Caroline from Kent, on her mobility scooter in the woods

Motability Scheme extended

People whose DLA or PIP mobility rate is reduced will now be able to keep their Motability vehicle for longer, following a Government announcement.

What is the Motability Scheme?

The Motability Scheme helps disabled people get mobile by exchanging their mobility allowance to lease a vehicle.

Some people with MS are eligible for a car, scooter or powered wheelchair. You qualify if you’re on the higher rate mobility component of Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or the enhanced rate mobility component of Personal Independence Payment (PIP).

What does this announcement change?

At present, people who lose the higher rate mobility component of DLA, or the enhanced rate mobility component of PIP, are no longer entitled to a vehicle.

Before the announcement, they had to give their vehicle back after three weeks, even if they disagreed with the decision, decided to ask for reconsideration, and then appealed it. Sometimes they went on to win their reconsideration or appeal, and got their vehicle back anyway.

Now they'll be able to keep their Motability vehicle for longer, depending when they joined the Scheme.

If people take advantage of this option, their level of transitional support payment (a one-off payment for people who joined the Scheme before 2014) will be reduced.

So, some people will now be able to keep their vehicle during the process of mandatory reconsideration and appeal.

A welcome, if small, step

Our Policy Manager Laura Wetherly, said:

“Extending the Motability Scheme is a welcome, if small, step towards making a welfare system that makes sense.

“Many people with MS who rely on their Motability cars will be relieved to know they can avoid the distress and expense of losing their cars after receiving the initial PIP decision.

“Right now, some people have them returned, but only after a lengthy and stressful appeal.

“There’s still a lot to be done to make sure disability benefits assessments work for people with MS. Initial PIP decisions are often inaccurate, meaning people have to appeal to get what they deserve. PIP assessment criteria must be improved to accurately reflect the barriers people with MS face.”

Add your voice

Through MS: Enough, we’re campaigning to make sure people with MS are getting the support they need, to stay in work as long as they feel able, and to carry on living independently when work is no longer possible.

Photo: Caroline who has MS relies on her Motability scooter to stay in work