The Motability scheme may be opened up to claimants who do not get the enhanced rate of the mobility component, Penny Mordaunt, minister for disabled people, told MPs last week. The change is one of three major improvements that Mordaunt claims she is planning to make.
In the course of a debate on ESA and PIP on 30 November Mordaunt told MPS that she was discussing a number of changes to PIP with the DWP.
One change would enable PIP claimants to keep their Motability vehicle whilst they are appealing a decision that they are no longer entitled to the enhanced rate of the mobility component of PIP. This should include claimants who lose their Motability entitlement when they move from DLA to PIP.
Mordaunt also wants to change the rules that mean that claimants who are out of the country for more than 13 weeks, other than for medical treatment, generally lose their entitlement to the PIP mobility component.
Most surprisingly, Mordaunt claims that she is “exploring options to allow those who are not in receipt of the higher Motability component to have access to the Motability scheme.” It is not clear how this would work, given that the standard rate of the PIP mobility component would not come close to covering the cost of a Motability vehicle.
The relevant passage from Mordaunt’s comments is:
“We have been discussing with relevant Departments ways to enable PIP claimants to keep their vehicle pending appeal, and we are exploring options to allow those who are not in receipt of the higher Motability component to have access to the Motability scheme. I am also exploring how claimants who are out of the country for extended periods can be better supported. We have a plan and the Treasury’s blessing. This week I have written to Motability to ask for its help in delivering that plan. I anticipate that the plan will require some changes to its processes, but I know that it will do all it can to help us in this matter, as it has in the past. We have a remarkable and unique partnership with Motability, and I hope in my tenure to maximise that.”
We’ll keep readers posted as more information becomes available.
You can read the full debate in Hansard