DLA mobility component - Low Review findings published

Lord Low has completed and published his independent review of government plans to cut mobility support for disabled people living in residential care homes.

Details of the report can be found at http://lowreview.org.uk . The Low Review, launched in July 2011, has received over 800 submissions from individuals, local authorities and providers, and held six oral evidence sessions.

The Review‘s remit was to produce an independent report focusing on:

  • how the mobility component of DLA is being used by care home residents
  • the impact that  removing this benefit would have on disabled people’s independence and quality of life
  •  funding arrangements for meeting personal mobility needs between local authorities and care home providers
  • responsibilities of care home providers in relation to the mobility needs of residents.

The 2010 Spending Review included plans to end payment of the mobility component of Disability Living Allowance (DLA), soon tobecome Personal Independence Payment (PIP), to disabled people living in residential care. The Welfare Reform Bill, currently before parliament, contains the power to end these payments.

Many disabled people and disability charities, including Livability, have expressed widespread concern about the negative impact the removal would have.

The main findings of the review include:

  • DLA mobility is key to meeting the personal mobility needs of care home residents and provides disabled people with choice and control over how their mobility needs are met
  • There is no overlap between the support provided by DLA mobility and that offered by local authorities
  • When asked about their role in meeting mobility needs, providers of residential services were clear that they were not usually funded to meet personal mobility needs
  • Ending payment of the mobility component to people living in residential care would deny people control over their own lives and undermine the Government’s own commitment to greater personalisation in the support provided to disabled people

The review also contains a series of recommendations and concludes that as Personal Independence Payment is introduced, disabled people living in residential care should be eligible to receive the mobility component on the same basis as disabled people receiving care in their own home.