Concerns over changes to Motability scheme
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Concerns over changes to Motability assessments

There are concerns that disabled people could lose their independence due to changes to the Mobility assessment process.

Thousands of people have lost their right to a car due to re-assessment under the current system.

BBC Scotland's Ian Hamilton has been examining the situation as the Scottish government prepares to take control of the benefit.


Reporter: For decades these three-wheel cars were the only source of transport for many disabled drivers.

By the late 70s the blue vehicles no longer met safety regulations.

Disabled drivers were given access to funds by the government to invest in a standard car.

To be on the mobility scheme, you must be on the high-rate mobility component of one of two benefits - either disability living allowance or personal independence payments.

Reporter to David: Tell us, what's the nature of your disability.

David:I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, relapsing-remitting, about 12 years ago.

It's caused weakness in my arms but obviously the main problem, for getting around, is the weakness in my legs.

Reporter: As people are being transferred to Personal Independence Payments (PIP) they are being reassessed.

Some are having their benefit cut consequently losing their entitlement to a mobility vehicle.

David was one of those.

He had to hand his car back.

It took six months and two appeals before it was returned.

Reporter to David: So, how important is this motability vehicle to you? How critical is it for you?

David: I always see it as almost an extension of the crutch.

I can't get about without the crutch. I can't get about without the car.

It meant that without it, I was going to be unable to go to work and contribute to society, pay my taxes and all these kinds of things.

Reporter: Scotland is getting power over mobility benefits.

The Scottish government say they would like to take a different approach from Westminster.

Jeane Freeman MSP, Minister for Social Security: At this stage we are still looking at options and still having that discussion but we absolutely recognise the importance of that scheme for many individuals to live an independent life, but also to access opportunities for employment or to stay in employment.

Reporter: So, what's David's advice for the Scottish government?

David: What really needs to be done is they need to look at it from a person-to-person illness-to-illness point of view rather than trying to just do a one-size fits all.

My time is precious, it is vital that I need to be able to do the things I can do now, while I still can.

To go from that to being told that I had to sit for months and not be able to do things to the best of my ability - I found it really unfair.

Reporter: The Scottish government are currently consulting with disabled people to try and get it right.

Ian Hamilton, Reporting Scotland, Dalkeith.

  • 15 Feb 2017