In 2012 The government announced it was scrapping DLA and replacing it with PIP. It sent shock waves around disabled peoples movement at yet another change after the move to ESA and all the problems that caused. So the Government and Motability Scheme released a joint statement, assuring disabled people that nobody would lose out and that a transitional support package would help people if they lost their awards under the introduction of PIP, to remain mobile. The Package had two options dependent on when you joined the scheme, disabled people would be compensated for the loss of a vehicle so many rely on to live independently in their communities.
So when my transfer to this new benefit came and I was invited to apply for PIP in 2018 I went through the motions like so many before me. I Lost my award after 20 yrs so I challenged it firstly via Mandatory Reconsideration and ended up at the appeal stage, which I finally won. During these challenging processes I was contacted by DWP /Motability to say my award was ending. So I rang Motability as I knew I was eligible for one of the two transitional Packages but wanted an explanation in detail to help me choose the right one for me and try to stay mobile and attend my appointments and socialize with friends. I spoke to a very helpful man who advised me that option two would be better support for me while awaiting decision outcome of my challenges as I was concerned about if my challenges failed I would owe them money which I hadn’t got and he said they could extend it to 26 weeks and longer in required. So I told him this is option 2 I would take based on the information he provided as I had recently had eye surgery and was blind temporarily hence my call.
So Today I went to look at returning to the scheme at my preferred dealer to order a new vehicle. going through all usual documentation my application was submitted and rejected. This confused both myself and the agent who has known me since joining the scheme so he said it a glitch I’ll ring them, which he did. What transpired was a restriction was on my account and he was put through to someone who could explain this. Imagine my horror when it was relayed to me that this restriction was because I owed them £1570.90p which I had not received any correspondence about for more than 12 mths and that DWP had also not advised me that should I get back payments I would have to settle this with Motability. Unless I’m mistaken Option 1 take the money and run and after 6 mth rejoin at no additional cost seems unjust. Now I don’t mind paying what I owe if I know about it!
I understood the reduction in the option 2 I had chosen were to cover the monthly payments for the continued use of my vehicle. Guess what it doesn’t! This package in effect is a ‘loan’ until you get award back and repayable and until this debt is paid you are not able to return to the scheme. Even the agent was shocked as in all his many years he had never come across this with other clients. Imagine I was pretty angry firstly at the misleading advice given I couldn’t read it until my eye had healed, and secondly at DWP for not advising claimants that if they were on the scheme then some of this back payment would have to settle the repayable debt which I didn’t know of. Both are equally as Guilty as the other. I’m very lucky as a close friend remedied the impasse which still leaves me in debt for a long time with them, but enables me to have a vehicle to suit my needs. I went onto the Motability site to hunt down the quotes at the end of this blog and also state it is in the letters sent to the claimant, but given at time I couldn’t read anything seems a bit pointless after the fact. So please be very careful to read the small print as nobody seems to talk to each other and are separate entities, unconnected, when it suits.
So I ask other disabled people who have been affected to please contact DPAC if you have had a similar experience. Email firstname.lastname@example.org
This blogger has emailed the Work & Pensions Committee demanding clarity for claimants and for them to ensure changes are afoot. Yet another example of poor communication and disabled people getting shafted when they have so little in the first place.
I Hope Motabilty Patrons IDS and Theresa May are happy with themselves shafting disabled people day in day out they must piss themselves laughing every night especially the former.
See Below Quote from the Motobility website
How much financial support can I expect as a car customer?
“If you became a Scheme customer by 31 December 2012 and return the car to the dealership in good condition and within eight weeks of the DLA payments stopping, you will be eligible for a one-off £2,000 transitional support payment. However, to give you more time to consider alternative mobility arrangements you can choose to keep the vehicle for 26 weeks after the DLA payments stop, but if you choose this option your transitional support payment will be reduced to £500.
If you first became a Scheme customer between January and December 2013, or you rejoined the Scheme during this period following at least a one year break, and return the car to the dealership in good condition and within eight weeks of the DLA payments stopping, you will be eligible for a one-off £1,000 transitional support payment. This reduced, yet still significant, amount is because information on the Government’s plans for PIP has been publicly available since this point. Alternatively you can choose to keep the vehicle for 26 weeks but your transition support payment will be reduced to £250.
Please note that there are only two transitional support payment options for returning the car – at eight weeks or at 26 weeks and the relevant transitional support payment will apply regardless of if the car is returned between the eight to 26 week period.
Will I be penalised for ending the leasing agreement early?
No further rental payments or costs will be applied to customers whose leases end early as a result of a PIP reassessment.
If I apply for PIP in the future and am successful, will I need to pay this money back?
This is a one-off support package to help with the transition from the Scheme and we do not expect that you’ll need to pay this back if you are later awarded PIP. However, if you decide to rejoin the Scheme within six months of receiving the transitional support package, you will need to speak to us to discuss your options.
If you are later awarded the Enhanced Rate Mobility Component of PIP you may receive a backdated payment from the DWP covering the period of time from when your allowance stopped. Should this period cover time when you still had a Motability Scheme vehicle, we will ask you to repay this period to us if you wish to re-join or remain on the Scheme.”
If you became a customer from 1 January 2014, or you rejoined the Scheme during this period following at least a one year break, you will be eligible for a £1000 stopped allowance support payment, if you return the car to the dealership in good condition and within eight weeks of the DLA payments stopping.
Please make sure that both the DWP and Motability Operations Ltd have your correct contact details so there is no delay if we need to send you information regarding your support package, where eligible.
Update: 25th Feb. Take the 2k and rejoin scheme after 6 mths you dont pay it back, Option 2 take £500 pay it back out any back payments, but if you dont rejoin the scheme you pay back sweet FA and if you dont rejoin the scheme you pay nothing back and Motability dont chase the outstanding debt? How much is that costing? DWP are invoiced weekly by Motability so I was informed today they kindly gave me a list of payments too.