CAN I GET A MOBILITY CAR ON STANDARD RATE PIP

Can I Get A Mobility Car On Standard Rate Pip

Understanding all aspects of the Personal Independence Payment (PIP) system and how it links to mobility support can seem daunting. For instance, one question which often comes up is ‘can I get a mobility car on standard rate PIP?’ 

This article is a clear, comprehensive response to this question, delving into everything from the background of getting a mobility car, eligibility criteria, the application process for standard rate PIP, and the role of PIP. 

If you are awaiting a PIP decision, you may be able to join the Motability Scheme under their “GetAround” program, which provides an affordable, flexible short-term leasing option. 

However, you will need to return the vehicle if you do not qualify for the enhanced mobility rate of PIP.

Table of Contents

Background to Getting a Mobility Car

The Motability Scheme enables people who receive the Higher Rate Mobility Component of Disability Living Allowance, the Enhanced Rate Mobility Component of Personal Independence Payment, the War Pensioners’ Mobility Supplement, or the Armed Forces Independence Payment to lease a new car, scooter or powered wheelchair. 

Motability Operations is a company established in 1977, running the Motability Scheme under contract from the charity Motability. Through this scheme, recipients can lease a vehicle by utilising their government mobility allowance.

For those who have disabilities affecting their daily lives, Motability provides affordable, reliable transportation options to improve mobility and independence. 

Can I Get a Mobility Car on Standard Rate PIP?

It is important to note that the standard mobility rate of PIP is insufficient to join the Motability scheme. As of April 2023, the standard weekly rate is £26.90 while Motability requires the enhanced weekly rate of £71.

It’s important to note that PIP is reviewed regularly. Consequently, if your condition worsens, you might be moved to the enhanced rate. 

This will allow you to apply for a mobility car. If your health changes before your next planned assessment, you can also request a review of your PIP entitlement. 

PIP claimants who lose their entitlement to the enhanced rate of the mobility part of PIP can no longer use the Motability Scheme. 

However, they might be eligible for a one-off payment of £1,000 or £2,000 from Motability. This can help with the transition, for instance, buying a second-hand car. 

For those on the standard rate, there are also other mobility solutions available. You might be eligible for a blue badge, allowing you to park in more accessible and convenient places. 

You might also be able to access public transport more easily with a National Entitlement Card or a Disabled Person’s Railcard.

You can also watch this video on Youtube here.

Eligibility Criteria for Mobility Cars

To be eligible for a Motability vehicle, it is necessary to receive one of the following benefits at the enhanced rate:

  • Enhanced Rate Mobility Component of Personal Independence Payment (ERMC PIP)
  • Higher Rate Mobility Component of Disability Living Allowance (HRMC DLA)
  • War Pensioners’ Mobility Supplement (WPMS)
  • Armed Forces Independence Payment (AFIP)

When applying, you must also have at least 12 months remaining on your award. It is important to note that those receiving the standard rate mobility component of PIP or other benefits do not qualify.

However, the Motability Scheme is not the sole avenue for obtaining a mobility car. 

Local councils and various charities also offer schemes which help disabled people get around, with some people potentially qualifying for vehicle tax exemption or a reduction in road tax, depending on their circumstances.

Moreover, when applying, you need to have at least 12 months remaining on your award of the qualifying benefit.

Application Process for Standard Rate PIP

The process for applying for the standard rate PIP involves several steps. 

  1. First, it is necessary to contact the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to start your claim. They will collect some initial details over the phone or online, sending a ‘How your disability affects you’ form.
  2. Next, complete this form, providing detailed information about how your condition affects your daily living and mobility. Be as thorough and accurate as possible, and include any supporting evidence, such as reports from healthcare professionals.
  3. You may also be required to attend an assessment focused on how your condition impacts your daily living and mobility. The DWP will then review your application, including the assessor’s report and your completed form. Then, you will decide on the PIP rate you will receive.

If unhappy with the decision, you can request a mandatory reconsideration, in which a different assessor will determine your eligibility.

Background to Getting a Mobility Car

The Role of Personal Independence Payments

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is a benefit for people aged 16 years old to State Pension age where help with daily living activities or mobility needs is necessary. This is due to a long-term physical or mental health condition. 

From April 2013 onward, it replaced Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for eligible people aged 16-64.

The benefit consists of a daily living component and a mobility component paid at standard or enhanced rates based on level of need. 

The daily living component is for people who need help with things like preparing meals, dressing and undressing, or making decisions about money. On the other hand, the mobility component is for people who need help getting around.

PIP is a non-means-tested benefit, meaning that it is not affected by income, savings, or whether you’re working, and is also tax-free. It is not to replace income, but rather act as a supplement. 

The amount you get is dependent on how your condition affects you, rather than the condition itself. The DWP will assess this using a points system.

"Motability Operations is a company established in 1977, running the Motability Scheme under contract from the charity Motability."

Challenges Faced in Acquiring a Mobility Car

Acquiring a mobility car can present several challenges: 

  • First, the eligibility criteria is strict. To qualify for a Motability vehicle, you must be in receipt of the enhanced rate of the mobility component of PIP, or the higher rate of the mobility component of DLA.
  • The advance payment required for some vehicles can be a substantial amount, meaning that it may be a barrier for those who are in low-income employment, or others with access to limited funds. However, Motability does offer some vehicles for less than your weekly mobility allowance, which means that no advance payment is needed. 
  • The PIP system itself can be a hurdle, as the assessment process has been criticised for being stressful and for often producing inconsistent results. There are also reports of people losing their PIP award after an assessment, and subsequently having to return their Motability vehicle. However, Motability does offer some support should this situation arise, as detailed previously. 
  • There’s also the fact that the Motability Scheme is a lease scheme, so at the end of the lease, you don’t own the car. 

Motability’s September 2022 Price List showed that the average advance payment for a Motability vehicle is around £1,200 but can vary depending on vehicle choice.

Exploring Alternative Mobility Solutions

As mentioned earlier, if you’re not eligible for a mobility car through the Motability Scheme, there are other mobility solutions to consider. The Blue Badge scheme can provide significant benefits, such as the ability to park closer to your destination. 

For those who find public transport particularly challenging, community transport services can be a lifeline. These services are often run by voluntary charitable organisations and can provide transport to shops, doctors’ surgeries and social activities

Furthermore, there are many reputable dealerships that specialise in used mobility vehicles, including wheelchair accessible vehicles. If you are not eligible for the motability scheme, this can be a more cost-effective solution. 

Although the standard rate PIP may not provide access to a mobility car through the Motability Scheme, it’s worth exploring the various alternative solutions available. 

With a bit of research and the right advice, you can find a solution which fits your specific mobility needs and lifestyle. It’s always worth checking with your local council or Citizens Advice to see what help might be available in your area.

Understanding Attendance Allowance

Attendance Allowance is a benefit provided by the UK government to individuals aged 65 and over who might need extra help due to severe physical or mental health conditions. It’s important to note that it is not linked to National Insurance contributions, and is tax-free. 

Conversely, it is only offered to individuals who have a disability severe enough that they need someone to help look after them. 

Moreover, this benefit is not for those already receiving PIP or Disability Living Allowance. The process of applying for Attendance Allowance is straightforward, involving filling out a form that details how your illness or disability affects you. 

This is then reviewed by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), who will consequently determine your eligibility. 

ReceivingAttendance Allowance can increase the amount you receive in other benefits, as well as offering a potential gateway to other types of financial assistance. 

For instance, those receiving Attendance Allowance can also qualify for a council tax reduction, depending on local council regulations.

Applying for Universal Credit

Universal Credit is a monthly payment to help with your living costs if you’re on a low income, out of work, or you cannot work. 

Universal Credit is replacing a number of common benefits, including income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Housing Benefit, and Working Tax Credit.

When applying for Universal Credit, you’ll need to be aware of your ‘Universal Credit assessment period.’ This is a one-month period in which your circumstances and income affect how much Universal Credit you’ll receive. 

As with many government benefits, Universal Credit payment is made up of a standard allowance, as well as any extra amounts that apply to you. 

It is important to note that you might get more money if you have children, have a disability or health condition that prevents you from working, or you need help paying your rent.

Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles and RSA Motability

Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles (WAVs) are vehicles that have been converted to carry passengers travelling in their wheelchair, or for those who wish to drive while in their wheelchair. 

They contain built-in ramps, a lowered floor or a lift, and offer wheelchair tie-downs for security whilst travelling. 

RSA Motability (RSAM) provides insurance protection for all cars which are leased through the Motability Scheme. It offers comprehensive cover, ensuring protection against most risks. 

Therefore, it is very reassuring for those using the scheme. Furthermore, RSA Motability adheres to the regulations laid out by the Financial Conduct Authority.

The insurance provided by RSA Motability covers two named drivers, so it’s not just the disabled person who can drive the vehicle. This is especially useful for carers or family members, as they can then drive the disabled person to appointments or social events.

In addition, it is essential to note that Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles provided through Motability are exempt from insurance premium tax. 

This works to keep costs lower for scheme users. RSA Motability insurance, as well as covering up to £150 worth of repairs in the event of a puncture or road traffic accident.

Special Rules for the Terminally Ill

‘Special Rules’ is a term used in the UK benefits system for people who are terminally ill. Under these rules, individuals can get Disability Living Allowance, Personal Independence Payment, or Attendance Allowance more quickly. It also applies to Universal Credit.

If a person is not expected to live more than six months, they are considered terminally ill. 

Consequently, there’s no need for them to wait for the usual qualifying periods or satisfy the standard disability tests. Instead, they will automatically meet the criteria for the highest level of help available.

These rules aim to provide quick, compassionate, and necessary support for individuals in their final months. These claims are handled with the utmost sensitivity, compassion, and urgency. 

Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction

If you pay rent and your income and capital are below a certain level, the Housing Benefit is a means-tested benefit which you can claim. Even if you’re working, you might still qualify for Housing Benefit, depending on whether your income is low. 

You usually won’t be eligible if you have savings of over £16,000, unless you’re of State Pension age or you get Guarantee Credit of Pension Credit. 

Council Tax Reduction is a benefit which helps unemployed people, or those on a low income, in claiming benefits to pay their council tax. 

The amount which you receive depends on many factors, including which benefits you receive, your age, your income, who you live with, how much council tax you pay, and whether you have a spare room.

Both of these benefits are administered by your local council. Therefore, if you’re struggling with housing costs or council tax, it’s worth checking your eligibility. 

Furthermore, when applying for these benefits, remember to have access to your national insurance number, bank details, proof of income and housing cost. Then, you can apply online via the Gov.uk website, as well as contacting your local council directly.

Key Takeaways

  • If you are receiving the enhanced rate of the mobility part of PIP or other qualifying benefits, explore the Motability Scheme. This can be a reliable solution for mobility needs.
  • If you’re only on the standard rate PIP, you cannot get a mobility car through the Motability Scheme. However, PIP is reviewed regularly, meaning that your rate may change if your condition worsens.
  • Consider alternatives such as the Blue Badge scheme or community transport services, if you’re not eligible for a mobility car.
  • The PIP system is designed to help with the extra costs of long-term illness or disability. It consists of two parts which are daily living and mobility.
  • If you’re of State Pension age or more, you might be eligible for Attendance Allowance. This can also lead to a council tax reduction.
  • Universal Credit is replacing several common benefits. Consequently, if you cannot work or do not earn a lot from your work, it is worth considering your eligibility. 
  • Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles (WAVs) can be an excellent solution if you’re a wheelchair user. Insurance for vehicles leased through the Motability Scheme is provided by RSA Motability.
  • If you are terminally ill, understand that ‘Special Rules’ can speed up your benefit claims.
  • If you’re struggling with housing costs or council tax, remember to look into Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction. 

In Motabilitiy’s 2023 annual report, it was found that over 700,000 people had benefited from the scheme. The scheme has a large scope and is committed to making mobility easier for those who need it.

FAQ

1. Are all vehicles in the Motability Scheme wheelchair accessible?

Not all vehicles in the Motability Scheme are wheelchair accessible. However, if you require a Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle (WAV), the Motability Scheme does offer these. 

WAVs are specially converted to allow a wheelchair user to travel either as a passenger or a driver without needing to transfer out of their wheelchair. However, leasing a WAV often requires an additional payment,with the exact amount varying depending on the make and model of the vehicle.

2. Can I get help with my car tax if I’m on the higher rate mobility part of DLA?

Yes, if you’re receiving the higher rate mobility part of the Disability Living Allowance (DLA), you may be eligible for a 100% discount on your car tax, also known as Vehicle Excise Duty. 

This exemption is provided by the UK government and applies to one vehicle that is registered in the disabled person’s name or nominated by them. Remember that if you are eligible, this exemption must be renewed every year. 

3. Can I claim Child Tax Credit if my child has a disability?

Yes, you can claim an extra amount of Child Tax Credit if your child is disabled. This is known as the ‘disability element’ or ‘severely disabled element’, and the amount you receive depends on the rate of DLA or PIP that your child is getting. 

You can claim the disability element if your child is awarded any rate of DLA or PIP. In addition, you can claim the severely disabled element if your child gets the highest rate of DLA care component, the enhanced rate of PIP daily living component, or is registered blind.

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