Van – Response from the DWP

You will remember the campaign to keep my disability vehicle. I have now received a reply from the minister’s office at the Department of Work & Pensions, in response to my proposal to change the legislation. Summary of the situation below:

1. I live in the type of care home, where I am not entitled to the mobility part of Personal Independence Payment. Therefore, no DWP funding.
2. I should apply to my local NHS Clinical Commissioning Group to be assessed for funding as part of my Continuing Healthcare funding.
3. In the event that the CCG deems the vehicle is necessary for my health and wellbeing, the CCG would pay Motability.
4. Motability, which is a charitable body, funds my vehicle under its hospitalisation provisions.

I still believe that the DWP should fund the vehicle, and that it shouldn’t matter in which type of accommodation you live. I outlined the rationale in the aforementioned proposal to the minister. I will keep readers updated, assuming that they still have the will to live.

20. Hasty Bank

Dear Andrew,

Thank you for your e-mail of 13 March. I appreciate you taking the time to make your proposals, but at the moment we do not have any plans to make legislative changes to Personal Independence Payment (PIP).
I would like to add some further clarification about the issue of double funding. This issue is not directly linked to the provision of a Motability vehicle but mobility provisions more generally. It is considered that a person receiving NHS Continuous Healthcare funding and living in a care home will have access to mobility support through this funding. The scope of the mobility provision provided to an individual in order to meet their identified needs is for local CCGs to determine.

The structure of the current Motability scheme means that when an individual who is in receipt of enhanced rate mobility PIP, higher rate mobility Disability Living Allowance, Armed Forces Independence Payment or War Pensions Mobility Supplement elects to join the Motability scheme the Department for Work and Pensions or Ministry of Defence directly transfer the benefit to Motability. As highlighted in my previous letter, any arrangement outside of this direct transfer of benefit payment would be a matter for Motability.

In this context I think it is also important to address your assertion that your proposal would ensure equality for all. That would not be the case as what you propose would only affect those who have elected to enter in to an arrangement with Motability (roughly a 1/3 of eligible individuals). Whilst it may look fair to those with a Motability agreement (regardless of whether they are continuing to personally benefit from use of the vehicle) it would not do so to those who have not.

Motability is able to consider individual cases and, depending on circumstances, put measures in place which allow people to retain their vehicles when payment of the relevant benefit ceases. Although Motability is an independent charitable organisation, and we are not directly involved in determining scheme policy or operational issues, where we can the Department works with Motability to help identify such cases.

Chris Ramm | Private Secretary to Sarah Newton MP, Minister for Disabled People, Health and Work | Department for Work & Pensions |
4th Floor, Caxton House, Tothill Street, London, SW1H 9NA

Author: 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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