It seems the DWP is getting devious with its ploys to take away people’s benefits – or at least the extras derived from them.
In this story, Olivia gets to keep PIP – but must lose her Motability car. The DWP then cleverly offered to let her keep the vehicle until next April in an agreement that officials knew they could change at any time – so they did.
Now she has until tomorrow (Friday, November 6) to raise the £4,900 needed to buy the car. That’s a huge task for a teenager at sixth form, as the DWP’s staff know perfectly well.
They’re just turning the screws, basically.
But they won’t get their way if people of good conscience help out. Olivia’s friends have set up a crowdfunding website called Keep Olivia’s Wheels – feel free to visit and donate, while there’s still time.
If you need an extra reason to donate, take a look at the spokesperson’s slimy answer, when questioned about the DWP’s behaviour: She could have appealed “but chose not to” – because she had been led to believe she would have the car until April!
The information on how PIP is awarded is worth noting, too – it isn’t based on the condition but on how it affects the claimant. This is a purely subjective criterion – medical evidence may be freely ignored this way – meaning DWP staff could probably remove PIP from somebody with no limbs at all, if they had a smile on their face.
Some of them undoubtedly would.
A teenager who lost a leg to cancer has been told she is not “disabled enough” for a Motability car.
Sixth form student Olivia Cork, 19, had her right leg amputated above the knee almost five years ago.
For the past two years she has had the use of a specially adapted Ford Fiesta thanks to the Motability scheme.
It is vital for getting her to and from school, where she is studying three A levels. And Olivia, who has taken up swimming and dreams of becoming a paralympian, also drives to her local pool for classes seven times a week, including three early morning starts.
But after a DWP re-assessment it has been decided Olivia is fit enough to manage without the vehicle.
Olivia said: “With the change to PIP, the criteria to be disabled enough to get the car had changed, so I had to re apply and then I was not fitting the criteria. I was not disabled enough.”
She added: “If you can walk a certain distance, a few house lengths, then you are not deemed disabled enough. It does not matter if you use crutches or prosthetic legs or whatever.”
Olivia asked the DWP to reconsider, which they refused. She says she was then told she could keep the car until next April and as a result she did not formally appeal the decision, as she weighed up her options.
But last month a bombshell letter arrived saying she would lose the car on November 9, unless he could raise £4,900 by this Friday to buy the Fiesta outright from the Motability scheme.
Now friends have rallied round to help and a crowd funding page has been set up called “Keep Olivia’s Wheels”.
Her swimming club Alsager Bridgstone, is also organising a fund raising evening.
A DWP spokesperson said: “Ms Cork was given the opportunity to appeal the decision regarding her claim for PIP but chose not to.”
The DWP said PIP is awarded on the basis of how a claimant’s condition affects them rather than on the condition itself.
Decisions are made following a face-to-face assessment and consideration of all the medical evidence provided by the claimant.
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