EHRC and Mind to intervene in disability discrimination case concerning PIP Regulations

Published: November 29 2017

EHRC and Mind to intervene in disability discrimination case concerning PIP Regulations

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) and Mind have been granted permission to intervene in support of a High Court case brought by our client, RF.

RF’s case concerns rules introduced by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) in February 2017. The new rules mean it is much harder for those with severe and enduring conditions, which include psychological distress, to get certain Personal Independent Payment (PIP) awards in comparison to other conditions or disabilities.  The case contends that the new rules are unfair and discriminatory.

Sara Lomri, RF’s solicitor, comments:

Both the EHRC and Mind have extensive experience working with people who have experienced discrimination on the basis of mental ill health and will provide valuable guidance to the court.  Our client is heartened that both organisations recognise the negative impact that the discriminatory PIP regulations have on those with mental health impairments, and that they are supporting her claim, in addition to those organisations such as The National Autistic Society and Disability Rights UK who have also written in support.

PIP was introduced in 2013 as a replacement for the Disability Living Allowance and aimed to provide an essential lifeline for people with disabilities to support their higher costs of living, as well as a 20% costs saving to HM Treasury as part of the broader austerity cuts.  Many affected individuals and campaigners have been raising their concerns about the unfairness in the PIP framework. In August 2017 the UN Committee on the Rights of People with Disability raised concerns about the impact of austerity measures resulting in severe economic constraints on those with disabilities and their families, including increased reliance on food banks. Specifically, the Committee recommended that the Government repeal these PIP regulations, but the Government did not act. In this context, our client felt she had no option but to challenge this very unfair system using the courts.  She hopes that the support from EHRC and Mind and others will help her to get the unfair Regulations quashed.

NOTE TO EDITORS:
The ‘rolled-up’ permission and substantive hearing will be held in the High Court, Royal Courts of Justice (RCJ), London on 12 and 13 December. There is an anonymity order in place protecting the Claimant.  Further enquiries should be made to o.persey@publiclawproject.org.uk

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