A young woman who lost a leg to cancer has been told she is not “disabled enough” for a Motability car.
Olivia Cork, 19, had her right leg amputated above the knee almost five years ago and for the past two years she has been driving a specially adapted Ford Fiesta thanks to the Motability scheme.
Now, following a DWP re-assessment it has been decided that Olivia is fit enough to manage without the vehicle.
The Mirror reports:
It was a bitter blow to the teenager who fears she will lose all her independence.
“It is because they are making cuts” she said. “I know it is a privilege to have it in the first place. But the car is a complete lifeline. It is my independence.”
Olivia, who hopes to study Event Management at university next year, was told almost a year ago that she was no longer eligible for a car.
It followed the replacement of Disability Living Allowance (DLA) with Personal Independence Payment (PIP) for disabled people aged between 16 and 64.
Olivia said: “With the change to PIP, the criteria to be disabled enough to get the car had changed, so I had to re apply and then I was not fitting the criteria. I was not disabled enough.”
She added: “If you can walk a certain distance, a few house lengths, then you are not deemed disabled enough. It does not matter if you use crutches or prosthetic legs or whatever.”
Olivia asked the DWP to reconsider, which they did, but the decision still stood. She says she was then told she could keep the car until next April and as a result she did not formally appeal the decision, as she weighed up her options.
But last month a bombshell letter arrived saying she would lose the car on November 9, unless she could raise £4,900 by this Friday to buy the Fiesta outright from the Motability scheme.
Olivia, a triplet, lives with her brother Alex, sister Chloe, and mum and step dad, Fiona and David Gibson, in Stoke-on-Trent.
She has three part-time jobs which she fits in around her studies.
Now friends have rallied round to help and a crowd funding page has been set up called “Keep Olivia’s Wheels”.
Her swimming club Alsager Bridgstone, is also organising a fund raising evening.
Here is a link to the crowdfunding website set up by Olivia’s friends, feel free to visit and donate, while there’s still time: Keep Olivia’s Wheels