February 6, 2012 • 3:39 pm

As MPs and Lords wrangle over the progress of the Government’s reforms, welfare and benefits have returned to the front pages of many newspapers.

Today a group of disability charities told the Guardian that “a media narrative about the need to weed out scroungers” was ‘fuelling abuse’ of disabled people.

Meanwhile the Sun highlights the case of one £10 million lottery winner who was continuing to claim the non-means tested Disability Living Allowance (DLA), under the headline:

£10m lotto winners still taking £500 benefit

(And free car every three years, for couple with five-bedroom mansion)


Whatever the rights and wrongs of this particular case, the article does repeat one inaccuracy that we’ve seen – and corrected – before.

The Sun’s article claims that the lucky Lotto winner – one Mick O’Shea – was continuing to claim his “free” Motability car on top of his DLA receipt. It claims:

“But despite having a mountain of cash in the bank, he is eligible for £500 a month Disability Living Allowance because it is NOT means-tested.

“On top of the money, Mick is given a shiny new car every three years under the Government’s Motability scheme for disabled drivers.”

Under the Motability scheme DLA claimants are able to use the mobility component of their award to lease vehicles designed for their condition.

However, as we pointed out to the Mail on Sunday when it made similar claims, the scheme is paid for out of the claimant’s own entitlement. It is money that they would be entitled to whether or not they chose to spend it on a Motability vehicle.

It is not the case therefore that Mr O’Shea’s “free” car was given to him “on top of the money” he received in DLA. We have written to the Sun to request that this is corrected.

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