High Court hears PIP disability discrimination case

Published: December 11 2017

High Court hears PIP disability discrimination case

The two-day hearing in RF v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions commences tomorrow, Tuesday 12 December, in the High Court.

PLP’s client, RF, contends that the way people experiencing psychological distress are treated by new Personal Independence Payment (PIP) rules is unfair and discriminatory.

PIP was introduced in 2013 as a replacement for the Disability Living Allowance and provides an essential lifeline for people with disabilities to support their higher costs of living.

Regulations that came into force in March 2017 mean that people with serious mental health conditions, who are unable to plan or undertake a journey because of overwhelming psychological distress, now receive fewer points in the PIP assessment. As a consequence they are only entitled to a lower level of support, if any.

It is RF’s case that the DWP’s changes to PIP are discriminatory and unfair, and should not have been implemented without undertaking a thorough consultation.

The Claimant is represented by Martin Westgate QC , Alison Pickup and Sara Lomri. The Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) and mental health charity Mind are intervening by way of written submissions in support of the claimant's case.

Sara Lomri commented that:

“My client is a vulnerable individual, who, despite her significant mental health difficulties, is bringing this important case. The new rules will have a significant negative impact on not only her life, but on the lives of many with 'invisible' disabilities. She has told me that losing enhanced PIP for mobility will have a huge impact on her ability to participate in society, and on her independence.”


NOTE TO EDITORS:

Martin Westgate QC is of Doughty Street Chambers.
Alison Pickup and Sara Lomri are both of the Public Law Project. Alison is PLP’s Legal Director and Sara is Deputy Legal Director.
The ‘rolled-up’ permission and substantive hearing will take place High Court, RCJ, London, 12 -13th December. There is an anonymity order in place protecting the Claimant. Further enquiries can be made to o.persey@publiclawproject.org.uk

COURT DETAILS:

Court 50
Before Mr Justice Mostyn 
Tuesday 12 December, 2017
10.30am

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