PIP mobility and Motability

Apr 21, 2017

PIP Motability changes
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News of a Ministerial Statement on PIP and Motability

Many people have been obliged to hand back their Motability vehicle following an assessment from DLA (Disability Living Allowance) to PIP (Personal Independence Payment).

Unless they were assessed as eligible for the enhanced rate of PIP mobility, their monthly benefit was no longer adequate to pay for the lease.

Some two thirds of PIP assessments that are taken to appeal, are overturned. By that time, of course, the much-needed vehicle is long gone.

20.4.17 Penny Mordaunt, Minister for Disabled People, made a written statement

The Motability Scheme plays a vital role in the lives of many disabled people and their families in supporting their mobility through the provision of a car, scooter or powered wheelchair. Motability has no role in determining who should receive Disability Living Allowance or Personal Independence Payment.

In September 2013, the charity put in place a transitional support package, which includes up to £2,000 lump sum for those disabled people who are not entitled to the enhanced rate of the mobility component of Personal Independence Payment following reassessment from Disability Living Allowance to Personal Independence Payment in order to help them remain mobile.

Over the last few months, DWP and Motability have been working closely together to explore further ways of helping disabled people.

A key focus of this work has been how best to support Motability customers who are in the process of any reconsideration or appeal.

Today I am able to announce that Motability has kindly offered to enhance their Disability Living Allowance – Personal Independence Payment Transitional Support package to allow scheme customers to retain the car for up to eight weeks after their Disability Living Allowance payments end, a significant increase from the three weeks they are allowed today.

In addition customers who are eligible for a transitional support payment will be able to retain their car for up to six months, including during the processes of reconsideration or appeal. For those who take advantage of this option, the level of transitional support payment will be reduced.

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09.01.17: Ministerial update on PIP mobility/Motability

According to the latest information I have received, ways of providing better support for claimants are still being considered.

Penny Mordaunt, Minister for Disabled People, wrote to me:

“I remain committed to ensuring that claimants are supported as well as possible and believe that more may need to be done to help those no longer eligible for the Motability scheme – particularly those who hand back their vehicle but subsequently win at appeal. We are therefore continuing to look at these issues and I have written to Motability to discuss this with them”

This page will be updated as more news becomes available

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Any changes coming on PIP mobility component?

06.12.16 Despite what was said in Parliament by the Minister for Disabled People (see below), it seems that both the DWP and Motability are of a different opinion.

Motability say:

“We have no immediate plans to change the eligibility criteria for the Scheme or how we support Scheme customers who can no longer use the Scheme following a PIP reassessment”

and the DWP:

“…there have been no decisions at this time.”

Changes proposed to PIP mobility and the Motability scheme

The Minister for disabled people, Penny Mordaunt, recently announced that some surprising changes to PIP mobility are under consideration.

Speaking during a parliamentary debate on ESA and PIP, she said that she was discussing various measures with the DWP, including one which will make life a bit easier for anyone appealing against a PIP decision which has reduced their mobility benefit entitlement – that they should be able to retain their Motability vehicle, whilst the appeal process goes on.

As it is currently estimated that 100 people a day are losing their vehicles, and also, many who appeal against their initial assessment are successful in getting their benefit reinstated, clearly such a concession to commonsense will make quite a difference to significant number of disabled people.

Another change being proposed is that people who receive PIP mobility component should no longer forfeit it if they are out of the country for more than 13 weeks.

And finally, means are apparently being explored for opening up the Motability scheme to people who don’t receive the enhanced rate of PIP mobility or higher rate DLA mobility – quite how this would work is not yet clear.

This is what minister had to say:

“We have been discussing with relevant Departments ways to enable PIP claimants to keep their vehicle pending appeal, and we are exploring options to allow those who are not in receipt of the higher Motability component to have access to the Motability scheme. I am also exploring how claimants who are out of the country for extended periods can be better supported. We have a plan and the Treasury’s blessing. This week I have written to Motability to ask for its help in delivering that plan. I anticipate that the plan will require some changes to its processes, but I know that it will do all it can to help us in this matter, as it has in the past. We have a remarkable and unique partnership with Motability, and I hope in my tenure to maximise that.”

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This page will be updated as more news becomes available


Earlier information on PIP mobility

Urgent talks have taken place between government and disability user groups

Following a House of Lords debate, the government has been in talks with Disability Rights UK and the Disability Benefits Consortium about the PIP mobility criteria.

The talks were described as robust, but it does not seem that there is likely to be any significant change ahead of the independent PIP review, which will be published next April. One possible improvement that was discussed was recording assessments; something that I know many claimants would welcome as an unambiguous record of the event.

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Reassessment from DLA to PIP often resulting in loss of benefit

Baroness Thomas of Winchester, the LibDem peer who got the talks going by raising the issue in a House of Lords debate, is concerned that anyone who loses entitlement to the higher, or enhanced, rate mobility component also loses access to the Motability scheme. Being able to walk just 20 metres – aided or unaided – results in the loss of a car, mobility scooter or powered wheelchair.

Currently, some 700 people a week are losing their vehicles, compared with 100 a week a year or so ago. According to Motability figures, 45% of scheme users who have been reassessed from DLA to PIP have lost their vehicle as a consequence. That is more than 13,000 people no longer able to get about independently, with the consequent impact on their daily lives, and employment in some cases.

Motability users are only a minority of claimants affected

And she also points out that by no means everybody who receives higher rate mobility benefit uses it for a Motability vehicle: in fact, two thirds of people who are eligible for the scheme don’t use it. This would suggest that the real number affected by a loss of benefit of at least £35 per week as they are reassessed from DLA to PIP mobility is nearer 1500 a week.

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Successful appeals suggest problem with initial assessments

Many people who appeal against their initial assessment are successful in having it overturned. This suggests that the process is flawed. Disability Rights UK made a freedom of information request to the DWP for the number of claimants losing higher rate mobility component when transferred from DLA to PIP, but the request was turned down on the grounds that the information is intended to be published as a future date…

What is your experience?

If you have been reassessed from DLA to PIP, how did it go? Are you receiving the same level of benefit or has it changed? Do please get in touch with your experiences – you can add a comment at the bottom of this article, or contact us by email editor@independentliving.co.uk

Further Resources

You can read more about PIP and DLA here

More about the Motability scheme here

There is information about the transitional support provided by Motability to existing customers who lose their entitlement to a vehicle on reassessment, here

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16 Responses to “PIP mobility and Motability”

  1. Jon Baker July 27, 2015 at 9:46 am #

    Stop wasting your time! The new ‘Tory’ government owns the judicial system and disabled people in general are now the new ‘scroungers’ and as such will be victimised as much as necessary to support their policies of ‘benefit cuts’ right across the board. This appears as strength to ‘Tory’ supporters!

  2. Michelle Reece May 11, 2016 at 8:38 am #

    Keep fighting, we are being heard. The tories have made loads of U turns. I hope anyone who voted for them realise the damage they’ve done. It was such a shambolic general election.

    National day of strike is coming up on 4th July.

    • Frances May 11, 2016 at 8:52 am #

      Would certainly be great to see the mobility threshold restored to 50 metres!

       

      Talks take place next Tuesday, 17th May – fingers crossed…

       

  3. Samantha May 13, 2016 at 8:49 pm #

    My son has epilepsy and has upto 15 seizures daily and cannot be left alone and needs 24 hour supervision due to safety aspects as he gets no warning before a seizure. He was getting DLA at the high rate for care and the standard rate for mobilty. He turned 16 in December and we had to claim PIP he was awarded enhanced mobility but no daily living care rate at all. I find this absurd that it can go from one to the other and losing the daily living means I lose my carers allowance also. I don’t know how we are going to afford the £450 loss in his benefit being halved and me losing my carers as he can’t be left alone for me to go to work. We have appealed but were knocked back again for daily care so we are now taking it to a tribunal.

  4. Frances May 14, 2016 at 2:50 pm #

    That’s a really difficult situation to find yourself in, Samantha. Hope that things go well with the tribunal – lots of people are successful in overturning the original decision, so it’s always worth fighting.

    Good luck and best wishes

    • Samantha May 27, 2016 at 12:40 pm #

      Thank you Frances I’ve just come back from a meeting with my local mp who is going to look into our case and our housing needs as due to the cut in carers and benefits we can’t afford to pay the mortgage and stay where we are so have sold the house and having to move into my mums. This will mean 2 adults 2 kids and a dog living together in a 2 bedroom house until and if the council can rehome us in a home that we can afford. I’m at my wits end . I can’t believe they are going to make a child who’s going thru so much in his life as it is stand up at a tribunal while they cross examine him. By law he still is a child at 16, he can’t drive or drink alcohol, cant vote for the government who sanctions his benefits either yet they treat him like an adult when it comes to claiming benefits.

      • Frances May 27, 2016 at 1:42 pm #

        I’m so sorry, Samantha – can’t really imagine how difficult things are for you… I hope that your mp can do something to help, and also that you have good support for taking your appeal before the tribunal? Keep me posted, and if positive thoughts and good wishes can help at all, you have them!

  5. Tanya Newman May 15, 2016 at 9:05 am #

    It’s not just the walking thing … my son is diagnosed with having a lot of autistic tendencies and severe ADHD and the pip people are trying to tell me that is not cognitive. He has been getting mobility for the last 4 years he was claiming DLA. We asked them to reconsider and gave more proof but still they say the same. The whole system is messed up so Cameron and his friends can benefit!

    • Frances May 15, 2016 at 9:55 am #

      That’s really grim, Tanya – have you taken it to the tribunal? Lots of people are successful in getting the decision overturned there…

  6. Andrew beech May 16, 2016 at 9:51 pm #

    My wife was one of first to get pip in April 2014, got enhanced daily living and standard mobility, which we got changed to enhanced after re-consideration.The whole report was a pack of lies!
     
    She was called for reassessment in Jan 2016, had face to face 5 weeks ago, just got the report, and they’ve downgraded both awards! Wife suicidal at present, now on Valium! She suffers with fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, migrainous vertigo, depression, diverticulitis, type 1 diabetes, asthma, chronic rhino sinusitis. Enough for anyone to contend with. Thus losing mobility car, her only way of getting out of the house, £30 p/w daily living award. Now preparing case for reconsideration. Extremely stressful at present!

    • Frances May 17, 2016 at 7:38 am #

      Hello Andrew – I’m so sorry to hear about your wife’s experience with PIP reassessment. I hope that you are successful with reconsideration. As you say, she (and you) have enough to contend with, without the added stress and loss of income.
       
      Let me know how you get on!

  7. R Elms May 18, 2016 at 1:46 pm #

    Guardian today reported that the government is going to spend an extra £22m on more specialist staff to fight appeals because of the number of cases they are losing. But at the same time few appellants have any assistance in fighting the appeals. That’s what a caring government thinks of disabled people in a fair society.

    • Frances May 18, 2016 at 2:33 pm #

      It doesn’t seem that fairness figures at all! Can’t help thinking they could have used that money better paying it to the people who need it in the first place…

  8. mohammed mahmood February 28, 2017 at 10:38 am #

    I was on DLA higher rate for care and mobility since 2004. I moved over to PIP around August 2016 and it was a straight forward process and I received the enhanced rate in care and mobility for the next 10 years. The process was straight forward for me as I am a permanent wheelchair user.

    • Pat Allerton March 8, 2017 at 6:40 pm #

      This makes me so mad !. You say because you are a permanent wheelchair user ? So is that the only disability there is ? Many wheelchair users are able to work full time , play sports, have an active social life. Please do not be so smug. There are many permanent wheelchair users losing their benefits every day.

      • Mohammed Mahmood March 15, 2017 at 3:33 pm #

        I was not been smug at all, but merely giving my opinion on the process of moving from DLA to PIP and what happened to me.

        I never said because I was a permanent wheelchair user that there were no other disabilities as clearly there is.

        I have friends who are in wheelchairs who have lost benefits which does not make any sense, so the government/dwp are not consistent when assessing individuals from DLA to PIP.

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