How do you know if you’re eligible for the Motability Scheme?
Eligibility for the Motability Scheme is dependent upon receiving a higher or enhanced rate mobility allowance. Historically, a fairly high percentage of people receiving Disability Living Allowance (DLA) also received the higher rate mobility allowance. However, for all adults born after 1948, DLA has been replaced by a Personal Independence Payment (PIP) and beneficiaries are also reassessed for the level of mobility allowance.
To qualify for the higher level of the mobility component of PIP, which is needed to get a Motability vehicle, a person must be unable to walk unaided for 20 metres, compared with the previous distance of 50 metres under DLA.
According to Muscular Dystrophy UK, 45% of all case reassessments resulted in the applicant losing their eligibility. There is a right of appeal and around 65% of decisions are overturned. However, only a very small percentage of those who have lost their mobility allowance have appealed, probably because they feel the tribunal process is too onerous and stressful.
Nonetheless, many people are still receiving the enhanced mobility allowance.
We join Lookers, who provide a variety of car service plans and, In this article, we clarify what gives you automatic eligibility for the Motability Scheme.
What is Motability?
The Motability Scheme is a Government-funded scheme which allows people who have a disability to exchange their higher rate mobility allowance, or part of that allowance, for a brand-new vehicle from a Motability dealer, a scooter, powered wheelchair or Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle (WAV). Normally, under the terms of the lease, a car can be updated every three years or five years for a WAV.
The scheme aims to provide disabled people with an ability to maintain the independence and freedom that comes with owning a vehicle that suits your needs. Vehicles can be adapted to conditions and can become wheelchair accessible, among other capabilities. Your mobility allowance helps to cover the running costs of a vehicle, excluding fuel costs. Usually, each Motability lease includes insurance, breakdown assistance, servicing, and maintenance, as well as the monthly costs of the vehicle.
Currently, it is not possible to lease a car AND a scooter or powered wheelchair, because customers are unable to have more than one lease agreement on the Motability Scheme at one time.
The Motability website provides a great deal of information about choosing cars, deciding what adaptations are needed, and finding a Motability dealer. There’s even a useful car search tool to find what type of car would most suit your needs.
The cost of the lease will depend on your chosen vehicle and the cost of any adaptations. Payments for the lease are deducted from your higher rate mobility allowance every four weeks and paid directly to Motability. If the lease cost would be more than your mobility allowance, you will need to make an upfront payment to cover what the additional costs would be over the course of the lease period.
Below are the allowances that would give you automatic eligibility providing, in each instance, you have at least 12 months left on your confirmed allowance status.
If you needed any further information or wanted to check if you were eligible, you can use this Motability checker.
Disability Living Allowance (DLA) including the Higher Rate Mobility Component.
DLA including the higher rate mobility allowance is still payable, as deemed appropriate, for those born on or before 8th April 1948 and children under 16 and over 3. In the case of a child, a parent or guardian may apply for the Motability Scheme if they wish.
The DLA care component is paid at one of three different weekly rates depending on how much care is needed:
As of April 2019
- Highest rate: £87.65
- Middle rate: £58.70
- Lowest rate: £23.20
The mobility component is:
- Mobility – standard rate – £23.20
- Mobility –higher rate – £61.20
Personal Independence Payment (PIP) including the Enhanced Rate of the Mobility Component
You can receive PIP if you are aged between 16 and 64 and have a daily living and/or mobility need that requires additional help due to an illness, disability, or mental health condition. The decision of how much PIP you’ll receive comes from the DWP and it is made up of two components called daily living and mobility.
As of April 2019, the PIP rates were as follows:
- Daily living – standard rate: £58.70
- Daily living – enhanced rate: £87.65
- Mobility – standard rate – £23.20
Mobility – enhanced rate – £61.20
You will only be eligible for the mobility Scheme if your PIP includes the enhanced mobility rate.
Armed Forces Independence Payment (AFIP)
As of 10 April 2019, the mobility element of the allowance is £61.20 per week. AFIP gives service personnel and veterans who were injured in service financial support in a similar way that WPMS does. It isn’t taxable and it’s administered by Veterans UK.
In order to be eligible for an Armed Forces Independence Payment, the recipient must be entitled to a Guaranteed Income Payment (GIP) of 50% or more through the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme.
War Pensioners’ Mobility Supplement (WPMS)
As of 10 April 2019, those entitled to WPMS receive £68.35 each week. This payment helps to provide financial support to any war veterans who were seriously injured in service. It helps to cover costs that may have been incurred due to their injury. From 1 April 2015, it was automatically given to single lower limb amputees with 40 per cent War Disablement Pension or more. It’s paid as an alternative to PIP Mobility. Therefore, any PIP payments would stop if WPMS was awarded due to the same disablement.