• ‘Shocking’ PIP figure raises new Motability concerns

    The number of disabled people eligible for a Motability vehicle solely on the grounds of a physical impairment could be set to plunge to just one-third of its current level within four years, government figures suggest.

    The new concerns emerged after the Commons work and pensions committee published responses from the government to five questions that disabled people’s minister Mike Penning had been unable to answer when giving evidence to the committee last month.

    Among the answers were new statistics relating to the introduction of personal independence payment (PIP), which is replacing working-age disability living allowance.

    The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) then confirmed to Disability News Service that by May 2018 – as revealed in its response to the most recent PIP consultation – only an estimated 238,000 disabled people will be claiming the enhanced mobility rate of PIP solely on the grounds of the barriers they face in moving around.

    DWP figures show there will be a total of 602,000 people receiving the enhanced rate of mobility support under PIP by 2018, but only 238,000 of them will be claiming solely on the grounds of physical difficulties moving around.

    DWP confirmed that – although it does not have exact figures – the “majority” of the 985,000 working-age people currently claiming the equivalent higher rate mobility component of DLA are receiving it for “primarily physical impairments”.

    This – along with analysis of the “main” disabling condition for all DLA claimants – suggests that the number of disabled people receiving the higher rate of the mobility benefit solely on the grounds of a physical mobility impairment could plunge to less than one-third of its current level by 2018.

    Losing the right to claim the enhanced rate of mobility support – whether through DLA or PIP – means claimants can no longer use that money to secure a vehicle through the Motability scheme.

    Jane Young, an independent consultant who advises DWP on aspects of the PIP reforms, said: “It is such a tiny number of people. I was really, really shocked. It is alarmingly low.

    “In a country with a population the size of ours, for only 238,000 disabled people to be deemed to have sufficiently significant physical mobility difficulties for proper help is completely outrageous.”

    A DWP spokesman said: “The assessment criteria have been designed to target support at those who need it most – those who face the greatest barriers to living independent lives.

    “They have also been designed to better reflect today’s understanding of all disability.”

    He added: “In the past, higher rate mobility was focussed on individuals with a physical disability; now claimants will be able to get the enhanced rate if their condition means they cannot plan and follow a familiar journey unassisted.

    “These figures need to be balanced by the fact that nearly 75 per cent of the current caseload will continue to receive an award under PIP.”

    But Young said: “The DWP’s idea of fairness, in which disabled people with physical mobility difficulties have their support reduced while more support is given to people with difficulties planning and following a journey, does not appear to bear any relation to the legal concept of equality, for example in the Equality Act.

    “It is unacceptable to use this ‘rebalancing’ to justify removing vital support for independent mobility from people with significant walking difficulties, which will seriously compromise their independence.”

    Disabled people who replied to a public consultation last year on the government’s decision to decrease the PIP walking distance criteria from 50 to 20 metres said that losing their Motability vehicle would “give them a significantly reduced quality of life”, increase their social isolation, prevent them working and have an impact on their family life and their mental and physical health.

    News provided by John Pring at www.disabilitynewsservice.com

    Aden

    Aden

    Hi I'm Aden, I work at DisabledGo as the Digital Marketing Manager and I manage the blog and all social media channels.

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    • m montgomery

      everything designed to help the disabled in the past like help getting around and help to employment such as the remploy factories are slowly but surely being stripped away .what shocks me more than anything Cameron has or should have more understanding of the complexity of disability he was quick enough to claim everything going for his own son and him with a millionaires bank balance but has no idea of the extra cost disability entails for the ordinary person on benefits like the costs of taxis and heating etc .they really do deserve there name as the nasty party

    • Elaine Nicholson

      oh god no!! My motability pays for my car, it is the only way I can get into my town or go anywhere. My daughter had to use my car last week as hers was in the garage. I couldn’t leave the house all week. i had to cancel Dr’s appointments etc. If I was fit and well i could have used the bus but I can’t get of the bus on my own. I know many others that if they loose their cars or scooters they would be stuck at home. My car is my life line without it I go insane stuck in my home.

      • Robert Dyet

        No offence, but your vehicle is for you to get from A to B not to substitute ur daughters car. You can have your car taken off you for breaking this condition.

        While they are permitted as named driver on insurance to take you about or do earns for you that is the extent of use. So be careful read the terms of use or you may loose your mobility vehicle.

      • graeme sergeant

        You have actually broken the law,it is your car. If you can drive a car then you do not need the government to buy you one.Disability is an industry now like the whole benefits system.It was time to get a grip,The blue badge should be the next thing the government investigates.Ihave a blue badge and a car.Inoperable Brain Stem artery.I do not drive

        • https://goo.gl/l0EXsI

          But Young said: “The DWP’s idea of fairness, in which disabled people with physical mobility difficulties have their support reduced while more support is given to people with difficulties planning and following a journey, does not appear to bear any relation to the legal concept of equality, for example in the Equality Act.

    • Elaine Nicholson

      To Robert – My car is not a motability car it is my own car that the motability payments pay for. We had to buy our own car the year I had to leave my job and could not get DLA. My point was that if I lost access to my car permanently I would be unable to leave my home for appointments. At the weekend we used the train as an alternative and it was extremely hard work. I got to a stage where I could barely walk, I stupidly hadn’t taken my wheel chair and got to a stage where I could barely walk. Using my wheelchair is hard on public transport and is a nightmare in city centers. So with all due respect my daughter using my car is to me proof of how I would struggle if that car wasn’t there when I needed it!!

    • Kooljeff

      “…They have also been designed to better reflect today’s understanding of all disability….”

      Or DWP disability denial.

    • Ed Scott

      The disabled industry has grown like Topsy, & IDS is the first minister with the guts to tackle it. Unfortunately, The Blue-Badge scheme will continue to flourish, which means that more wide spaces will be blocked to genuinely mobility-disabled people by those who could quite easily park in normal spaces.

      • Ed Scott

        Too many are classed as disabled who aren’t – go to it IDS, sort these fakers out!

        • lisers

          funny all are expert on disability all of a sudden

          • https://goo.gl/XJxd2z

            These figures need to be balanced by the fact that nearly 75 per cent of the current caseload will continue to receive an award under PIP

      • Judy b

        I suggest you try using a normal space to get out of a car and bring a wheelchair long side without scraping the car alongside. If you do it without issues you are then faced by a change of car alongside you who has parked too close so you have to wait for their return.