Dave Gale’s campaign on Personal Independence Payments (PIP) paid off today.
Dave – who has Becker muscular dystrophy – set up a petition calling on the Minister for Disabled People to make sure no one loses access to their Motability vehicles before their PIP appeal is heard.
After pressure from Dave – backed by Parliamentarians, the media and MDUK – the Department for Work and Pensions have announced changes to the Motability scheme. This will mean people can keep their cars for six months if they lose their Motability award following a PIP assessment.
Currently, they only have seven weeks – meaning many people like Dave give their car back only to have the original decision overturned months later at appeal. But by this time they have had to spend thousands on a new car and are locked into a contract.
You can read the Minister for Disabled People Penny Mordaunt MP’s announcement here.
The Government’s announcement follows:
- 50,000 signatures for Dave’s petition
- Media features, including on Channel 4 News, BBC News, ITV News, Sky News and BBC Breakfast
- An Urgent Question in Parliament from Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Muscular Dystrophy, Mary Glindon MP
- Letters published in the Guardian, the Daily Telegraph and the Sun from MDUK Trustee, Baroness Thomas of Winchester
- A letter from Muscular Dystrophy UK’s Chief Executive to the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions
A huge thanks to the 50,000 people who have signed my petition and sent a message to the Government. Today’s announcement is positive news for many disabled people, who otherwise face losing access to their adapted vehicles and being hit by thousands of pounds of costs. It is good that the Government has listened. However, this is far from the end of the campaign. We need to see a complete end to the 20 metre rule, which has resulted in tens of thousands of people losing access to the Motability scheme.
Nic Bungay, Director of Campaigns, Care and Information at Muscular Dystrophy UK, says:
It is good news that the government has listened to our calls to ensure fewer people face the expensive and stressful upheaval of losing their cars while waiting on appeals. This won’t cover everyone and we are still looking for changes on PIP’s rules and administration, but this softens one of the most pernicious elements of the system.
Muscular Dystrophy UK Trustee, Baroness Thomas of Winchester, says:
I’m delighted that a way has been found for PIP claimants waiting for Tribunal appeals to keep their vehicles – often heavily adapted – for an extra six months. This is a welcome start to making the mobility element of the PIP process fairer.
This isn’t the end of the fight. Even with the important changes made today, many disabled people going through the PIP assessment are still losing access to their Motability vehicles. This is because of the Government’s 20 metre rule – and we’ll be working with people affected by muscle-wasting conditions to step up the challenge on this.
For more information, please contact Peter Sutton on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 020 7803 4838.