15 points for mobilising and support group placement
Enhanced PIP mobility and standard rate daily living component but only 6 points for ESA Mobilising
Jeff was awarded just 6 points for ESA so he was found fit for work. PIP had awarded him the standard rate of both components and his mobility points had been scored for Moving around, so for his physical limitation. We do appreciate that there are important differences between the ESA and PIP tests for mobility. One of these is that even it was accepted that a claimant could not walk more than 50 metres without having to stop, a finding that they could mobilise more than 50 metres using a suitable walking aid, such as a manual wheelchair, then the 15 points would not be awarded.
It would have been reasonable though if ESA had taken account of the Department’s own findings that supported his awards of standard rate PIP daily living component and enhanced rate mobility component. It is important to distinguish the findings from the award; using the award as evidence can be helpful but the findings that supported the award can be much more powerful. This is why we recommend that you ask whichever Department for a copy of the full assessment report, whether or not it was based on a face-to-face meeting.
The Department was represented at Jeff’s ESA appeal hearing but that Presenting Officer said that she was bound by what was in the Department’s supplemental submission. They were not moved by any of the additional evidence that had been sent in so no additional ESA points were conceded at the start of the hearing. The way it was phrased suggested to me, and perhaps to the tribunal, that the Presenting Officer had her own view.
The Presenting Officer was not available when the tribunal clerk invited us in to the room to receive the decision and Jeff opted to stay where he was so we went in on my own. The judge said that it had been an easy decision for them to award 15 points for ‘limited capability for work’, which also placed Jeff in the support group. The tribunal also recommended to the DWP that Jeff should not be reassessed for 24 months from the hearing date. Jeff and his wife were delighted, relieved and a little tearful.
It seemed to us to have been an appeal that did not need to happen.