Author Topic: Ministers back down in legal battle over disability benefits  (Read 500 times)

lankou

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Ministers back down in legal battle over disability benefits
« on: January 19, 2018, 07:10:39 PM »
This is good news for once.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-42745616

Ministers back down in legal battle over disability benefits 42 minutes ago
Ministers have backed down in a row over paying higher disability benefits to 164,000 people by saying they will not contest a High Court decision.

Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey said she would not appeal December's judgment over payments to people with mental health conditions.

Ministers had sought to limit those suffering psychological distress from claiming higher rates of benefits.

Campaigners said this was "crude and unfair" and welcomed the u-turn.

The government introduced regulations last March stating that people who could not travel independently on the grounds of psychological distress, as opposed to other conditions, were not entitled to the enhanced mobility rate of Personal Independence Payment.




Ministers pressed ahead with the proposals despite criticism from an independent tribunal in 2016 but the High Court ruled shortly before Christmas that they were "blatantly discriminatory".

The government was expected to challenge the ruling, having previously said reversing the changes would cost an extra £3.7bn by 2022.

But Ms McVey, in one of her first major announcements since joining the cabinet last week, ruled out fresh legal action in a written statement to Parliament.

"My department will now take all steps necessary to implement the judgment in the best interests of our claimants, working closely with disabled people and key stakeholders over the coming months," she said, adding that all payments would be backdated to the effective date in each individual claim.

"Although I and my department accept the High Court's judgment, we do not agree with some of the detail contained therein.

"Our intention has always been to deliver the policy intent of the original regulations, as approved by Parliament, and to provide the best support to claimants with mental health conditions."

'Indefensible'

The Department for Work and Pensions will now go through all affected cases to identify anyone who may be entitled to more as a result of the judgment.

All payments will be backdated to the effective date in each individual claim.

Labour's shadow work and pensions secretary Debbie Abrahams said ministers had been wrong to "ignore" the view of an independent tribunal and to try and "defend the indefensible".

"Serious questions remain including, how many people have been adversely affected by the government's reckless decision to oppose the tribunal's original judgment?," she said.

"And how quickly will people with severe mental health conditions receive the support to which they are rightly entitled? This is yet more evidence of the duplicity and disarray of the Tories' social security policies."

Mark Atkinson, chief executive of disability charity Scope, said the original proposals were discriminatory.

"This announcement is a victory for the many disabled people who have been unable to access support they are entitled to. The regulations introduced last March made crude and unfair distinctions between those with physical impairments and mental health conditions."


Monic1511

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Re: Ministers back down in legal battle over disability benefits
« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2018, 08:16:00 PM »
From Rightsnet & not sure its any different from the detail already posted - I can often understand the rightsnet explanation better though

Government announces it will not appeal High Court judgment that found PIP mobility amendment regulations unlawful
Secretary of State also says earlier decision relating to psychological distress and mobility will also be implemented
The government has announced that it will not appeal a High Court judgment that found personal independence payment (PIP) mobility amendment regulations unlawful.
In a written statement in the House of Commons today, Ms McVey announced that 'after careful consideration' she has decided not to appeal the High Court's judgment in RF v SSWP & Ors [2017] EWHC 3375 (Admin) that found regulation 2(4) of the Social Security (Personal Independence Payment) (Amendment) Regulations 2017 unlawful.
NB - the 2017 regulations came into effect on 16 March 2017 and were laid in response to the Upper Tribunal decision in MH v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions [2016] UKUT 0531 (AAC). The new regulations had the effect of excluding eligibility in respect of three of the mobility activity 1 descriptors - 1c, 1d, and 1f - if the cause of the claimant meeting the descriptor would have been psychological distress.
Introducing her statement by saying that support for people with mental health conditions is a 'top priority' for the government, Ms McVey goes on to explain that -
'On 21st December 2017 the High Court published its judgment in the judicial review challenge against regulation 2(4) of the Social Security (Personal Independence Payment) (Amendment) Regulations 2017 S.I. 2017/194. The Regulations reversed the effect of the Upper Tribunal judgment in MH.
I wish to inform the House that, after careful consideration, I have decided not to appeal the High Court judgment. My Department will now take all steps necessary to implement the judgment in MH in the best interests of our claimants, working closely with disabled people and key stakeholders over the coming months.
Although I and my Department accept the High Courtís judgment, we do not agree with some of the detail contained therein. Our intention has always been to deliver the policy intent of the original regulations, as approved by Parliament, and to provide the best support to claimants with mental health conditions.
The Department for Work and Pensions will now undertake an exercise to go through all affected cases in receipt of PIP and all decisions made following the judgment in MH to identify anyone who may be entitled to more as a result of the judgment. We will then write to those individuals affected, and all payments will be backdated to the effective date in each individual claim.'
Ms McVey's written statement is available from parliament.uk


lankou

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Re: Ministers back down in legal battle over disability benefits
« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2018, 08:45:49 PM »

Ms McVey's written statement is available from parliament.uk

Have you a link please,  because I can't find it.

SteveX

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Re: Ministers back down in legal battle over disability benefits
« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2018, 10:11:08 PM »
What does this mean for some of us on here?
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Sunny Clouds

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Re: Ministers back down in legal battle over disability benefits
« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2018, 01:13:45 AM »
Here's the simple version.

A court has said the government was wrong to stop some people getting the mobility component of PIP on mental grounds and the government has said it isn't going to go to a higher court and that instead it will re-write the rules so that more people with mental problems can get money for mobility.


A slightly longer explanation of what happened.

When Theresa May and her ministers realised from a court decision about PIP that people with mental problems could get help with mobility, they changed the criteria for it so only very few people with mental problems could get it, so lots of people lost money.  But someone went to court to challenge them and a judge has said they didn't have the power to make that change because it was discriminatory.

Esther McVey has now said that the government won't appeal the court's decision to a higher court, but instead will make new rules similar to the old ones.  They are consulting with various organisations about it.

So we will have to see what comes of it, but it looks likely that more people with mental problems will get some money for mobility as well as care.

« Last Edit: January 20, 2018, 12:05:40 PM by Sunny Clouds »
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)

Prabhakari

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Re: Ministers back down in legal battle over disability benefits
« Reply #5 on: January 20, 2018, 06:11:35 AM »
Tory M.P.'s are getting nervous.
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Fiz

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Re: Ministers back down in legal battle over disability benefits
« Reply #7 on: January 20, 2018, 05:04:27 PM »
This looks like I'd be eligible but if it didn't help me obtain a car I don't have the mental energy to do anything about it. I'm stuck in my house, alone, whatever.

Monic1511

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Re: Ministers back down in legal battle over disability benefits
« Reply #8 on: January 20, 2018, 07:16:16 PM »
sorry just back and this is the written statement - which I think you have already posted
https://www.theyworkforyou.com/wms/?id=2018-01-19.HCWS414.h&s=speaker%3A24882#gHCWS414.0