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DWP minister Baroness Altmann has been forced to issue a humiliating written apology after entirely misleading the House of Lords about the criteria for the mobility component of personal independence payment (PIP).

Baroness Altmann repeatedly claimed in a debate in the House of Lords on 4 May that claimants who cannot walk 50 metres would be guaranteed to receive the enhanced rate of the mobility component of PIP:

“Under PIP, if a claimant cannot walk up to 20 metres safely, reliably, repeatedly and in a timely manner, they are guaranteed to receive the enhanced rate of the mobility component. If a claimant cannot walk up to 50 metres safely, reliably, ​repeatedly and in a timely manner, then they are guaranteed to receive the enhanced rate of the mobility component.” (<href="#contribution-16050467000068">See Hansard)

In fact, a claimant who is able to walk more than 20 metres but less than 50 metres is only entitled to the standard rate of the mobility component, not the enhanced rate, unless they also score points for planning and following journeys.

It was the change from 50 metres to 20 metres for the enhanced rate that has caused such misery to the many thousands of higher rate DLA mobility claimants who are transferred to PIP and lose their Motability vehicles.

After the debate Baroness Altmann had to write a letter of apology to all the Lords who had spoken and place a copy of the letter on the record.

The letter admits Baroness Altmann’s mistake, which even a badly briefed DWP minister should never have made, and ends with a handwritten note stating:

“I am truly sorry that I need to correct this, please accept my apologies.”

You can download a copy of Baroness Altmann’s letter here.


#2 Paz 2017-03-10 04:38
I posted a review of the PIP centre at Dockside in Chatham. All disabled spaces are well over 20m from the centre. I struggled for 20 mins on a busy half term day to get to the centre aided by my wife. The PIP assessor said there are disabled spaces directly under the building, but this is not made known on the invite letter. People are being set up to fail!

I lost points on the planning and following journeys component, leaving me 4 points short of the enhanced rate, and so have lost my Motability car!

It is worth noting that Motability recommend using Autonet for car insurance, as they will honour accident free time in the Motability scheme. I was quoted the same sum by Autonet, as I got using comparethemarke t.com putting myself in as a new driver with no 'no no claims discount'. The net result...Prior to Motability Fully Comp on a car worth £6K @ £360 per annum. Yesterday in March quoted a minimum of £1300 per annum fully comp for an equivalent priced car.

Last week I was nearly sectioned for being suicidal...I think that is the Govt agenda to push people to the brink, and then they don't have to pay anything!!!
+1 #1 carruthers 2016-06-22 01:46
No excuses for her on this one. It does tend to confirm our suspicions that the politicians are not actually very concerned about being accurate. The stuff about the money being saved or being claimed fraudulently is inaccurate by design. This error smacks of "this legislation is not concerned about the details of disability - just about how many people we can disqualify."

Which isn't exactly news.

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