SNP MP Corri Wilson has called on the UK Government to clarify whether a mobility car scheme for people with disabilities is to be extended after a Department for Work and Pensions Minister announced the move during a Westminster debate but has since left claimants waiting weeks for more information.
During a debate on Employment Support Allowance and Personal Independence Payment in November last year – benefits designed to help those who cannot work because of a disability or long-term health condition – Minister for Disability, Work and Health, Penny Mordaunt, indicated that eligibility for the Motability Car Scheme would be extended to more disabled people, such as those on the standard mobility rate of PIP.
Currently neither DLA nor PIP claimants are required to hand back their vehicles to Motability as recent DWP changes to eligibility criteria means that only people eligible for enhanced rate of mobility support are allowed to keep their vehicle.
Corri Wilson MP, the SNP’s spokesperson for Disabilities, said: “At this time of year it is often difficult for many people to get around but for disabled people it is a year-round struggle and it is important we do everything possible to help them live independent lives.
“Extending the eligibility for joining Motability to include more disabled people is a hugely welcome move but we urgently need more clarity from the Department for Work and Pensions on this apparent announcement.
“Penny Mordaunt also said that the DWP were exploring ways of allowing people to keep their vehicles pending appeal against an eligibility decision.
“The Minister went on to say that discussions had taken place with Motability but we’ve had no Ministerial statements, no further announcements and no clarity whatsoever on whether these proposals will actually be introduced.
“People with mobility issues should have access to the Motability scheme and every avenue should be explored to protect the independence of people who have more limited capabilities.
“A specially adapted vehicle can often be the only means of transport available to a disabled person and removing that creates further barriers to work.
“I warmly welcome the direction that the Department for Work and Pensions appears to be going in and I hope the Minister will now provide the detail that disabled people need to continue to live their daily lives.”
This is an official press release from the Scottish National Party (SNP).