General - Keeping Motability Cars etc while appealing a DLA to PIP decision
The DWP announced recently that people will be able to keep their Motability cars for longer when losing the higher rate of DLA on transfer to PIP.
Sounds good - there are some important points to note:
1. Every Motability customer with a Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle (WAV) will get to keep their vehicle for 26 weeks after their DLA ends, regardless of when they joined the scheme.
If they hand back the vehicle at the end of 26 weeks, then they will receive £2000 if they joined Motability on or before 31 December 2012 or £1000 if they joined on or before 31 December 2013, or nothing if they joined after 1 January 2014. However, Motability will work with every WAV customer on a case by case basis to help them as much as possible.
2. Every Motability customer without a WAV will get to keep their car for 8 weeks after their DLA finishes, rather than the current 4 weeks. At the end of that 8 week period, Motability will decide what transitional payment the customer can receive.
3. If you joined Motability on or before 31 December 2012 you can receive a lump sum of £2000 when you return the car (within the 8 weeks) OR elect to keep the car until 26 weeks after your DLA stopped. If you elect to keep the car for longer, then your lump sum when you do return the car is reduced to £500. You can’t trade off between keeping the car and getting a larger payment within the 26 weeks – it’s either £2000 at 8 weeks or £500 at 26 weeks as the only two choices. Also, if you don’t return the car within the initial 8 weeks, you will automatically opt-in to the 26 week return date and lower payment.
4. If you joined or rejoined Motability on or before 31 December 2013 you can receive a lump sum of £1000 when you return the car (within the 8 weeks) OR elect to keep the car until 26 weeks after your DLA stopped. If you elect to keep the car for longer, then your lump sum when you do return the car is reduced to £250. Again, there’s only those two options and the automatic opt-in applies.
5. If you joined or rejoined the Motability scheme after 1 January 2014 then you are not eligible for any transitional payment and the car has to be returned at the end of the initial 8 week period.
WHAT THIS MEANS FOR YOU
Although the DWP have talked about people keeping their Motability car until their appeal against the PIP award, that ISN’T the case. In the first place, it is only people with a WAV or people who joined the scheme before 1 January 2014 that have the option of keeping their car for longer than 8 weeks.
If you joined Motability before 31 December 2013, and have a non-WAV, you can opt to keep your car for 26 weeks after your DLA finishes. Your appeal might be heard in that time - or it might not.
The current average waiting time for a PIP appeal is 16 weeks so this seems fairly positive.
But waits of 20 and 24 weeks are not uncommon and the backlog of cases is increasing month on month as more people appeal. So there is a risk that you may opt to keep the car until your appeal is heard but still have to hand it back first – and lose the larger transition payment.
If you opt to keep a non-WAV car until your appeal and then lose your appeal, you still only get the smaller transition payment. So it’s a gamble on how confident you are that you will win your appeal.
If you are not very confident that you will win, you might consider handing the car back at 8 weeks and taking the larger transition payment.
This page from Motability gives all the details http://www.motability.co.uk/about-thescheme/personal-independence-payment-and-the-scheme/q-and-a-transitional-supportpackage#financialsupport
This analysis is brought to you by BuDS Benefit Information Project – https://buds.org.uk/benefitsinformation/. It is general information only and you should take advice about your specific case.