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Motability Scheme Changes: What you need to know

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Over 600,000 people around the UK currently benefit from the independence and options that come with the Motability Scheme.

Those living with a disability, long-term illness, or a mental or physical health condition and receive specific benefits from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) can utilise the mobility component of their benefits – either in part or full – to cover the cost of a vehicle from the charity, Motability.

There is a wide range of vehicles available, including various sizes of car and van, mobility scooters, Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles (WAVs), and powered wheelchairs. With all these brand-new vehicles available for claimants to take advantage of as long as they’re receiving their benefits, it’s a great scheme.

Due to the nature of the health conditions experienced by those taking advantage of the mobility scheme, it’s also possible to have adapted vehicles for specific needs with hand controls, pedal modifications, steering aids and more.

All of this is currently freely available as part of the Motability Scheme. However, changes are coming.



The start of adult disability payments

In April of 2020, the Scottish Government took over responsibility for delivery payments of the Disability Assistance benefit.

This has been delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, which has impacted the Scottish Government and Social Security Scotland. As a result, disability benefits are currently still being covered by the DWP, however, in 2022, Social Security Scotland will be taking over the delivery of Personal Independence Payment (PIP), and this will see some changes.

Although the most obvious change will be the name to Adult Disability Payment, another major difference will be an end to face-to-face assessments unless they are indispensable.



How this will affect the Motability Scheme

As the Gov.Scot website states, PIP is soon to become Adult Disability Payment. Individuals receiving the highest rate will have the option to transfer all or a portion of the money received for the mobility component into the Accessible Vehicles and Equipment Scheme.

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The new Scottish scheme is set to provide a very similar service to DWP’s current Motability scheme, with a wide range of cars, scooters, powered wheelchairs, and WAVs being made available on affordable leasing terms, plus an assortment of adaptations, all available at no (or minimal) cost. Those claimants who already have a Motability lease will retain their vehicles and mobility aids until the end of their lease. New claimants will, for now, continue to apply to DWP for their PIP until Social Security Scotland takes over the delivery of benefits.

Social Security Scotland will now be delivering three new types of Disability Assistance:

  • Child Disability Payment will be the first to roll out by autumn 2021, following a pilot scheme in July. This will be replacing Disability Living Allowance (DLA).
  • Adult Disability Payment is set to replace the existing Personal Independence Payment and is expected to launch in 2022.
  • Pension Age Disability Payment is set to replace Attendance Allowance; there is no confirmed rollout date for this service.



Who will be eligible for adult disability payment?

The eligibility criteria for the new Adult Disability Payment will be similar to that for PIP. To qualify, you will need to be:

  • Be aged between 16 and the State Pension age
  • By having difficulties with mobility outside of the home, your daily living, or both
  • Have had the mental or physical difficulty leading to your claim for a minimum of three months, and expect it to persist for at least nine more months
  • These qualifying periods do not apply if a person is terminally ill

How are claims going to be assessed?

Social Security Scotland will be making decisions on entitlement for ADP based on the personal accounts by applicants of their circumstances and current supporting information wherever possible.

This will significantly reduce the number of face-to-face assessments, with most consultations carried out over the phone. Claimants are no longer required to carry out tasks that demonstrate their disability, mental health condition, or long-term illness.

These changes follow research into feelings on the current DWP assessment, which was carried out by Social Security Scotland and found that individuals who had undergone assessments for PIP and DLA found this to be the ‘most stressful part’ of the process.

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When will applications be open?

An initial pilot scheme will begin in Spring 2022 that will see the acceptance of initial new claims to assess the system before a full-rollout occurs and everyone currently on PIP is switched over to ADP. In the interim, people in need of support should continue to apply for PIP through the DWP.

If you need further help or advice, please get in touch with the team today.

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