Govt talks with DR UK and DBC on PIP mobility rules

Wed,4 May 2016
News Benefits

Disability Rights UK welcomes the Government’s agreement to hold urgent talks with us and the Disability Consortium on the fairness of the current PIP moving around descriptors.

The public offer was made by the DWP Minister during a House of Lords debate on 4 may 2016 where the Lords voted to accept the following motion proposed by Lady Thomas of Winchester:

“That this House calls on Her Majesty’s Government to hold urgent talks with Disability Rights UK and the Disability Benefits Consortium to identify a mobility criterion in the Personal Independence Payment “moving around” assessment which is fairer than the current 20 metre distance, in the light of the impact on reassessed disabled claimants and the resulting large number of successful appeals.”

You can read a transcript of the Lords debate

Read Baroness Altmann letter to Baroness Thomas clarifying point in PIP mobility debate

Disability Rights UK says:

"Motability has reported that, to date, 45% of scheme users - over 13,000 - who have been reassessed from DLA have lost their Motability cars.

It tells us that the number of DLA claimants losing their scheme cars has risen from 100 per week this time last year to around 500 per week now.

However, the situation is much worse than this as currently only around of third of disabled people who are eligible have chosen to join Motability - the remaining two thirds have not.

On this basis, around 1,500 disabled people a week who receive the higher DLA mobility rate are not being awarded its PIP equivalent.

This means they have no eligibility for the Motability Scheme and will lose at least £35 per week in benefit (£1,800 per year).

The result is devastating on their independence and has resulted in loss of employment for some.

Our preferred option would be that the enhanced rate of PIP be awarded to all those who now and in the future cannot reliably walk up to 50 metres.

This would involve all those who have been awarded a standard mobility award being awarded instead the enhanced rate without any need for reassessment.

Finally, while welcoming discussions with the Government, these need to be informed talks.

We have recently had a Freedom of Information Act request refused by the DWP requesting figures on the number of DLA claimants that have lost the higher mobility component.

This was refused on the grounds that “the information is intended for publication at a future date”.

Given the agreement for talks, we call on the Minister to publish detailed breakdowns of those not being awarded PIP enhanced mobility so that all discussions can be fully informed."

See also Baroness Thomas: I'm not holding my breath for DWP changes to PIP