In December 2017, RF, represented by the Public Law Project, persuaded the High Court to quash the PIP 2017 Regulations on the grounds that they were manifestly unreasonable, discriminated unfairly and because they were ‘game changers’ that should have been consulted on.  The court was also persuaded that the Regulations infringed the UN Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

The judge’s order quashing the Regulations was suspended pending an application to appeal by the Department of Work and Pensions.

However on 19 January 2018 Ms McVey told the House of Commons that she would not seek to appeal, and instead all those affected will have their benefits decisions reviewed. The mental health charity Mind estimate that around 164,000 cases will be affected, while the SSWP has since said that the figure may be around 220,000.  Ms McVey states that all those who may be entitled to more support following the RF judgement will be reviewed and written to and all appropriate payments backdated.

RF commented:

I am delighted to hear the Secretary of State has decided to honour the finding of the High Court that these regulations were ‘blatantly discriminatory’. I hope that future decisions will now be taken holding our human rights as central, so that no one else is put in a position where they have to either accept state discrimination or go to court over it’.

RF’s solicitor, Sara Lomri, said:

We are pleased that the Secretary of State is committed to making the PIP system fairer. The DWP have said that they will first draft guidance, undertake a review of all affected cases, and contact those affected by writing to them. PIP payments can make a huge difference to individuals’ lives, and it is obviously important that such steps are taken quickly and thoroughly.’

 Note to Editors:

The case was previously known as SM and RF, but is now known as RF v Secretary of State for Department of Work and Pensions. There is an anonymity order in place protecting SM and RF. Further enquiries can be made to Ollie Persey at o.persey@dev.publiclawproject.org.uk

Back