How do you get around? And how do you pay for it?
The Mobility component of the Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or the Personal Independent Payment (PIP) provides money to help pay for the additional cost of getting around outside of your home.
It is divided into 2 rates, Higher and Lower depending on your level of mobility.
This money can be used to pay for public transport, taxis, running a car or specialist mobility equipment such as a mobility scooter.
Access to Public Transport
The challenges of negotiating the UK's piecemeal public transport system can test the resolve of even the most determined!
Campaigns such as “Transport for All” and “No Go Britain” have raised public awareness of the difficulties of travelling on public transport if you have a disability.
And a recent Government report "Access to Transport for Disabled People" has also recognised the importance of improving accessibility for everyone with a disability to increase their participation in society and employment.
Buses increasingly include ramps for wheelchairs giving much improved access.....though the limit of one wheelchair per bus can leave you stranded at the bus stop while others continue their journey's without you!
Personal experience of using trains has been good - from arranging assistance and seating to staff assistance.
However, booking in advance is essential to guarantee help getting on and off the trains.
And booking early means you can take advantage of the cheaper fares.
Even if you've organised everything before your journey it's always a good idea to make yourself known to the on board guard to let them know which station you are getting out at to make sure the ramp is ready and waiting.
The Red Planet website provides an easy to use search option for train, bus and plane routes comparing the cost of each mode of transport for a given journey.
Travelling by Car
By far the most popular choice is the car - adapted for your specific needs and always available at your convenience.
Individuals awarded the highest or enhanced rate of DLA or PIP have the opportunity to join the Motability scheme - seen by many as a lifeline and a passport to freedom from isolation.
Without this help specialist adaptations and wheelchair accessible vehicles would be unaffordable for many with a disability .
It is often the most hassle free solution - exchanging your mobility allowance for 3 or 5 years trouble free motoring.
However, not everyone qualifies for this indispensable scheme including the elderly and anyone over 64 years (not already in receipt of DLA or PIP).
Leaving them having to rely on their own resources or charity funding.
There are also local schemes providing community transport, concessions on public transport and the availability of wheelchairs and mobility scooters in public venues.
Have a look at the pages below to find out how you can obtain funding towards improving your mobility options and how charities and trusts can help you with some or all of the funding.
As having the most appropriate mobility equipment whether it’s a wheelchair, a mobility scooter or a car is often key to maintaining independence.