8 points for moving around. This was reduced to just 4 points for moving around.

    The points were removed because I drove too the assessment center, and this is what the mandatory reconsideration said to justify the decision, (upheld on appeal) -

    Quote -
    Driving a car is itself a multi-tasking activity requiring a significant physical function in terms of grip, power and upper and lower joint movement in conjunction with substantial cognitive powers of though perception, memory, reasoning, concentration, judgement and co-ordination. It is considered that if your functioning was as affected as you claimed then you would not be fit to drive and may be a severe danger on the road.
    End Quote

    So it appears that if you can drive a car or any other vehicle, then you cannot claim motability to a sufficient points score to qualify for a motability vehicle.

    The use of SatNav, and walking sticks, are not considered to be aids that you can use, and claim as assistances devices. Unless you have medical evidence to the contrary then that was the decision.

    Of course, one could not drive, but if you are single like me, then you would never go outside your home again.
  • NystagmiteNystagmite Member Posts: 609 Pioneering
    It's aids that a disabled person would use, therefore, they would be right to say that a sat nav wouldn't count. Else a lot of non-disabled people would try and claim the same...
  • bobnchrisbobnchris Member Posts: 2 Listener
    Depending on the assessment centre you will probably have to walk the 20 metres or more.  Result, loss of car.  According to the dwp appeal paperwork atos stated it was 17 metres from waiting area to office door, once inside a further 4 or 5 metres.  It is an automatic fail if you walk the distance.  Wheel chair users are bullied with regards being out and about and supermarket shopping so be careful
  • MatildaMatilda Member Posts: 2,616 Disability Gamechanger
     But you can stop and rest every 20 metres for a minute or so and then repeat indefinitely.
  • wildlifewildlife Member Posts: 1,316 Pioneering
    @Debbie_Scope, This may or may not be useful to this discussion as I don't drive and we haven't got a sat nav. However descriptor d) fit me perfectly as I cannot go out of familiar territory due to a long standing (nearly 50 years) mental health problem. Saying that it's only been the last 7years that this has got a lot worse. I sent a lot of evidence for this which ATOS/DWP have finally accepted and I described in detail why I can't go on an unfamiliar journey on my own. My point is that even with my husband driving me everywhere and never going out alone I couldn't get this 10 point descriptor. They finally gave me 4 points for needing prompting to go on any journey. So I can well understand what a battle it would be to get descriptor d) if you drive yourself with a sat nav and someone sat beside you. They could be just a passenger? I think there would have to be a good physical or sensory reason why you HAD to have someone with you.   
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 4,668 Disability Gamechanger

    Have done some research on sat navs and it is apparent that whilst there are sat navs which are adapted in some small way for use by a disabled person and sat navs which offer extra functionality (such as the alleged ability to locate an accessible parking space) none of these add specialist features which aid the actual safely following of a route e.g. maps for the colour-blind; extra large

    I have argued previously that there is a fundamental problem with the use of the word "specialist" in connection with orientation aids as it implies extra functionality whereas most specialist orientation aids have less functionality than, for example, similar apps on smart phones. So, a Trekker Breeze does some things incredibly well but few of them are not available on the Google Maps app for iPhone. The potential for wholly irrational outcomes is obvious. Someone with a Trekker Breeze with less functionality than a sat nav on a phone could score points. Someone using the more sophisticated Sat Nav on Google Maps on iPhone (or even Garmin et al) would not.

    This then begs the question as to what exactly is a specialist orientation aid. Assistance dog and another person are straightforward. Specialist orientation aid really isn't.

    So, bearing the above in mind and that this matter has yet to be decided by a tribunal of UT judges I am going to take another case on this specific issue and see if we can secure a different outcome.

  • Barrylad1957Barrylad1957 Member Posts: 100 Courageous
    @Debbie_Scope
    Please correct me if I'm wrong, but didnt it become law sometime earlier this year that drivers 'had to be able to use a Sat nav device ' to pass the test in the first place? If so, and it is now mandatory practice, could that not be utilised in some way to 'fit' the cause of disabled drivers?
  • Debbie_ScopeDebbie_Scope Member Posts: 947 Pioneering
    edited September 2017
    Hello @Barrylad1957,

    The Driving Test Changes come into effect on the 4th December 2017. 

    It's quite clear that generic sat navs aren't  specialist orientation aid designed to assist disabled people to follow a route safely.

    We often get asked what counts as a specialist orientation aid at the helpline so we've compiled a list of examples we feel would meet the criteria and I'd love to hear from anyone who has qualified using any of these aids. Thanks to @jean_scope for your help with this.

    ·         BlindSquare App https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/blindsquare/id500557255?mt=8

    ·         RNIB Navigator https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/rnib-navigator/id783866151?mt=8

    ·         Trekker Breeze http://www.assistiveit.co.uk/VI-Products/Portable-Devices/Trekker-Breeze-GPS This product has been discontinued but it gives an example of a specialist orientation aid.

    ·         Where am I (with Speech) https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/where-am-i-with-speech/id1059458919?mt=8

    ·         Talking Compass http://sensorytools.com/c2.htm

    ·         Buddi (emergency call and tracking) https://www.buddi.co.uk/

    ·         Long Cane (justification as an orientation aid) http://www.wayfinding.net/caneuses.htm

    ·         Sonic pathfinder http://www.sonicpathfinder.org/

    ·         Mowat Sensor: https://psychologydictionary.org/mowat-sensor/

    ·         Tactile maps: http://access2print.co.uk/tactile_maps,_pictures_&_braille_stickers.html

    @mikehughescq please let us know how you get on with other cases in this area. It's an interesting and controversial topic.

    Thanks all and best wishes
    Debbie
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 4,668 Disability Gamechanger

    Sorry Debbie I've only seen your post today.

    I have a couple of cases on the go where there is potential to argue that the scope of "specialist orientation aid" is so limited as to be meaningless. I'll report back on how we get on but the first battle is to get people large print appeal papers, which is proving fascinating. Large print DWP sub no problem. Large print for the rest. No chance.

    Your list is interesting as I am unaware that the argument about apps has been tested as yet as far as I am aware (I'm desperate for just such a case). The issue is that a Trekker Breeze could have less functionality than those apps but gets classified as specialist because it's been designed for specific impairments whereas it's arguable a smartphone and the apps on it are not an aid because anyone can use them. The whole argument is fallacious and needs to be tested at FTT and UT.

    As an aside, I'm not sure about tactile maps. Unless carried you wouldn't be using one to follow a route. Only to plan? Thoughts?

  • Debbie_ScopeDebbie_Scope Member Posts: 947 Pioneering
    Hi @mikehughescq,

    I'm so sorry for the very late reply. I've been coming back and forth to this and adding as I go along and researching too. It's pretty hard to keep up when there is so much demand for welfare benefits advice.

    It sounds like a really interesting challenge and initially I was inclined to agree with you, having not been able to come up with anything concrete.

    So, I carried out some further research. I re-read the case law and the recently updated PIP Assessment guide. I then tried to find stats on how many disabled people score under this descriptor, thinking that some numbers might help but I  couldn't find them. Potential for a FOI request maybe?  

    I'm now of the view that I don't believe that the scope of a specialist orientation aid is so limited that it's meaningless, not now anyway. 

    Judge Rowley placed emphasis on the word  'designed' and it started me thinking about Assistive Technology. I think I've focused so much on trying to find examples of specialist orientation aids that I didn't remember that some aids and equipment have to be tailor-made and that generic solutions aren't always suitable. Custom made solutions aren't exclusively for tech either. Remap has some brilliant examples of custom-made equipment and it was thinking about this that led me onto thinking about tailor-made orientation devices. Generic solutions aren't always suitable particularly if you have complex or multiple needs. 

    With regards to the tactile maps. The use of portable ‘pocket tactile maps’ is unusual but it does happen. An example might be a blind student that needs to navigate around a university campus. To evidence this, here is a link to a company that makes them:  http://www.clickandgomaps.com/clickandgo-tactile-maps/

    I'm very interested to hear how your cases go so please do keep in touch and thanks for taking the time to contribute to the various discussions on our community including this one.

    I hope that this has been an interesting perspective and thank you to @Jean_Scope for your input and research.

    Best wishes
    Debbie
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 4,668 Disability Gamechanger

    No need to apologise.

    I pretty much agree with all you say. I'll add two things.

    1) I think the word "designed" may well be important but it does re-emphasise my issue, which is that you can have something very simple and designed for a disabled person which would qualify using that definition and yet apps on smartphones, which are not specifically designed for disabled people yet contain specialist functionality crucial to orientation or navigation, would not. The question then is whether that was an outcome Parliament intended i.e. that anything designed qualifies but anything which is the best, most practical solution (and to which there is perhaps no practical alternative) but isn't "designed" does not.

    The contradiction there is that such a distinction doesn't apply for any other aids or appliances on any other activity.

    2) I know a few people who have or have had tactile hand-held maps including, interestingly, a PhD student at a nearby university. They all say that they used the portable maps for initial orientation but within a few weeks navigated without. Most of them say they ought to keep them with them anyway, just in case they need to reorient with a little help. However, most leave them filed away at home once they've mastered the routes they need. Essentially that's the same principle anyone using a map would apply. Use it until you know it and then discard it.

    It's only anecdotal but it does lead me to think that whilst it's clearly an aid it's unlikely to ever be used more than 50% of the time to follow a route.




  • Salamka101Salamka101 Member Posts: 41 Courageous
    Is anyone aware that the DWP have announced that they are dropping their (secret) internal target to uphold the original decision on Mandatory Reconsideration? To go back to PiPmad's original enquiry it is not clear what her daughters walking ability is, I assume since she mentioned 10 points that this is 20 to 40 metres so there is scope to challenge this on  the grounds of safety and walking pace. I know nothing about Ataxic CP but if it has any Mental Health issues associated with it then these need to be emphasised. The 'Plan and follow the  route of a journey' criteria is seen by the DWP purely as a test of mental faculties. The test is ludicrous, just remember 3 words for a couple of minutes ie a test only of average short-term memory.
     
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 4,668 Disability Gamechanger
    Yes, can’t say I see it as something to celebrate really in the way Frank Field apparently does. Okay so the maintaining 80% of original decision seems aim has gone but there’s no suggestion anything accompanies that to improve the quality of MR decisions. Outcomes could actually go the other way.
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 4,668 Disability Gamechanger
    Done some more research and it appears that all attempts at a satnav incorporating design elements for disabled users have left the market. Navevo were the obvious example. So, on the one hand we have the UT decision saying a satnav is not an aid unless designed for a disabled person but the only choice for a disabled person is an ordinary satnav. 

    On reflection I'm not sure I take the point made by @Debbie_Scope re: assistive tech. Remap, for example, have pages of examples of what they have done. None of it includes aids for navigation. 

    I still think the point re: what a specialist orientation aid is has yet to be decided and where we may be finally end up is that the word specialist is utterly redundant in this context. Indeed, case law wise that's exactly what I'm aiming to prove. 

  • NystagmiteNystagmite Member Posts: 609 Pioneering
    So that means the only aids would be a guide dog or a mobility cane, right? Even though I personally use the voice feature thing on Google Maps because a) I can't see the map well enough and b) don't always understand (or can't read) the written instructions. If I didn't have my visual impairments or learning disabilities, I would be able to read the map and follow the written instructions.
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 4,668 Disability Gamechanger
    Well there are navigation aids sold by the RNIB et al but they generally have less functionality, which is my whole argument about the perversity of using the word “specialist”when what you’re actually left with is a cane or a dog. 
  • Bulldogmad69Bulldogmad69 Member Posts: 2 Listener
    Hi this is quite an interesting read. I have just had my PIP mobility award reduced from enhanced to standard for the reason i can drive and I use a sat nav. I'm just doing a MR but cant seem to find any info on the sat nav issue. I would think it falls under the category of orientation aid? What i don't get is I was able to drive when i was awarded enhanced less than 2 years ago, (I have been driving for 22 years) but now it is standard because of the fact i drive! Seems to be a slap in the face for motability and what it was actually set up to do. Enhanced rate = motability vehicle but the minute you actually drive the car you're penalised for it
  • HenryHenry Member Posts: 66 Courageous
    Mobility do  not  give  courses on Sat nav     . This should not  be  used against u.
  • HenryHenry Member Posts: 66 Courageous
    Driving...  drive to the shop ... 5 mins away .    However not from London to   Cambridge... 
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 4,668 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi this is quite an interesting read. I have just had my PIP mobility award reduced from enhanced to standard for the reason i can drive and I use a sat nav. I'm just doing a MR but cant seem to find any info on the sat nav issue. I would think it falls under the category of orientation aid? What i don't get is I was able to drive when i was awarded enhanced less than 2 years ago, (I have been driving for 22 years) but now it is standard because of the fact i drive! Seems to be a slap in the face for motability and what it was actually set up to do. Enhanced rate = motability vehicle but the minute you actually drive the car you're penalised for it
    As per the above posts from me, a sat nav is not currently a soecialisr orientation aid. There are 2 UT decisions to that effect. They accept that one could be if designed specifically for use by a disabled person. However, at present there are none on the market. That absence in itself won’t win the argument. The argument is either to find points from elsewhere or argue that the law is meaningless if all that’s left is dog, some canes and devices designed for disabled users but which are underused because users can get more functionality from phones/apps. In other words the argument is that the law is ultra vires if only dog and cane users qualify.
  • Bulldogmad69Bulldogmad69 Member Posts: 2 Listener
    edited March 2018
    Hi been doing some research today and found this and downloaded it. Not sure if i am reading it right but it seems that an upper tier tribunal did in fact allow a sat nav to be used as an orientation aid in this case. I may be wrong but could someone take a look and give me your opinion.  https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/media/5a38f2ffed915d5a62fdd1dc/CPIP_3759_2016-00.pdf
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 4,668 Disability Gamechanger
    Yes, you’ve read it backwards. This was one of the UT decisions which decided that a FTT had erred in law by deciding that a sat nav was an aid. The U`T decided that when the law was read in full a sat nav could not be an aid.
  • NystagmiteNystagmite Member Posts: 609 Pioneering
     Enhanced rate = motability vehicle but the minute you actually drive the car you're penalised for it
    How are you being penalised? if you drive, you can do things like plan and follow a journey.
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 4,668 Disability Gamechanger
    That’s incorrect. It doesn’t tell you what they are able to do the majority of the time. It’s an eerie made repeatedly by tribunal too.
  • NystagmiteNystagmite Member Posts: 609 Pioneering
    But surely if you can drive, you do have the ability to plan and follow a journey?
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 4,668 Disability Gamechanger
    Nope. it is but one aspect of that. If, for example, the only journey you ever did was the school run. How does that meet the 50% threshold!
  • NystagmiteNystagmite Member Posts: 609 Pioneering
    But most people do that twice a day 5 days a week.
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 4,668 Disability Gamechanger
    ... which would therefore fall considerably short of the 50% of all their journeys.,
  • susan48susan48 Member Posts: 2,229 Disability Gamechanger
    It’s all so complex, we need to tick the box correctly or lose or worse no points.
    i thought this benefit was to actually help people not make them worse??!!
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 4,668 Disability Gamechanger
    Nope, ticking the box correctly is easy. If you can’t do it reliably i.e. repeatedly, safely, to a reasonable standard or within a reasonable time... then you can’t do it.

    The bit people screw up is the free text below asking for more info. There you need to explain why you can’t do it and give examples of what happens when you try. It really isn’t that hard. The stories you’d tell family and friends about your impairment. That’s all it is. 

    The only problem with PIP is that no-one explains how easy this bit is so most people rely on irrelevant medical evidence or focus on a HCP report. Get the first bit detailed and accurate and most qualifying cases will win at the appeal stage,
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 1,756 Listener
    The user and all related content has been deleted.
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 1,756 Listener
    The user and all related content has been deleted.
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 4,668 Disability Gamechanger
    The thought process here is incorrect. It’s not “what do I tell PIP to avoid having my licence revoked?”. Nor is it “I need to drive”. The only correct way to approach driving is to decide whether the person is safe to drive. If a GP has no problem with that then nor will DVLA and therefore it could never be an issue at a PIP appeal. Anyone who shies away from confirming this with their GP is potentially risking their own safety and that of others. 

    I should also say that any adviser who realises a claimant should clearly not be on the road would advise on what needs to be done and walk away if the claimant didn’t do it. 

     mikehughescq said:
    Yes, can’t say I see it as something to celebrate really in the way Frank Field apparently does. Okay so the maintaining 80% of original decision seems aim has gone but there’s no suggestion anything accompanies that to improve the quality of MR decisions. Outcomes could actually go the other way.
    Interestingly, and it’s not something I wanted to be correct on, the overall updated figure has now been revised to 84%.
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 1,756 Listener
    The user and all related content has been deleted.
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 1,756 Listener
    The user and all related content has been deleted.
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 1,756 Listener
    The user and all related content has been deleted.
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 4,668 Disability Gamechanger
    Victoriad said:
    Hello @mikehughescq
    I have the greatest respect for your experience and knowledge .

    But I still don’t understand how a holder of a driving licence who also needs another person to to accompany them on  a journey because they suffer psychological distress is really in a fit state of mind and also safe behind the wheel of an a car?

    These two situations don’t seem compatible with one other.


    If that’s what’s needed for them to drive then my personal view is that they simply shouldn’t be driving. 

    However, the specific answer to your question is that the PIP legislation talked about overwhelming psychological distress and if you’re driving at all then your psychological distress simply can’t be overwhelming. 

    The law has now reverted to the original text.
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 1,756 Listener
    The user and all related content has been deleted.
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 1,756 Listener
    The user and all related content has been deleted.
Sign in or join us to comment.