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PIP Report missing crucial details! (and some lies!) -Apologies, accidentally posted twice!

hddhdd ListenerPosts: 9Member Listener
edited September 3 in PIP, DLA and AA
Apologies for the long post, I need to have a little rant!

I had my PIP assessment a little over six weeks ago, I asked for a copy of my report and received this a few days ago - most of the report is actually accurate which is very surprising! But there were crucial details missing and some of my condition was completely downplayed and it's made me quite frankly furious!

Firstly, my assessor wrote in the general observations that I wasn't anxious or agitated with NO mention that I told her before we went in WITH a shaky voice that I felt anxious and had a panic attack half way through the assessment to which she left to room to get me water whilst I puffed on an inhaler and sobbed! I'm really upset she didn't include this in her observations as she made my anxiety seem so irrelevant. 

Whilst I have mobility issues and VERY clear mental health issues which are all documented and reported in the evidence that I provided. I suffer with PTSD, something in which I'm being treated for regarding traumatic incidents whilst travelling which include some not very nice or easy to talk about things. I wrote all of these things down, the assessor did not even spend two minutes talking to me about these things and did not provide m the opportunity to fully disclose them verbally or discuss them. She wrote in her report that I have 'little anxiety' which would not be classed as overwhelming when it comes to travel - I read this and thought how -insert bad word here- dare you! I am SOO incredibly offended that you have passed my absolutely crippling fear off as a little anxiety - especially after at least four documented accounts of psychological trauma relating to this in particular! 

Well - I phoned the DWP and asked how I can communicate I am not happy, and they told me that my decision letter was issued today and to wait until that comes to apply for a mandatory reconsideration.

My question is - has anybody had any luck with this regarding planning journeys and following routes in particular! I just feel so absolutely overwhelmed with upset that she has disregarded all the trauma I've been through which leaves me physically unable to travel on public transport and very overwhelmed/obsessively checking I've locked my doors to my car whilst I'm inside, winding windows up whenever at a stand still and stopping on hardshouders, sides of roads ETC due to travelling anxiety which characterises a lot of the time as sweating, dizziness (feeling of being out of my own body), trembling, crying, hyperventilating! 

Replies

  • worried33worried33 Pioneering Posts: 291Member Pioneering
    can I ask what the points are you scored on the report as you omitted this in your post.

    Sometimes people get reports that have these issues but still manage to get the points required for an award.
  • hddhdd Listener Posts: 9Member Listener
    edited September 4
    worried33 said:
    can I ask what the points are you scored on the report as you omitted this in your post.

    Sometimes people get reports that have these issues but still manage to get the points required for an award.
    So I have 8 points for Daily Living and 10 points in the first part of the mobility section (walking aided between 20-50m). Which obviously I am very pleased with and would be fine if I didn't get anymore points - but the principle is that they haven't included all the correct information or have downplayed a lot of it which is upsetting! I'm more aggravated at the fact they haven't had ALL of the truth to base their decision on - I would be fine if they had all this info and my award was the same, just feel like its a bit of an injustice to me and the trauma I've been through!
  • worried33worried33 Pioneering Posts: 291Member Pioneering
    edited September 4
    Then I suggest to try and forget about it, and move on, you have got the award recommendation, and this will only hurt your health stressing over it, congrats on the result.
  • david235david235 Pioneering Posts: 170Member Pioneering
    Assessors only have limited time to carry out the assessment and write reports - also they are human and therefore fallible. Whilst it is annoying and upsetting to feel that detail has been missed out, "I don't like something about my report" will not get anything changed. You do have grounds to challenge anything you believe is incorrect about the decision.

    DWP are right to point out that you cannot challenge the situation until you have a decision. It is likely that the decision will reflect the assessment report, but this is not always the case.


    Once you have your decision you can write requesting reconsideration. In your request for reconsideration you should focus solely on those areas where you believe the decision is incorrect. Your aim is to make the case for the award of a different descriptor on one or more activities by showing that your explanation is more likely than not correct. Do not fall into the temptation of challenging the errors or "lies" in the report - just give a good quality explanation of why you feel you qualify for that descriptor making reference to any supporting evidence when relevant. Do not worry if you do not have relevant supporting evidence.
  • OverlyAnxiousOverlyAnxious Pioneering Posts: 141Member Pioneering
    edited September 4
    In your case, I don't think a Mandatory Consideration is worth it.  The fact you can drive a car goes against you for planning and following journeys and I don't see you getting any more points there in all honesty.  I am in a similar situation, but with no physical mobility issues know I won't get any mobility award 'just' for anxiety related problems.
  • david235david235 Pioneering Posts: 170Member Pioneering
    There are really three things mixed together in the "planning and following journeys" activity - planning a journey, following the route once you have planned the journey and dealing with psychological distress when undertaking a journey. The activity is about travelling on foot or using a mobility aid, but a claimant's ability to drive can help illustrate the challenges he or she would face on foot / using a mobility aid.


    @hdd - from what you say, it does not sound as if you have any issues planning a journey or following a route. If I understand you correctly, your concern is about whether you should score any points for psychological distress.

    As DWP's PIP assessment guide notes: "[Overwhelming Psychological Distress] means distress related to a mental health condition or intellectual or cognitive impairment resulting in a severe anxiety state in which the symptoms are so severe that the person cannot undertake a journey without being overwhelmed. The threshold is a very high one" (words DWP's, emphasis mine).

    You likely should score points here if you can show that on the majority of days you cannot undertake even one journey without mental health symptoms so severe that you cannot complete the journey:
    • without 'prompting' (reminding, encouraging or explanation from another person) for 4 points, or
    • at all, even with the support of another person, for 10 points.

    Unfortunately, you face a high threshold - if you get distressed on a journey but you could complete at least one journey eventually on the majority of days then you rightly score 0 points here. If this is the case, it does not mean that your mental distress has been dismissed, just that you did not meet the high legal threshold for points.

    It seems that the key issues are whether your "absolutely crippling fear" leads to you being overwhelmed - also whether this fear interferes with all potential journeys on the majority of days. Focusing your explanation on how the fear affects you when it strikes, much as I know that could be extremely unpleasant, could be key.


    Overwhelming psychological distress has acquired quite a bit of case law surrounding it. Has anyone got a good lay person's guide to this topic?
  • CressidaCressida Pioneering Posts: 130Member Pioneering
    @hdd I think the majority of us feel the same that our f2f reports don't seem to tally with how bad we are feeling but as the others have said you seem to have received a fair award. I felt the same about my report not being completely accurate and wrote a lengthy letter of complaint and read it a few times but did nothing else with it. It helped me just typing it all out but when I calmed down I realised it was just a waste of energy as I received a fair award of 8 points for daily living.

    As @OverlyAnxious pointed out they assume you can do quite a lot if you are able to drive. To be fair most people who are attending the f2f will be feeling anxious and upset so they probably just take that for granted. I know I cried and there was no mention of me being upset on my report either. 

  • david235david235 Pioneering Posts: 170Member Pioneering
    I cried at my PIP F2F even though the assessor was lovely, had done an excellent job of reading my submission and had prepared insightful and sensitive questions to help her understand my needs fully. Just how disabled I was hit me hard, especially when we came to the bits about toilets and continence.

    Most of the time we focus on living life despite disability and health problems - we are trying to look past these challenges. Benefit claims force us to look directly at disability and health problems, which can be an extremely upsetting experience.
  • hddhdd Listener Posts: 9Member Listener
    Cressida said:
    @hdd I think the majority of us feel the same that our f2f reports don't seem to tally with how bad we are feeling but as the others have said you seem to have received a fair award. I felt the same about my report not being completely accurate and wrote a lengthy letter of complaint and read it a few times but did nothing else with it. It helped me just typing it all out but when I calmed down I realised it was just a waste of energy as I received a fair award of 8 points for daily living.

    As @OverlyAnxious pointed out they assume you can do quite a lot if you are able to drive. To be fair most people who are attending the f2f will be feeling anxious and upset so they probably just take that for granted. I know I cried and there was no mention of me being upset on my report either. 

    I agree, I'm not disappointed with the award at all, and in fact I don't think that challenging it is worth it, it's just the principle I think that astounded me that they could downplay it by so much - especially something that I am so incredibly sensitive about and had to RELIVE to explain it to the assessor, for the assessor to then decide it clearly wasn't worth mentioning in the report. I had to relive that trauma, for it to be dismissed. My frustration is more that I wasn't heard properly I think!
  • hddhdd Listener Posts: 9Member Listener
    david235 said:
    I cried at my PIP F2F even though the assessor was lovely, had done an excellent job of reading my submission and had prepared insightful and sensitive questions to help her understand my needs fully. Just how disabled I was hit me hard, especially when we came to the bits about toilets and continence.

    Most of the time we focus on living life despite disability and health problems - we are trying to look past these challenges. Benefit claims force us to look directly at disability and health problems, which can be an extremely upsetting experience.
    I feel so sorry that you found your assessment upsetting also! Like I mentioned to others - it's not always even the intention of wanting to get a better award, I'm content with my award - it's more the injustice of them taking so much of your sensitive information, making you relive trauma to disclose everything necessary and then them not even having one mention of it or how you felt during the assessment making assumptions that you weren't e.g. upset, anxious, tense... I found that the hard part to read as only we know how we are feeling and I felt I tried so hard to communicate that!
  • hddhdd Listener Posts: 9Member Listener
    In your case, I don't think a Mandatory Consideration is worth it.  The fact you can drive a car goes against you for planning and following journeys and I don't see you getting any more points there in all honesty.  I am in a similar situation, but with no physical mobility issues know I won't get any mobility award 'just' for anxiety related problems.
    I am content with my award, I think I just got myself in a bit of a tizzy over the failure to mention such sensitive things that took a lot emotionally and psychologically for me to disclose/talk about!
  • worried33worried33 Pioneering Posts: 291Member Pioneering
    Is understandable, you will get over it eventually, especially as it recommends an award you happy with.
  • david235david235 Pioneering Posts: 170Member Pioneering
    hdd said:
    I am content with my award, I think I just got myself in a bit of a tizzy over the failure to mention such sensitive things that took a lot emotionally and psychologically for me to disclose/talk about!
    Maybe a good way to look at this is that you disclosed a level of psychological distress around making journeys, meaning the assessor was duty bound to explore that topic fully with you to see if you reached the high standard of "overwhelming psychological distress" for "all journeys" on the majority of days. If they did not explore and test your answers fully, they would have been doing both you and the DWP a disservice by not providing an accurate report. However, they might have been able to establish fairly quickly that you were not going to reach the high standard necessary - in which case it was in your interests for the assessor not to dwell on the topic further.

    It is understandable that disclosing anything about this topic would be extremely distressing - some topics just are. Describing your anxiety around travel as "little anxiety" certainly seems out of step with your experience, but perhaps that unfortunate choice of adjective was intended to mean "some way short of overwhelming anxiety".


    I can't remember the guidance that DWP gives assessors on recording observations, but it is important to remember that your anxiety from the assessment process is not relevant to your entitlement to PIP. Observations are perhaps more likely to be matters illustrative of ability or need in relation to the PIP activities.


    I have a similar situation with continence and the Work Capability Assessment. For those that can't remember those criteria, only losses of continence leading to soiling and the need to chance clothes are relevant - if this happens at least once a month then you get points towards LCW and if this happens at least once a week then you also get LCWRA. Like many people with appropriate continence care, failure of a good quality absorbent product sufficient to require change of clothes is rare - it probably is around the once a month mark. It certainly is not once a week for me - and I would hope anyone in such an unfortunate position has an extensive look at their options with a continence nurse before accepting that situation.

    I am really forced to disclose my continence problems as the question is asked, also I would be inconsistent with what DWP knows from DLA and now PIP if I said nothing. However, I know that these continence problems will not give me LCWRA - but other things on the form should if I am properly assessed. To that end, it feels an intrusive waste of time answering the continence question. I compromise on giving the bladder specific part of my diagnosis and a very short explanation of the resulting continence issues.
  • worried33worried33 Pioneering Posts: 291Member Pioneering
    edited September 4
    @david235

    I can't remember the guidance that DWP gives assessors on recording observations, but it is important to remember that your anxiety from the assessment process is not relevant to your entitlement to PIP. Observations are perhaps more likely to be matters illustrative of ability or need in relation to the PIP activities.

    Interesting thanks, as a descriptor I feel I should have got on my report was specifically not awarded on the basis of how I was observed during the assessment, no other reason was stated for justification of the 0pts descriptor.

    I didnt fight it as I got the award I wanted anyway, but on a future review it might be important for me to know this, so thanks.
  • david235david235 Pioneering Posts: 170Member Pioneering
    worried33 said:
    @david235

    I can't remember the guidance that DWP gives assessors on recording observations, but it is important to remember that your anxiety from the assessment process is not relevant to your entitlement to PIP. Observations are perhaps more likely to be matters illustrative of ability or need in relation to the PIP activities.

    Interesting thanks, as a descriptor I feel I should have got on my report was specifically not awarded on the basis of how I was observed during the assessment, no other reason was stated for justification of the 0pts descriptor.
    My recollection was broadly correct - for the current guidance to assessors on informal observations, click here and scroll down to paragraphs 1.6.31 to 1.6.35.

    The key part of this section of guidance is, to my mind, from paragraph 1.6.31 itself: "Informal observations are of importance to the consultation, as they can reveal abilities and limitations not mentioned in the claimant questionnaire, supporting evidence or during the history taking for the face-to-face consultation. They may also show discrepancies between the reported need and the actual needs of the claimant. However it is important to balance informal observations with evidence from professionals who may have observed the claimant more regularly."
  • OverlyAnxiousOverlyAnxious Pioneering Posts: 141Member Pioneering
    hdd said:
    In your case, I don't think a Mandatory Consideration is worth it.  The fact you can drive a car goes against you for planning and following journeys and I don't see you getting any more points there in all honesty.  I am in a similar situation, but with no physical mobility issues know I won't get any mobility award 'just' for anxiety related problems.
    I am content with my award, I think I just got myself in a bit of a tizzy over the failure to mention such sensitive things that took a lot emotionally and psychologically for me to disclose/talk about!
    Yeah, I do understand that.  I've had to 'explore' my problems for PIP far more than I ever have in the last ~20 years!! So many things I take for granted that I just use to just get through each day but now realise just how far they are from the norm!  There were some things I flat out refused to speak about at the PIP assessment though as I could see they weren't at all relevant and just couldn't face reliving them knowing I wouldn't get mobility anyway.

    What does frustrate me about the mobility side though, is that there's no 'box' for someone like myself to fit in.  With the conditions I have, I am completely unable to use any form of public transport, not busses or taxis, not even lifts with people I know.  I have no choice but to rely on my own car to drive for groceries and appointments, but this is not acknowledged anywhere within PIP.  I also know that I can't travel in a recovery truck (from experience!) so am constantly scared about the car breaking down, especially as it's old, high mileage and I can't afford to keep it serviced.  I would benefit hugely from the use of a Motability car but have no chance of that.
  • hddhdd Listener Posts: 9Member Listener
    edited September 5
    hdd said:
    In your case, I don't think a Mandatory Consideration is worth it.  The fact you can drive a car goes against you for planning and following journeys and I don't see you getting any more points there in all honesty.  I am in a similar situation, but with no physical mobility issues know I won't get any mobility award 'just' for anxiety related problems.
    I am content with my award, I think I just got myself in a bit of a tizzy over the failure to mention such sensitive things that took a lot emotionally and psychologically for me to disclose/talk about!
    Yeah, I do understand that.  I've had to 'explore' my problems for PIP far more than I ever have in the last ~20 years!! So many things I take for granted that I just use to just get through each day but now realise just how far they are from the norm!  There were some things I flat out refused to speak about at the PIP assessment though as I could see they weren't at all relevant and just couldn't face reliving them knowing I wouldn't get mobility anyway.

    What does frustrate me about the mobility side though, is that there's no 'box' for someone like myself to fit in.  With the conditions I have, I am completely unable to use any form of public transport, not busses or taxis, not even lifts with people I know.  I have no choice but to rely on my own car to drive for groceries and appointments, but this is not acknowledged anywhere within PIP.  I also know that I can't travel in a recovery truck (from experience!) so am constantly scared about the car breaking down, especially as it's old, high mileage and I can't afford to keep it serviced.  I would benefit hugely from the use of a Motability car but have no chance of that.
    I am in the EXACT same boat regarding travel! I don't want to go into too many details but I've had certain 'assaults' happen on a bus and a train - so I just psychologically cannot bring myself to travel that way so have no choice but to drive my car. Oh my god - I was two points off of enhanced mobility and I'm so frustrated, I own a very small and compact KA, the boot doesn't open and it's very low to the ground, I have hip and back problems and osteoarthritis and having a higher from the ground car with all functioning areas (I have to order food shopping because I can't carry heavy items - let alone bundle them in and out of the back of my car!) and a five door so I can get my young son in and out without having to bend would have been an absolute blessing. But oh well! I think that standard rate mobility should be able to apply for a motability car and then just pay the difference! Would help so many!
  • cristobalcristobal Pioneering Posts: 677Member Pioneering
    @hdd - don't think that the only way of getting a car is through the Motability.

    Why don't you use your mobility award to put towards something newer yourself?

    And it's yours then not 'property of DWP' !!


  • CressidaCressida Pioneering Posts: 130Member Pioneering
    cristobal said:
    @hdd - don't think that the only way of getting a car is through the Motability.

    Why don't you use your mobility award to put towards something newer yourself?

    And it's yours then not 'property of DWP' !!

    Sounds a very sensible idea and no chance of anyone taking it away at the next assessment.  


  • CressidaCressida Pioneering Posts: 130Member Pioneering
    hdd said:
    hdd said:
    In your case, I don't think a Mandatory Consideration is worth it.  The fact you can drive a car goes against you for planning and following journeys and I don't see you getting any more points there in all honesty.  I am in a similar situation, but with no physical mobility issues know I won't get any mobility award 'just' for anxiety related problems.
    I am content with my award, I think I just got myself in a bit of a tizzy over the failure to mention such sensitive things that took a lot emotionally and psychologically for me to disclose/talk about!
    Yeah, I do understand that.  I've had to 'explore' my problems for PIP far more than I ever have in the last ~20 years!! So many things I take for granted that I just use to just get through each day but now realise just how far they are from the norm!  There were some things I flat out refused to speak about at the PIP assessment though as I could see they weren't at all relevant and just couldn't face reliving them knowing I wouldn't get mobility anyway.

    What does frustrate me about the mobility side though, is that there's no 'box' for someone like myself to fit in.  With the conditions I have, I am completely unable to use any form of public transport, not busses or taxis, not even lifts with people I know.  I have no choice but to rely on my own car to drive for groceries and appointments, but this is not acknowledged anywhere within PIP.  I also know that I can't travel in a recovery truck (from experience!) so am constantly scared about the car breaking down, especially as it's old, high mileage and I can't afford to keep it serviced.  I would benefit hugely from the use of a Motability car but have no chance of that.
    I am in the EXACT same boat regarding travel! I don't want to go into too many details but I've had certain 'assaults' happen on a bus and a train - so I just psychologically cannot bring myself to travel that way so have no choice but to drive my car. Oh my god - I was two points off of enhanced mobility and I'm so frustrated, I own a very small and compact KA, the boot doesn't open and it's very low to the ground, I have hip and back problems and osteoarthritis and having a higher from the ground car with all functioning areas (I have to order food shopping because I can't carry heavy items - let alone bundle them in and out of the back of my car!) and a five door so I can get my young son in and out without having to bend would have been an absolute blessing. But oh well! I think that standard rate mobility should be able to apply for a motability car and then just pay the difference! Would help so many!


    Online shopping is an absolute lifesaver isn't it. It feels like it's been around forever doesn't it. Strange really as growing up in the 60s we had a lot of foodstuff delivered. We had a milkman, butcher van, Baker and even a fish and chip van!




  • hddhdd Listener Posts: 9Member Listener
    cristobal said:
    @hdd - don't think that the only way of getting a car is through the Motability.

    Why don't you use your mobility award to put towards something newer yourself?

    And it's yours then not 'property of DWP' !!


    Unfortunately at this current time there is just no way I can financially fund a new car - especially not with the specs I would need. I am a student, and a mother so there unfortunately are so many other things I have to prioritise financially :( 
  • david235david235 Pioneering Posts: 170Member Pioneering
    @OverlyAnxious and @hdd - I prefix what I am about to say by stressing that in no way am I minimising the severity of the challenges either of you face each day, nor the very real suffering you have faced because of your respective conditions. In your case, @hdd , it is possible that you do have grounds for points for "overwhelming psychological distress" but if you do then I suspect you did not deal all the issues in your claim and assessment that would need to address in order to get them - see the end of this message. @OverlyAnxious - I'm not familiar enough with your circumstances to say anything about your case.


    The original NHS Invalid Vehicle Scheme (the blue Invacars that some will remember), also the Mobility Allowance that was introduced initially as an alternative option to the IVS before it replaced the IVS, were solely about physical issues when walking. The Mobility Allowance became higher rate Mobility DLA with the same criteria. Higher rate Mobility was awarded to those who were unable or virtually unable to walk (which was commonly understood to mean walking ability of less than 50m) on a flat, level surface out of doors for physical reasons.

    Lower rate Mobility DLA was introduced to offer some mobility help to those who needed guidance or supervision when out of doors. It covered some but not all mental health barriers to mobility. It was not possible to get higher rate mobility DLA on mental health grounds.

    DLA took no account of the availability or suitability of alternatives to public transport for moving around.


    Part of the intent behind PIP, which was introduced in 2013, was to make disability benefits more inclusive of mental health issues. The 'moving around' activity remains solely about walking ability for physical reasons, but now is about all walking across a day, indoors and outdoors. The 'planning and following journeys' activity is about mental health, cognitive or learning difficulties and sensory impairments. Unlike with DLA, it is possible to be awarded a PIP Mobility component from a combination of physical and mental health issues, also enhanced rate PIP Mobility is available partly or solely on non-physical grounds.


    'Planning and following journeys' contains three things:
    • planning a journey - issues here tend to be cognitive or learning difficulties
    • following a route - issues here could be sensory, cognitive or learning difficulties and some mental health conditions
    • overwhelming psychological distress when undertaking a journey - most likely to be mental health but could also be cognitive or learning difficulties
    'Planning and following journeys' is about more than travelling on foot or by wheelchair / mobility scooter - it takes into account using public transport. If you can show that all journeys (both any travel by foot / wheelchair / mobility scooter and, when relevant, any use or hypothetical use of public transport) on a majority of days would result in overwhelming psychological distress then you score points -  4 points for this activity if being accompanied would overcome the overwhelming psychological distress, and 10 points fo this activity if being accompanied would not overcome the overwhelming psychological distress.


    No benefit has ever given a sufficiently high level of Mobility entitlement for Motability based solely on psychological distress.


    The need to use private rather than public transport for health reasons has never, by itself, been taken into account for the award of any points, let alone benefit. Far too many people could argue they need for private transport on health grounds for such a system to be able to meet the demand.

    Someone of working age I know who lives in central London is several hundred metres from a bus stop - far beyond her walking ability. Even though there is a good 24 hour bus service from that bus stop - which is far more than most of the country has - she cannot get to the bus except using a mobility scooter or powerchair. Should she be entitled to a level of benefit sufficient to enter Motability on that basis? As it happens, she has DLA higher rate Mobility and I think it most likely she will be awarded PIP enhanced rate Mobility purely from the "moving around" activity when she is reassessed. A car is of questionable use in central London and, in any event, she is and always has been medically unfit to drive.


    There has to be a line drawn somewhere with entitlement, much as this is hard for those who fall just the wrong side of the line. The system aims to focus available resources onto those in the greatest of need. A sizeable number of people who had long-standing higher rate mobility DLA awards have found that the tougher distance standard for 12 points on 'moving around' has meant they only get standard rate Mobility PIP.


    @hdd - as I said in my earlier reply to you, the standard for "overwhelming psychological distress" is tough. You have mentioned your mental health issues in relation to public transport and (to a lesser extent) when using your own car, but not walking  / wheelchair / mobility scooter.  If you have mental health symptoms that ever stop you attempting or completing a journey solely by walking / wheelchair / mobility scooter, or the distance you can travel by walking / wheelchair / mobility scooter without driving the rest of the way for mental health reasons is so low that you cannot actually complete a journey without your car, then you might meet the criteria for "overwhelming psychological distress".

    Is it perhaps the case that you walk the shortest distance possible to your car because any more than the barest minimum of walking is so unbearable for you that you might have a meltdown or panic attack, then you drive as close as possible to your destination and if you can't park close enough, you simply turn round and come home again? If so, perhaps it is worth seeking advice about whether there is an arguable case at reconsideration in relation to "planning and following journeys". If the advice was that you had an arguable case, you would need to explain that the walking / wheelchair / mobility scooter part of your journey is affected, not just any hypothetical use of public transport.

    It is very important you seek advice about the specifics of your case because there is no point going to reconsideration if it is not going to change anything in your favour, also reconsideration means the whole decision is looked at again and there is no guarantee you will retain points elsewhere.
  • david235david235 Pioneering Posts: 170Member Pioneering
    cristobal said:
    @hdd - don't think that the only way of getting a car is through the Motability.

    Why don't you use your mobility award to put towards something newer yourself?

    And it's yours then not 'property of DWP' !!
    I thought I'd deal with Motability in a separate reply because my last one was very long already.


    Motability is actually nothing to do with DWP - it's a charity (Motability) and a vehicle and mobility equipment leasing operator (Motability Operations plc, which is owned by several of the major banks). Those that choose to assign some or all of their entitlement to their Mobility component to Motability do so freely and the money they contribute to the scheme covers the costs to Motability of providing the equipment and related services they are given to use. The charitable part of Motability primarily exists to cover the very high costs on top of benefit (advanced payment plus the cost of adaptations) faced by some who could not otherwise afford a suitable vehicle. Drive from wheelchair vans can cost £80,000 or more. At one point Motability subsidised driving lessons for some younger disabled people that were joining the scheme; I don't know whether they still do.

    Motability Operations is able to obtain vehicles without liability for VAT because the vehicles are for disabled people. It gets substantial price breaks from manufacturers because of the volume of business it puts their ways - part of the justification for these price breaks is because it provides a constant supply of good quality three and five year old vehicles to the motor trade.

    It has always been the case that Motability is only open to those on the highest level of mobility benefit (DLA higher rate Mobility, PIP enhanced rate Mobility, War Pensioners Mobility Supplement and Armed Forces Independence Payment). They have never allowed those on the lower rate to 'top up' or for disabled people who have never had or have lost a qualifying benefit to pay to use the scheme. Even with these tough entitlement rules, they are a huge operator in the vehicle leasing market and if they widened their sphere of operations it could significantly distort the vehicle market to the detriment of the vehicle manufacturers whose goodwill the scheme, in part, depends.


    Motability is not the only way of getting a vehicle using your mobility benefit. I have never used Motability despite being entitled to use the scheme for over 20 years. It has always made more sense financially for me to buy a new or nearly new vehicle privately, then keep it for as long as is possible. In part, this is because I am entitled to buy vehicles from two manufacturers at employee rates (as my father is a pensioner of two of the major car manufacturers, who allow nominated family members of pensioners to buy discounted vehicles), but the primary reason is my low annual mileage.

    It used to be the case that some manufacturers offered discounts for Blue Badge holders. I don't know whether this is still the case, but the information is out there.


    If your needs are relatively straightforward - a small unadapted hatchback in reasonable condition that is three to four years old with a service history and, when relevant, automatic transmission - you might be able to get a much better deal buying, insuring, servicing and running that vehicle privately. At bare minimum Motability will cost you something like £8700 in Mobility component over three years, and you may have a bit more on top of that to find especially if you want or need an automatic. At the end of the three years you have nothing, other than perhaps a tiny good condition bonus.

    To be honest, I am out of touch with the small end of the car market and of used car prices, as this sort of vehicle cannot meet my needs.
  • cristobalcristobal Pioneering Posts: 677Member Pioneering
    edited September 6
    @david235 - you may be right about Motability being separate to DWP so technically they DWP don't own the car...

    What I meant was that DWP fund the car - and if they stop funding it the car goes back. There's no opportunity as far as I know to continue paying the cost yourself...
  • david235david235 Pioneering Posts: 170Member Pioneering
    You are correct, @hdd - losing your qualifying benefit means any Motablity agreement comes to an end. It is possible to get a short period of grace, but you do not have the option to keep paying the cost yourself. The only options you have are to buy the vehicle from Motability or return it.
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