I am preparing for a PIP tribunal appeal, and need to have a legal defence prepared for some absurd possibilities.
I am waiting for my appeal tribunal to contest a PIP benefit decision, waiting since February. As part of the decision I am appealing, they downgraded my mobility component which meant I was no longer eligible for a vehicle from the Motability scheme.
As part of my discussions with my appeals advisor, she told me about cases where people had lost their appeal to regain the ‘enhanced mobility’ component BECAUSE they could drive a car. (To be brief incase you need clarity, Enhanced rates mean that one cannot walk over 20 meters repeatedly, reliably, with in a reasonable time, and safely.) The reasoning, I’m told, that some tribunal judges decide this is because they say it takes a reasonable amount of physical competence to drive a car. I have been told that one person was told that as they were able to operate the pedals of a car, she was able to walk more than 20 meters.
All of this seems to me to be utterly absurd. In my case, the reason for being rejected by assessment was that “he lives alone and isn’t housebound as he goes out in the car regularly,” and on the daily living component that my grip strength was bought in to question [not trying hard enough / suboptimal effort] because “he drives a manual car.” (Notice it was the gear changing and not the steering.) I was incredulous.
So my hope is that somehow – with the help of an occupational therapist I can once and for all provide evidence to the tribunal that driving a car is not physically synonymous with being able to walk over 20 meters (repeatedly, reliably, with in a reasonable time, and safely…), that driving modern cars requires very little physical exertion (I argued that I could change gears with my little finger it was so light, to no avail) – I can put an end to this utter nonsense for myself and everyone else in a similar situation.