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Adapted Vehicle Hire News Updates: 500,000 to lose disability benefits

Thousands of people are set to lose entitlement to the Disability Living Allowance (DLA) over the next four years as it was announced that planned changes to disability benefits will go ahead.

Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith told the Telegraph that two million claimants are to be re-assessed over the next four years, with an estimated quarter of those expected to lose the DLA, saving up to a fifth of the £13 billion annual cost.

Mr Duncan Smith said that reform was necessary because the number of claimants has risen by 30 percent in recent years, “rising well ahead of any other gauge you might make about illness, sickness or disability”.

The DLA can be claimed by people with physical and mental disabilities, which need to be severe enough for them to require constant care or assistance in walking and getting around. In most cases, it is not affected by income or employment status.

The UK’s first disabled model, Shannon Murray, tweeted that the DLA was “a lifeline enabling me to participate in and contribute to society.” She went on to say that it helps to fund her adapted car, therefore allowing her to continue to work.

Under the plans, the DLA is to be replaced by the Personal Independent Payment, which ministers say focuses on individuals most in need. Full eligibility criteria for the new payment is due to be announced this autumn.

Controversially, amputees, including wounded soldiers, could be among the half a million losing entitlement to the benefit, as Mr Duncan Smith highlighted that in many cases the use of prosthetic limbs means general mobility is unhindered.

In other news, a new campaign calling for safer wheelchair accessible vehicles has been launched by Disabled Motoring UK in association with Constables Mobility.

Adapted Vehicle Hire helps disabled motorists and carers with their adapted car needs. Click here to find out more.