It is sad that some disabled drivers will, despite being genuinely in need of independent transport, suffer the loss of their Motability cars under the government’s current review of claimants’ eligibility.
As is often the case, there will be deserving cases which will fall victim to the scrutiny exercise. This is inevitable because the scale and complexity of DLA fraud does not lend itself to very precise audit.
There are major weaknesses in the benefits system in general. These allow the payment of dishonest claims so that there is less money in the pot for those who are genuinely in need.
In the case of Carer’s Allowance, for instance, because there is no official definition of ‘care’, claimants are not questioned about the nature of the care they claim to provide. Such a loose arrangement is obviously open to abuse on a large scale.
The control of DLA payments is equally loose. When a claimant undergoes corrective surgery or other successful treatment, the department relies on that individual to honour their commitment to report their change in circumstances.
Government is not sufficiently joined up to have hospitals or GPs report any improvement in an individual’s health to those who pay out benefits.
There are major savings to be achieved if officials will exercise some common sense when faced with claims for benefit.
Observer, Co Londonderry