Letter to the Minister for Disabled People

Dear Sarah,

Thank you for your reply. As I reflect on this, it is clear that the legislation does not cater well for an active person living in a care home. I am writing in a constructive and hopefully helpful manner, to improve the current legislation.

I have been advised by you, Beacon and the MND Association that I am in an establishment as defined in Section 86, Part 4 of the Welfare Reform Act 2012, because my care home is led and staffed 24/7 by nurses, as well as carers. I am therefore classified as a ‘Hospital In-Patient’. Accordingly, I am not entitled to either PIP component.

Were I to be in an establishment as defined in section 85 of the Act, a ‘Care Home Resident’, then I would be entitled to the mobility part of PIP. While there is an extremely strong logic to say I live in a care home setting, further to the definition of ‘Qualifying Services’ in Section 85, see Appendix, my proposal does not focus on this.

I imagine that the distinction between the eligibility for the mobility component is made, because of an assumption that people in an establishment as defined in section 85 are more likely to be active and want to use a Motability vehicle.

Clearly, in my case, I am still very active and go out frequently in my Motability vehicle. I propose that the legislation be amended to say either:

1. People in an establishment as defined in section 86 do not lose their entitlement to the mobility part of PIP, or, if this is too difficult, then

2. People in an establishment as defined in section 86 will be asked by the DWP if they continue to require use of their Motability vehicle. In the event that the vehicle is still required, then the DWP will continue to pay the mobility component of the PIP to Motability.

My proposals will ensure that nobody has to apply to the CCG for funding of their vehicle. It ensures that everyone has their Motability vehicle paid for the same way, irrespective of where they live.

You write that the arrangements have been put in place because the entire cost is borne by the NHS, and it is therefore important to avoid double payment. I agree that double funding must be avoided. In my proposal it would never happen, because the CCG would not pay for the Motability vehicle were it still paid for by the DWP through PIP.

You write that similar considerations do not apply when someone is receiving NHS CHC at home, where people are likely to have a range of costs not covered by NHS funding. In terms of funding a Motability vehicle, I can see no reason why it should be different based on where you live. As I wrote above, there will never be double funding.

I trust you agree that this proposal is cost neutral to public finances, ensures equality for all, is simple for the DWP to implement and will remove one source of stress from people with terminal or serious illness. I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours,

Andrew Knowlman

Appendix

Current rules as explained in your letter to me:

Once someone is receiving NHS CHC in a residential accommodation setting, the nature of the funding means that the accommodation is treated as a hospital or similar institution and the payment of, but not entitlement to, both PIP components ceases 28 days following the date of admission. These are statutory arrangements under the provisions of Part 4 of the Welfare Reform Act 2012 and the Social Security, PIP, regulations 2013.
Definitions in Section 85 and Section 86:

85. Care Home Residents

1. Regulations may provide that no amount in respect of Personal Independence Payment which is attributable to entitlement to the daily living component is payable in respect of a person for a period where the person meets the condition in subsection 2.

2. The condition is that the person is a resident of a care home in circumstances in which any of the costs of any qualifying services provided for the person are borne out of public or local funds by virtue of a specified enactment.

3. In this section “care home” means an establishment that provides accommodation together with nursing or personal care.

4. The following are “qualifying services” for the purposes of subsection 2 –
a. Accommodation
b. Board
c. Personal care
d. Such other services as may be prescribed.

86. Hospital in-patients

1. Regulations may provide as mentioned in either or both of the following paragraphs –

a. that no amount in respect of Personal Independence Payment which is attributable to entitlement to the daily living component is payable in respect of a person for a period where the person meets the condition in subsection b. that no amount in respect of Personal Independence Payment which is attributable to entitlement to the mobility component is payable in respect of a person for a period where the person meets the condition in subsection

2. The condition is that the person is undergoing medical or other treatment as an in-patient in a hospital or similar institution in circumstances in which any of the costs of any qualifying services provided for the person are borne out of public or local funds by virtue of a specified enactment.

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Andrew Knowlman

I am a 50-year old father of two children, married to Jane. I live in Hertfordshire, UK. I was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis in April 2015.

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