In February 2017, the Government introduced regulations that limited the amount of support that people who struggle to make journeys because of psychological distress could get through PIP. At the time the Government said that people in this group had fewer support needs than other disabled people who struggle to make journeys, even if their mental health problems actually prevented them from leaving the house alone.
Following a challenge brought by Public Law Project and their client RF, the High Court found that this was ‘blatantly discriminatory’ against people with mental health problems and ‘cannot be objectively justified’. Mind intervened in the challenge alongside the Equality and Human Rights Commission.
Last week the Government announced that they would not appeal this ruling, and today they provided some further details about how they plan to implement this decision.
Ayaz Manji, Policy and Campaigns Officer at Mind, said:
“We were delighted when the Government announced last week that they would not be appealing the High Court’s ruling. More than 220,000 people will now be able to access support which could make the difference between whether or not people can get to work or appointments, see friends and family and live independent lives.
“The Government has now said that no-one will have to go through an extra face-to-face assessment which is welcome news. We know that these assessments can be a huge source of stress and anxiety for people with mental health problems. What’s important now is that they develop a review process that’s simple, free from pressure, and enables everyone who is entitled to additional support to access it.”