In a move that will dismay disability campaigners, the Department of Work and Pensions intends push ahead with the planned reforms to mobility payments under the new Personal Independence Payment system, despite widespread opposition from disabled people and support organisations. The higher rate mobility payment will only be awarded to those who cannot walk for more than 20m – the current distance is 50m.
The Government insists that changes to eligibility under PIP will ensure that help goes to those who need it most, however, many people who are not confined to a wheelchair, but have significant difficulties with getting around, will be denied access to the support that helps them to live an independent life – to carry on working, socialising or studying.
Given that many disabled people use their higher rate mobility payments for a motability vehicle, its removal will lead to isolation, unemployment and reduced life chances for those with disabilities, who are already significantly more likely to suffer these problems.
As Sharon Brennan pointed out in this week’s Guardian, “Whatever ministers think, disability doesn’t begin and end with a wheelchair.”
Source: The Guardian 22/10/2014
Read the Government’s response to the consultation on the PIP assessment “moving around activity”.