Disability Living Allowance
The Disability Living Allowance (DLA) is an allowance paid to all disabled people to help with extra costs. It is made up of a care component and a mobility component. A lower or higher rate of each is paid, depending on how much help you need. DLA also works as a gateway to other services (eg Blue Badges, the Motability scheme).
Since April 2013, DLA has been replaced by the Personal Independence Payment (PIP) for new claimants aged 16 or over. If you already get the DLA, you will be reassessed to determine the level of payment you will receive under the PIP but this process will not start until October 2013. There are currently no plans to change the DLA for people under 16. You will need to be assessed for PIP when you turn 16.
If you receive either the Higher Rate Mobility Component of the Disability Living Allowance or the War Pensioner’s Mobility Supplement or the Enhanced Rate Mobility Component of PIP, you are eligible for the Motability Scheme. Your allowance goes towards the cost of a car, scooter or powered wheelchair of your choice.
Leasing through Motability
You use your mobility allowance to lease a new car from Motability for three years (five years for a wheelchair accessible vehicle). Maintenance and servicing costs, insurance for two drivers (up to two additional drivers can be added for a fee) and RAC breakdown assistance are included. There is a mileage allowance of 20,000 miles per year (additional miles are charged at 5p per mile).
You can choose a model from all the main manufacturers. If you choose one that is more expensive than is covered by the mobility allowance, you make an advance payment (the amount varies, depending on the car and on which allowance you get). Motability offers over 450 cars which require no advance payment.
The Motability Scheme will also cover, or contribute to, the cost of adaptations (such as hoists or swivel seats). Motability has a list of available adaptations, with costs attached (many are free). They operate a Managed Adaptations Programme which can make the process both easier and cheaper. You can only make use of this programme when you are ordering your new car.
If you want to fit your own adaptations during your lease, or fit something not available through the programme, you will have to fund this yourself. Motability administer a number of funds (see Grants below) which may be able to help. Any adaptations must be supplied and fitted by a Motability Adaptations Partner.
Motability administer the government Specialised Vehicle Funds as well as having their own charitable fund.
If you are considering the Motability Scheme you can apply for a grant for things like adaptations, advance payments on more expensive vehicles and driving lessons (for people under 25). You have to provide details of your circumstances, which will be checked. Motability can only help towards the least expensive solution that meets your needs. They will assess your needs and make suitable recommendations.
The process for applying for a grant includes:
• Have a demonstration of the required product(s) by one of our engineers
• Our engineers will complete a recommendation report of the demonstration
• Forward this report to the relevant department at Motability
Contact Motability Operations for more information about this or any other aspect of the Motability Scheme.
Motability car, scooter or powered wheelchair Scheme
Motability Operations, Specialised Mobility Team
410 Bristol Business Park, Coldharbour Lane, Bristol, BS16 1EJ United Kingdom
Tel: 0300 456 4566
Textphone: 0845 675 0009
Other sources of finance
Some charities give grants to individuals.
• Your local library should be able to help you find sources, such as the Round Table, Rotary or Lions Club and other local charities.
• Try your appropriate disability group such as Scope, the MS Society or the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign, who may know of sources of help.
Other organisations to consider are:
Charity Search provides a free service to help you find a grant-giving charity if you are aged 50 or over.
Freepost (BS 6610), Avonmouth, Bristol, BS11 9TW
Telephone: 0117 982 4060
Turn2us provides a free service to help you find financial support in the form of welfare benefits, grants and other help tailored to your circumstances.
Unit 9, Cefn Coed Parc Nantgarw, Cardiff, CF15 7QQ
Tel: 0808 802 2000
Fax: 01443 827616
Social services – may be worth trying, especially if you do not get Disability Living Allowance/ Personal Independence Payment or if you have already used your mobility component to lease or buy a vehicle.
Access to Work – if you are in work or about to start work, you may be able to get help from the Access to Work scheme. They may cover the cost of adaptations to a vehicle if this is the only or most cost effective way for you to get to work. Cases are assessed on an individual basis. Contact your local Jobcentre Plus or visit www.gov.uk/access-to-work/overview.
Buying secondhand – You can buy adapted vehicles and equipment secondhand. Anything you buy secondhand may be affected by safety and reliability issues. For secondhand vehicles, the seller may have had an inspection carried out and/or offer a warranty. If not, you may want to think about carrying out your own inspection. Some suppliers will fit secondhand hoists for you. Remember to allow for any fitting costs.