PIP migration brings reduced mobility

PIP migration brings reduced mobility

In addition to the general anxiety surrounding the move from DLA to PIP after the confusion about likely government cuts, Helen Dolphin says many disabled people also face the reality of losing something vital to their mobility and independence.

Like many disabled people I am anxiously awaiting the day when I get a letter from Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) telling me that I can no longer receive Disability Living Allowance (DLA) and need to apply for Personal Independence Payment (PIP). One of my greatest concerns is should I score less than 10 points on the “moving about” criteria I will have to part with my Motability vehicle. Having read the assessment criteria for the PIP mobility component I think I should still qualify (I am a quadruple amputee) but I have read so many stories online and in the press about seriously disabled people losing their vehicles that it is certainly not something I would be confident about.

Currently about 400 Motability customers a week are losing their vehicles because of being assessed for PIP. Of all these people three quarters now get the standard rate of mobility (so cannot qualify for the Motability scheme) and one quarter were awarded nothing. However, on appeal one in 10 was successful in upgrading their original award.

Recently Motability commissioned some research to obtain feedback on the process of leaving the scheme, the impact of their Transition Support Payment (TSP) – former customers are awarded up to £2,000 – and whether those customers who have left have been able to maintain a decent level of mobility.

Sadly the results show that two thirds of people who had to leave the scheme have indicated deterioration in their mobility and 12% rated their mobility now as very low. This may be because some people losing their Motability vehicle will only be able to walk just over 20 metres so even getting to the bus stop would be impossible without a wheelchair. However, what is significant is that four out of five people who bought or leased a car after leaving the scheme purchased it using the TSP from Motability. I therefore wonder what people’s mobility will be like a few years down the line when the car needs replacing and there is no TSP to help.

When asked if given the opportunity would they re-join the scheme most people said they would. However, the primary reason for people not wishing to re-join the scheme in the future was the emotional turmoil related to the possibility of losing the car again. This shows just what a stressful and upsetting experience it can be in spite of everything Motability has done to make it as easy as possible.

I am also concerned for those people who will now because of PIP never have the opportunity to join Motability and access all the scheme benefits. When I think back to how I got back behind a wheel after becoming disabled I really don’t think it would have happened if it hadn’t been for the support I was given from Motability. After all it was Motability who sent me to the Forum of Mobility centres to find out what adaptations I needed, then they told me where I could get them done and arranged everything for me. As a newly disabled person I really didn’t have a clue. In addition, had I not had my driving licence, Motability would have funded my driving lessons.

The research carried out by Motability shows what I was expecting that people’s mobility has been affected by the loss of their vehicle although I am concerned that the true extent will not really become apparent for several more years. In the meantime I like many other disabled people will continue to wait for the dreaded letter to drop through the post.

5 thoughts on “PIP migration brings reduced mobility

  1. Like many when I was awarded DLA I was told the award was for life. Probably because no cure for Multiple Sclerosis has yet been found.
    I find the questions and criteria slightly disturbing as it simply puts a tick box against disability.
    For example can you walk 20 yards,as it is now appears to be the single qualification criteria for mobility under PIP.
    Should the question include how likely a person is to fall over because of balance issues would be more reassuring. It might also include how likely a person is to sustain injury by a fall.
    Personally I have no sense of balance other than vision and the simple fact that my legs don’t respond quickly enough to stop me falling over.
    I could go on but until the Government makes sensible qualification as to inclusion with severely degenerative illness then I still live in fear from the potential changes to DLA.

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    1. I agree with a lot of what’s been written. I was injured in 1990 I received DLA low care after my daughters friends dad who worked for CAB told me to claim because I kept burning myself and cutting myself when trying to prepare meals. Each year I deteriorated more, then whilst in hospital in 1994 I had a letter to say I was awarded high mobility for life, due to a test case. I decided after a lot of thought that I would try for middle care DLA only to be told I wouldn’t get DLA but PIP. I went for the assessment a few weeks ago, then last week received the letter to say I had been awarded both parts. The interesting thing about their
      decision was that everything I had said in the interview was turned around in decision letter. This did Annoy me as it could have gone the other way and I would have lost everything. Also they state you do not get back payment as you did with DLA so payments come a lot later. A crafty way of saving more government money.

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  2. I recently received The Letter. My heart sank and I am petrified of losing my car. I am a wheelchair user and my Motability car has an electric hoist to help with loading/unloading and I have no confidence that I will get the PIP award because there seems to be no actual common sense when awarding.

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  3. I had been diagnosed with crohn’s colitis in 1973 and continued to work with this condition all my adult life until breaking my back in a fall at work in 1993 I was awarded DLA care and mobility at the higher rate in 1996 for life I have since developed further conditions diabetes melitis, rheumatoid and osteo arthritis, scleritis, asthma and angina which resulted in a stent insertion 3 years ago. and hospitalization in for Angina in June this year. I have had my pips assessment in July 2016 after a home visit by a Capita paramedic and have received my award letter one month ago stating I am entitled to the standard rate of care! needless to say I have asked for a reconsideration and am awaiting the decision on this I just thought I would share this nugget with you just to give some idea what is needed to get the same level of entitlement you had before this new system came about. This assessment policy must have been thought up in a drinking session at parliament booze is about 30 pence a shot you know some one has to pay for it I guess we are it. I will keep you posted.

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  4. I have just been told that I have been awarded standard and am going to lose my car on the 15th March. I am distraught over it and I am already suffering grave depression with anxiety and panic attacks. Where I live it’s half a mile to the bus stop I can’t walk 10 metres let alone that far and I would be in great discomfort and pain on a bus. This is disgusting I have emailed Theresa May. At ten downing street and they are looking into my case. I am going to cab for help. I f I win I intend to claim compensation from atop for all the stress they have caused me. This is the fourth time they have refused me. I won every time on apeal so far so if I win again they will be hearing from me. Calling atos I asked to speak to the directors office which is my right however I was told he’s based overseas. In France and there’s no way I can contact them. Totally disgusting I’m fighting this all the way.. don’t give up n fight on. I’m with you all X Karen

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