Teenage Paralympic star Kayleigh Haggo to lose motability car because she is not disabled enough under new DWP rules

Kayleigh Haggo's chances of competing in the 2020 Paralympic games may be dashed under the new rules

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The Independent Online

Thousands of people have signed a petition in support of a teenage Paralympic athlete who may lose her motability vehicle, she has failed to meet the Government's new disability criteria.

Kayleigh Haggo, 16, who suffers from cerebral palsy, says her sports career and her plans of going to university are in danger, because of the Government’s decision to replace the Disability Living Allowance with the Personal Independence Payments (Pip).  

The teenager from Maybole, Ayshire, is largely wheelchair bound, and the changes would make it extremely difficult for her to attend training sessions and university lectures in the future. In turn, her dreams of competing in the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo could be destroyed.

Ms Haggo’s impressive sporting career has seen her claim three gold medals in the European Paralympic Youth Games, break 13 world records and four national age group records in swimming, race running and club throw sports.

“My whole future, Paralympic and university dreams depend on this one decision,” Ms Haggo wrote on her Facebook page.

Please can everyone take two minutes to sign and share my petition to reform the PIP guidelines in order for me to be...

Posted by Kayleigh Haggo on Sunday, 31 May 2015

 

She told the Daily Record: “When I leave school I’m hoping to train full-time and also go to college or university. But I won’t be able to get there. I really want to compete in the Paralympics, but not having a car will mean that can’t happen.

“To get the bus would mean I’d have to go down the stairs myself, and I can’t do that.”

Ms Haggo has been told by the Department for Work and Pensions that the Peugot SUV, which Ms Haggo’s mother Sandra Ferrol drives for her, could be reclaimed as soon as 16 June.

Previously, applicants who were unable to walk 50 metres unaided qualified for a motability car. Now, those who can walk around 20 metres lose the entitlement.

“The new assessment is pushing those who strive for independence to become housebound and socially excluded,” Ms Ferrol has warned on the a Change.org petition set up for her daughter.

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As many as 2,900 petitioners are calling on the Government to review the definition of mobility which the Pip is based on, and to scrap the prescriptive criteria as “no two people have exactly the same disabilities.”

A DWP spokesman told the Daily Record: "This decision was made after considering all the evidence provided by Ms Haggo, as part of her application.

"Ms Haggo asked for a reconsideration of the decision by a different member of staff.

"This was carried out and the original decision was upheld."

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