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Saturday, 26 March 2016

PIP Mobility

Throughout last week, I looked at how the day-to-day living component of PIP is worked out. Today, I'm looking at the mobility component. This is much simpler and only has two parts to it.

  1. Planning and following journeys
  2. Moving around
First of all, here are the points...


MOBILITY ACTIVITIES
1. Planning and following journeys.
a. Can plan and follow the route of a journey unaided.  0 points.
b. Needs prompting to be able to undertake any journey to avoid overwhelming psychological distress to the claimant.  4 points.
c. Cannot plan the route of a journey.  8 points.
d. Cannot follow the route of an unfamiliar journey without another person, assistance dog or orientation aid.  10 points.
e. Cannot undertake any journey because it would cause overwhelming psychological distress to the claimant.  10 points.
f. Cannot follow the route of a familiar journey without another person, an assistance dog or an orientation aid.  12 points.
2. Moving around.
a. Can stand and then move more than 200 metres, either aided or unaided.  0 points.
b. Can stand and then move more than 50 metres but no more than 200 metres, either aided or unaided.  4 points.
c. Can stand and then move unaided more than 20 metres but no more than 50 metres.  8 points.
d. Can stand and then move using an aid or appliance more than 20 metres but no more than 50 metres.  10 points.
e. Can stand and then move more than 1 metre but no more than 20 metres, either aided or unaided.  12 points.
f. Cannot, either aided or unaided, –
(i) stand; or
(ii) move more than 1 metre.  12 points.

I don't need any help with planning and following journeys. I was once very, very good at it. In my early twenties, I thought nothing of driving all over the place with just a paper map book in the car. Now I've probably become a little dependent on GPS and I struggle without it but being a modern techie-type isn't a disability.

I get my mobility points from the moving around category. When I filled in the form, I wasn't sure which box to tick. I ended up ticking the 50m to 200m box and supplying an explanation of what that kind of moving around involves. When I had my assessment though, I was put in the 20 - 50m with aids or appliances category, which gives me 10 points. 

PIP - moving around question

It is important to consider how quickly you can walk, how safely, how much pain it causes, whether you can do it repeatedly, etc. I can walk further than 50m but it's slow and painful. Actually, some days it's slow and painful walking less than 50m but I'm happy with the outcome for now. Although my CES (cauda equina syndrome) was treated and the nerve damage is stable, my knees are now showing signs of arthritis or something and it's often now my knees rather than my back that result in me walking less distance.


I think it also helped that I used my wheelchair for my assessment. Firstly, that meant I arrived looking and feeling human. I was able to process and answer all the questions, whereas when I'm in pain, I often forget to say things or get mixed up. Secondly, it showed that my wheelchair is a normal part of my life. It's not something we keep in the car for emergencies. A word of warning though, I would only do this if it genuinely is normal for you - it is easy to see whether someone is comfortable and confident using a wheelchair. Same goes for using a stick or crutches. If you use them most of the time, then use them for the assessment. 

So I get 10 points for mobility, which is enough to get me the standard rate. That is fine with me, though it irritates Neil when he knows people who can walk much further than me, who have the twelve points and a car. That doesn't worry me - I'm only responsible for my own honesty. I decided at the outset that I wouldn't lie or exaggerate my needs. When people do that, the government start tightening the rules and then the people who are most affected are those of us who really need the help.

Next time, I'll explain some of the links that can follow from PIP. It's not just about the money.

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