Welfare Reform Bill

Memorandum submitted by Mohammed Mahmood (WR 04)

My name is Mohammed Mahmood, and I am 31 years of age. In September 2004 I had a tumour removed from my spine t-10 level which after the operation to remove the tumour was completed this sadly left my paralysed from the waist therefore wheelchair bound.

I have been in receipt of the higher rate of DLA for both care and mobility on a indefinite award as sadly my condition/disability will not change.

The receipt of the higher rate DLA has meant that I have been able to obtain a car via the Motability scheme therefore allowing me to create independence for myself and also go back to work. This has not been easy and a lot of hard work from my employer and also disability employment advisor to create a suitable role for me as prior to my operation I was in full-time employment. I have continence issues with both my bladder and bowls and therefore require assistance what at home.

Work gives me a lot of confidence as a wheelchair user and again this is only created by the use of my Motability car. Take away my Motability car I would be unable to go to work or even leave my home so as well as being confined to my wheelchair I would also be confined to my home.

As a disabled person in a wheelchair in an ideal world as soon as I open my front door I would like all surfaces to be flat with no curbs of all sizes and also no sloping hills or traffic in terms of cars, but in reality this is not the case!!! I am unable to use a bus or a train so being able to drive is my only form of safe transport and also my door to independence.

Life is hard in a wheelchair and yes there are days when I want to end it all but the knowing that yes I am in a wheelchair but am able to drive to get to a-b softens the blow.

I agree with the need for reform of the DLA to an extent but working individuals like myself who can only rely on independence through the use of my Motability car is priceless and needs to be maintained.

I am currently a tax payer and thus again is achieved by the use of my Motability car to get me to and from work.

March 2011