Monday, 30 July 2018

Can I afford to walk?

I have an incurable genetic condition which is disabling and debilitating.  I have limited mobility.  I need to use a powerchair to get around outdoors and I need a wheelchair accessible vehicle to transport my powerchair.  My health problems mean I can't self propel a manual wheelchair and I struggle to use a mobility scooter.

I do physio to try and keep myself as strong and healthy as possible but by doing this I am putting myself at a serious financial disadvantage.  Let me show you why.

If I gave up physio and allowed my mobility to decline to the point where I can no longer walk I would be entitled to:
  • £59.75 a week enhanced rate PIP mobility component 
  • lease vehicle through Motability
  • and get free powerchair from NHS Wheelchair Services 
If I work hard at physio so I can walk 50 metres on crutches I would be entitled to:
  •  £22.65 a week standard rate PIP mobility component.
I would not be eligible to lease a vehicle from Motability, I would not be eligible for a powerchair from NHS Wheelchair Services, but I would still need both a WAV and a powerchair to get around. 

A brand new powerchair costs around £3,000 and a three year old WAV costs around £12,000.  I would have to save up the standard rate PIP allowance for 12 ½ years to afford them. 

If I work really hard at physio so I can walk 60 metres on crutches I would be entitled to:

  • Nothing.
Putting things into perspective, the bus stop is 550m away from my house.  That is 9 times further than I would be able to walk so I'd need a powerchair to get there or anywhere else for that matter.  I would still have a disabling and debilitating incurable genetic condition but I would not be eligible for any help with my mobility needs. 

My physio wants to help me regain my mobility and be in the best shape possible but I’m not sure that I can afford to do that.  It's unlikely that I will ever be able to walk a useful distance ever again but I'm scared of  being too fit to qualify for help but too disabled to function without it.

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