Disability Rights UK calls for immediate reform of disgraceful PIP mobility rules

Tue,11 April 2017
News Benefits

Disability Rights UK (DR UK) is appalled at figures showing that more than 50,000 disabled people have had specially adapted vehicles taken away since Personal Independence Payment (PIP) was introduced.

View BBC news report

The removal of Motability cars from disabled people who rely on them has devastated their independence, in many cases removed their ability to work and meant they are effectively housebound.

However, the situation is much worse than today’s figures from Motability imply. Only a third of disabled people who are eligible are in the Motability scheme - the remaining two thirds are not.

On this basis, around 150,000 disabled people have lost their higher mobility payments – worth £57.45 per week and a vital contribution to their extra costs of travel.

Worryingly, the Government has so far refused to confirm PIP’s actual impact. Although it has released 12 statistical reports on PIP not one of them has said how many disabled people have been awarded the enhanced PIP mobility rate.

DR UK had a Freedom of Information Act request refused a year ago.  We asked for figures on the number of claimants that have lost their higher mobility component awards but were told “the information is intended for publication at a future date”.

We say that future date has now come.  We call on the Government to confirm that at least 150,000 disabled people  have lost their enhanced mobility component since PIP was introduced with all the consequences that has for their independence.

Allowing people to keep their Motability car whilst they appeal a PIP decision will help but on its own is simply not the answer. The rule that confines higher mobility awards only to those who can walk up to 20 metres must be scrapped. It makes no sense and was only ever a cost cutting measure. 

Instead, those awards must again include those disabled people who can only walk up to 50 metres who are bound to have the same extra costs.  Otherwise we will see thousands of disabled people force to stay at home with no prospect of employment or contributing to their community.