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Accessibility of mobility support for disabled people must be improved: new SSAC report

23 November 2020

The Social Security Advisory Committee (SSAC) has published a new report that concludes that the Motability scheme be improved in terms of its accessibility to disabled people.

The report explores the current support in Motability coupled with the availability of the DLA and the PIP mobility component.

DR UK was one of the organisations that gave oral evidence to the SSAC.

SSAC recommends that the DWP should use the forthcoming Green Paper - that will look at how the DWP and the benefits system “can best help disabled people” - to consider some of the difficulties claimants have using the Motability Scheme.

The report says that this should include:

  • reviewing the length of PIP awards (particularly for life-long and progressive conditions);
  • reviewing eligibility criteria for PIP/DLA considering whether there is merit in extending the mobility element to children under three and for some who acquire a disability after state pension age); and
  • exploring whether the length of time between reassessment and appeal can be shortened to prevent those with an ongoing entitlement from losing their car and having to re-apply.

Among the report’s other recommendations include that:

  • the DWP works with other departments and devolved governments to explore what can be done to promote equality of access by disabled people to bus services throughout the UK, regardless of the time of day or region;
  • the DWP, in collaboration with other government departments as appropriate, should explore the feasibility of extending broader transport options - such as buses on-demand and taxi services - to those who do not obtain a private vehicle via Motability;
  • Motability develop a more flexible scheme in line with customers’ needs, in particular, focusing on a more tailor-made lease package, variable lease lengths and insurance options; and
  • Motability foster more systematic and inclusive engagement with disabled people across the country to strengthen its decision making for strategy and policy.

The SSAC report SSAC Occasional Paper 23: The use of public funds in supporting the mobility needs of disabled people is available from gov.uk.