In late 2018, Motability received a windfall donation from Motability Operations PLC of a size which has enabled us to both heavily expand our current charitable activities, and invest substantially in areas that were not possible with the funds previously available to us.
We embarked on a consultation process to test a number of potential initiatives with Scheme customers, disability groups and disabled people. Some of the initiatives involve expanding areas in which we have been helping disabled people for many years, such as providing financial support to disabled people who need large heavily adapted vehicles to enable them to drive their Motability Scheme vehicle independently from their wheelchair. Financial support has already increased in this area and will continue to rise substantially going forward. Some of the initiatives are completely new such as exploring the potential of connected and autonomous vehicle technology, which will enable Motability to enter into new and exciting areas to help disabled people in many different ways.
Today in the House of Commons, Justin Tomlinson MP, Minister of State for Disabled People, Health and Work, spoke about a new set of initiatives for which Motability will be providing very substantial financial support over the coming years. Earlier this year, we approached the department to identify other areas in which they are involved with disabled people, in which our support could prove helpful. The following initiatives will further the Charity’s objectives of helping disabled people with their mobility, and provide support to many more disabled people across the UK.
Stopped Allowance Support
Motability previously committed to spend some £175million, supporting Scheme customers who lost their eligibility to use the Scheme following reassessment from Disability Living Allowance (DLA) to Personal Independence Payment (PIP).
In addition to this, we have committed to support all Scheme customers who lose eligibility to the Motability Scheme as a result of a stopped allowance, such as PIP to PIP assessment, with a Stopped Allowance Support payment of £1,000.
Further details, including a programme start date, will be communicated to Scheme customers in due course.
Access to Work Grants
In order to help more disabled people gain access to employment, Motability will, in due course, provide supplementary grants to disabled people who have applied to the Department for Work and Pensions for Access to Work support, for items such as wheelchairs.
Further details, including a programme start date, will be communicated once finalised.
Supporting Under Threes – Family Fund Mobility Support
In November 2017, the Motability Tenth Anniversary Trust initiated a pilot in partnership with Family Fund to provide £1m to support families with severely disabled children under the age of three who have significant mobility needs, as individuals of this age group are ineligible for mobility support through the Disability Living Allowance.
This successful pilot has enhanced the lives of many families, enabling them to take their child to vital appointments, often transporting essential bulky equipment and mobility aids.
Motability has committed to take over funding to continue and accelerate this support. This will help many more families, providing life-changing mobility for those with severely disabled children with significant mobility needs.
Motability and the DWP
We welcome the Minister’s warm words today and his comments in a recent letter as follows “I reiterate what the Secretary of State and my predecessors before me have said, the Scheme provides a fantastic service for disabled people”.
We have an excellent working relationship with the Department and I’m sure there will be other areas in which we will be able to work together in the future to help many more disabled people and their families in the decades to come.
Chairman of Motability.