Open consultation

How public funds can be used to support the mobility needs of disabled people

Summary

As part of its independent work programme, SSAC is conducting research that examines how public funds can be used most effectively to support the mobility needs of disabled people.

This consultation closes at

Consultation description

We are trying to gather a pool of evidence which we can draw from to help underpin our research. We would therefore welcome input from a broad range of organisations and individuals who have relevant insights or evidence to share with us.

Background to our research project

The Motability scheme allows anyone in receipt of certain mobility allowances to use this payment towards the lease of a:

  • car
  • scooter
  • wheelchair accessible vehicle
  • powered wheelchair

In association with the Department of Work and Pensions, Motability aims to support disabled people to achieve greater independence via access to affordable mobility.

The scheme is currently open to anyone in receipt of the higher rate mobility component of Disability Living Allowance (DLA), the enhanced rate of the mobility component of Personal Independence Payment (PIP), the War Pensioners’ Mobility Supplement or the Armed Forces Independence Payment. Figures from 2017 indicate that of the 1.72 million disabled people in the UK who are eligible to participate in the scheme, only 614,000 actually did so; roughly two thirds of eligible disabled people in the UK are not accessing the scheme.

While there has been a significant amount of research on public transport and accessibility for disabled people, there has been relatively little research that explores access to, and benefits of, private transport.

The focus of our research is on exploring whether the current investment in Motability, coupled with the availability of the DLA/PIP mobility component, is the best way to support the mobility needs of disabled people. In particular, the research aims to get a better understanding of any barriers disabled people may face in accessing the Motability scheme.

We are particularly interested in hearing from:

  • disabled people
  • carers and/or families of adult disabled people
  • parents/carers of disabled children
  • charities or organisations who support disabled people

Call for evidence

The committee would like to hear from anyone who has experience of and evidence on the Motability scheme. We are keen to hear about the experience of those who may be eligible for the Motability scheme but have not taken it up. Our call for evidence is based on the following questions.

1. For those who are eligible, is not leasing a vehicle through Motability a voluntary choice?

Is the decision not to use the scheme related to a preference for using public transport or is it due to other factors?

Are disability benefits used for other forms of transport or travel support; and if so what are the benefits of this?

2. For disabled people who are on enhanced mobility benefits, what are the main barriers to leasing a vehicle through the Motability scheme? Barriers could include financial, practical, information based or personal factors for example.

What are the key issues for those individuals who feel they cannot opt in to the Motability scheme?

3. How does participation/non-participation in the Motability scheme impact on the life of a disabled person?

4. How affordable are adaptations to a leased vehicle?

Does the need for adaptations put people requiring these at a disadvantage in terms of using the scheme?

What grants are available for this group of people and what more can be done to support these needs?

5. For people who are not eligible, because they do not get the enhanced rate, is there a demand for opening up access to the Motability scheme?

6. How available and/or useful is the information on the Motability scheme?

Is support available to access this information?

How easy is the process involved in leasing a vehicle from Motability for disabled people with varying needs?

7. How does the need for and/or opportunity to benefit from the Motability scheme intersect with other characteristics such as:

  • different experiences of disability – for example physical impairment, mental health condition, learning difficulty
  • other characteristics – such as age, gender, ethnicity
  • ‘geography’ – whether disabled people live in a rural or urban environment

8. Do those using the Motability scheme benefit more financially than those eligible for the highest/enhanced rate who do not use the Motability scheme?

How to respond

Responses, focusing on the above questions, are needed by 3 December 2019 and should be emailed to:

ssac.consultation@ssac.gov.uk

Or sent to:

The Committee Secretary
Social Security Advisory Committee
7th Floor
Caxton House
Tothill Street
London
SW1H 9NA

How we’ll use your information

The information you send to us will be made available to members of SSAC and its secretariat. You should note that the Committee may publish your evidence, and/or include attributed extracts from it, in its report.

You should also note that all information submitted to the Committee as part of this consultation, including personal information, may be subject to publication or disclosure if requested under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

By providing personal information for the purposes of the public consultation exercise, it is understood that you consent to its disclosure and publication. If this is not the case, you should limit any personal information provided, or remove it completely.

Published 5 November 2019