Petition is successful with 5,403 signatures
To: Sarah Newton - Minister of State at the Department for Work & Pensions
Don’t Take Jean’s Car Away
This campaign has ended.
Allow Jean to keep her specially-adapted car and award Alexandra (Jean) Mitchell the enhanced rate of the mobility component of Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
Why is this important?
Jean is 68 years old and lives in Edinburgh. She was born with arthrogryposis, a condition which affects the joints and muscles and prevents development/growth in the legs. Jean is 4 foot 5 inches and wears heavy callipers and surgical boots weighing 3kgs. Each step is a challenge and for the past 20 years Jean has relied exclusively on her specially adapted Motability car to lead an independent life. Recently due to new guidelines for Personal Independence Payments, she has been told that she is no longer entitled to a car. This is unacceptable.
Everything Jean undertakes is adapted, adjusted and limited by her physical handicap. Her balance is poor due to no ankle or knee flexion, she struggles with cobbles, uneven ground, steps, kerbs and slopes. If one of her callipers breaks, she is 100% immobile. Public transport is not an option. Boarding a bus requires the use of both arms, leaving no option for carrying any shopping. The height of the seats leaves her legs dangling unsupported, causing swelling and pain.
It is of the utmost importance that Jean is permitted to maintain her independence through the provision of a specially adapted car. Her condition will never improve. Taking her car away will leave Jean housebound and reliant on the help of others. To deprive Jean of her car after 20 years, at the time of her life that she needs it most, is cruel and unnecessary.
Under the new PIP guidelines Jean’s mobility was reassessed and she was deemed to walk with a “good gait”. The assessment was conducted by target-driven private contractors employed by the DWP. Given her medical condition and profound disability this assessment is evidently deeply flawed. Edinburgh West MP Christine Jardine said that assessments were often “box ticking exercises with no understanding of peoples’ situations”. This certainly rings true for Jean.
There is no doubt that Jean should qualify for the enhanced rate of the mobility component of PIP. Please help us persuade Sarah Newton to support Jean’s case by signing and sharing this petition.