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Change the law relating to Higher Rate Mobility

Comment 21st July 2010

To change the law relating to the Higher Rate Mobility component of Disability Living Allowance to make it fairer and less confusing for decision makers and applicants. To either base the receipt of HRM on actual immediate need, rather than condition or illness – or to widen the scope for which HRM is available.

Why does this matter?

There is a great deal of confusion over disability legislation at present, particularly over who is eligible for higher rate mobility component of the Disability Living Allowance.

I am a carer for my wife who has non-epileptic seizures. As a result she can experience severe mobility problems in the aftermath of a seizure, particularly if she has a complex seizure (multiple episodes in a short space of time). She is currently in receipt of low rate mobility.

A friend has early stage Multiple Sclerosis. She has attacks very infrequently where she ends up bedridden (like my wife). She has indefinite DLA and indefinite HRM. We (and she) finds the difference in treatment very difficult to understand. Whilst she has only once or twice in the past two years failed to pick up her children from school because of an attack and is able to drive, I have often had to pick ours up from school as my wife's felt too unwell to do so.And, of course, because my wife has seizures she is unable to drive herself. Public transport is also not an option if she has a seizure away from home. So she relies on others to get her around, which on the face of it, surely means that she would benefit from the improved locomotion HRM would give her.

More has to be done to simplify the application and decision making process to ensure that apparent unfairness of the system. Current legislation is highly defective in this respect and it is often a lottery (took us 3 attempts to even get the DLA award she is current on) as to who is awarded what.

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