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Claimant Overturns PIP Appeal Tribunal Decision Using Google Maps

April 19, 2021

With many thanks to Benefits And Work.


A claimant represented by the London Irish Centre has succeeded in getting an appeal tribunal decision overturned at the upper tribunal by submitting evidence about the distance from his home to a bus stop using Google Maps.

The claimant did not attend an appeal on their PIP claim at which a first-tier tribunal held that they were able to walk more than 50 metres but no more than 200 metres, scoring just 4 points. They based this on the time it took the claimant to walk to the bus stop in order to go to their local shop, which the tribunal estimated to be a distance of between 310 and 390 metres.

However, the claimant’s representative at the upper tribunal submitted evidence taken from Google Maps to the Upper Tribunal showing that the distance was in fact just 140 metres.

Ordinarily, the upper tribunal does not consider new facts when considering a case.

However, the upper tribunal judge in this case set out the grounds on which the upper tribunal can accept new evidence and found that they were satisfied in this case.

In particular, the claimant’s representative argued that “plotting the precise distance in metres between an address and a (non-address) landmark, with details of incline, specifying that the journey was to be undertaken on foot, and placing the information in a readily understandable format for presentation in evidence involved considerable skill” that neither the claimant nor their original representative possessed.

The case was returned to a new first-tier tribunal for a full rehearing.

You can download a copy of the full decision here.

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