Stick or Twist?Jun 30th, 2017
Many clients with a Disability Living Allowance (DLA) higher rate mobility award, have exchanged their payment for a vehicle from the Motability scheme.Motability users are increasingly losing out when they are reassessed under the new criteria for Personal Independence Payment (PIP), with an estimated 45% of DLA higher rate mobility clients failing to qualify for the enhanced rate mobility component under PIP regulations (see page 14).
Under pressure from campaigners and within parliament, the Government announced plans in November 2016 to consider allowing PIP claimants to keep their Motability vehicle pending an appeal of the PIP decision.The Government published full details of the changes to the Motability scheme, on 22nd June 2017, specifically the new options available through the Transitional Support Packages (TSP) offered by Motability for DLA claimants who are no longer eligible after PIP assessment.
The new Transitional Support Package:
If you became a Scheme customer by 31 December 2012 and return the car to the dealership in good condition and within eight weeks of the DLA payments stopping, you will be eligible for a one-off £2,000 transitional support payment. However, to give you more time to consider alternative mobility arrangements you can choose to keep the vehicle for 26 weeks after the DLA payments stop, but if you choose this option your transitional support payment will be reduced to £500. If you first became a Scheme customer from 1 January 2013, or you rejoined the Scheme during this period following at least a one year break, and return the car to the dealership in good condition and within eight weeks of the DLA payments stopping, you will be eligible for a one-off £1,000 transitional support payment. This reduced, yet still significant, amount is because information on the Government’s plans for PIP has been publicly available since this point. Alternatively you can choose to keep the vehicle for 26 weeks but your transition support payment will be reduced to £250. If you became a customer during 2014, or you rejoined the Scheme during this period following at least a one year break, you will not be eligible for transitional support or payments. However, if you return the car to the dealership in good condition and within eight weeks of the DLA payments stopping, a £250 Return to Dealer Payment will be available. Please note that there are only two transitional support payment options for returning the car – at 8 weeks or at 26 weeks and the relevant transitional support payment will apply regardless of if the car is returned between the 8 to 26 week period.
Although this has been presented by Government as a useful choice, the reality for many clients will be a potentially costly dilemma. PFP intend to produce a briefing paper examining the implications and options for clients, Deputies and Trustees in the coming days.