New assessment process means thousands of Scots are losing specially adapted vehicles vital for their independence
DWP cuts are forcing disabled Scots to give up mobility vehicles essential to allow them to lead independent lives.
Currently 70,000 people in Scotland use the Mobility scheme which grants an allowance to purchase specially adapted vehicles.
However the move from Disability Living Allowance to the new Personal Independence Payments, which all claimants are being required to do, has seen some 14,000 lose their vehicles.
At this rate 31,500 claimants of Mobility in Scotland would see their claim for vehicles rejected, a senior SNP MSP has warned.
Dr Eilidh Whiteford MP, SNP spokeswoman for social justice and welfare, said the new assessment process was contradicting Tory claims of getting people into work.
She said: “I am extremely concerned that taking away a disabled person’s means of transport will make it impossible for them to travel to and from work – which flies in the face of the Tory Government’s aim of getting more people in to work.
Many will become prisoners in their own homes - John McArdle
“And while there is an appeals process, it fails to protect disabled people. Apart from an appeals process putting undue stress on a disabled person, the latest figures show that 60% of decisions to remove mobility allowance were later overturned on appeal, which suggests that the system just isn’t working.”
Under the DLA scheme disabled people made claims direct to the DWP or Jobcentre by filling in a self-assessment form backed by medical evidence.
However under PIP all new and existing applicants are forced to attend a face-to-face tests by government-backed private companies. Only those scoring 12 points or more will qualify for Mobility support - either a rate of £21.80 or £57.45 per week depending on the level of support needed.
John McArdle, co-founder of the Black Triangle disability rights campaign, said: “This is a despicable move which targets the disabled. It is nothing to do with supporting vulnerable people and everything to do with reducing the Conservative government’s welfare bill.
"Thousands of disabled people rely on these vehicles, and without them many will become prisoners in their own homes.”
A DWP spokesman said: “Decisions on eligibility for Personal Independence Payment are made after consideration of all the evidence, including an assessment and information provided by the claimant and their GP.
"The majority of people leaving the Motability scheme will be eligible for a one-off payment of £2,000, which will help ensure their mobility needs continue to be met.”