Applying for Mobility if you have Fibromyalgia or M.E?
Sometimes with Fibromyalgia or M.E (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis) physical movement and mobility is something that is a real problem. So much so that the sufferer may need the help of others to get around or may need to avail of private transport themselves.
Given the current climate in which fuel prices have rocketed and also the cost of public transport has increased considerably, the sufferer of such illnesses may need some financial assistance in order for them to get from A to B. However in extreme cases - especially those of chronic Fibromyalgia or M.E (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis) the use of public transport is impossible.
Am I Entitled to Mobility Allowance?If you cannot get around for yourself you may need to have someone help you such as a friend or family member. If this is the case they can apply to be your carer and you can apply for Mobility to help you with either (a) buying a car, (b) leasing a car or (c) the cost of transport such as private taxi cabs etc. You can also apply for Mobility if your carer is using their vehicle to transport you from A to B or helping you with everyday tasks such as shopping etc. The stipulation here is that you are also in the vehicle with the carer at the time whereas previously they could make journeys on your behalf on their own. Changes in the law now mean you must be in the vehicle with your carer.
If you are unable to walk for yourself, get around without assistance or have difficulty with day to day tasks then you are - in theory - eligible for Mobility allowance. However this is subject to an assessment which is carried out by an independent doctor - who will visit you at home to record details of how you function on a daily basis.
You will also need to have a written statement provided by your GP which must concur with the findings made by the independent doctor.
What Help Does Mobility Give Me?As we have already mentioned above, Mobility allowance can be used as a means of financial assistance in purchasing or leasing a vehicle, or to help pay for the use of other people's transport. You can also get assistance with Road Licence Fund (Road Tax) if you have your own vehicle already - this means in essence that your car tax is pre-paid for a set period either six or twelve months. However should your circumstances change within that time frame you must surrender the tax or be liable to criminal proceedings tantamount to fraud.
For those individuals who cannot drive there is also help with small to medium sized Mobility carriages (scooters) or walking aids such as frames, wheelchairs, sticks and crutches. You may also benefit from free prescriptions, eye tests, and dentistry.
I Am Not Sure How to Apply - What Should I Do Next?Firstly you should ensure from your doctor that the diagnosis you have received is a full and final one. You will be asked at the time of applying as to whether the diagnosis you have received is definitely that of your GP. You should also be aware that without a diagnosis you will not be considered for the aforementioned benefits.
You will need to fill out a series of forms (you should be aware that these forms are many and require a lot of in-depth information so having someone to assist you is a good idea) - ask your doctor if he or she can make time to help you fill out these forms. Otherwise ask someone at your local Citizen's Advice Bureau for their assistance as they are well versed in all of the forms from government offices.
These forms are available from your local DWP (Department of Work and Pensions) office, contact them by telephone and the forms will be posted to you, if you are unable to walk or get from A to B without assistance obviously picking up the forms is not an option.
What Should I Do If I am Not Awarded Mobility But Am Sure I Am Entitled to It?If you have been declined or have been on Mobility then disallowed you have the right to appeal which you must do in writing within 21 days. Your appeal will then go before an independent tribuneral who will ask to meet with you (if health allows) to discuss the reasons for the refusal. It is their final say which determines whether or not you will receive Mobility allowance.
For further information you should speak to your doctor, your local DWP (Department of Work and Pensions or your local Citizen's Advice Bureau.