The Government’s own projections show that over half a million fewer people will qualify for the Motability scheme by 2018 and Motability have confirmed that nearly 100 disabled people are losing their vehicles every week after being assessed for the new personal independence payments.
A recent survey by the MS Society of over 1,700 people with multiple sclerosis who claim disability benefits found almost half relied on the scheme which allows those receiving disability benefits to lease an adapted car, powered wheelchair or scooter using their weekly payment.
Of these 13% said they would be unable to continue working if they lost this support. A further 18% said losing access to their vehicle would mean their partner would have to give up or reduce hours of work to assist them.
Tightening of the eligibility criteria means people with MS are starting to lose this vital support. Under the new system if someone can walk over 20m, even with walking aids, they will no longer qualify. Previously this was 50m.
This is yet another example of how the welfare system just does not make sense for people with MS. While some people with MS simply cannot work, many people want to stay in work as long as possible, but they need support.
This highly inappropriate assessment criteria needs to be changed or people with MS, and their families, will be forced out of the workplace.
We know the Government will be looking to make further savings, but the benefits that people with disabilities rely on to work, see their families and live independently must be protected. People with MS have to be able to rely on support, without the constant fear of having it taken away.