Last reply 6 months ago
A small victory for the UK MSers

Afternoon all. Some may have seen that I decided to take the Railcard folks to task as their website for Disabled Railcards was opaque and led to many with MS thinking they weren’t entitled to a Disabled Persons Railcard.

Good News – anyone that can show they have MS – a letter from your GP is fine – is entitled to a DPRC. End of story. If you have MS, you are entitled.

Presently the website makes it sound like you aren’t entitled unless you are in receipt of certain benefits. They agree this is misleading and have undertaken to change it.

In the meantime, here is what to do –

– have a scan/photo or the emailed attachment of your proof of MS
– go to their website and use ANY of the categories (none of which sound remotely relevant at present) to apply and attach the proof and add a note that you have MS and are applying like this because at present there is no other way to do it
– pay your £54 for a 3 year DPRC

This entitles you AND one person accompanying you to 30% off rail fares at all times, including peak times.

The Rail Ombudsman were v helpful in getting to the right person in the Rail Delivery Group and both MS Society and my MP have expressed an interest if they didn’t come around, but they saw sense and have been very good about it. In future, the website will have a space for ‘Any other qualifying condition’ or similar. The final email is copied below:-

>>
Hello Dominic

It was good to talk to you earlier. I can confirm that as discussed, we’ll make it clear on the website that if customers believe they might be eligible to contact us to discuss.

Thank you for the feedback – its (sic) always gratefully received.

Best regards

Dominic Lund-Conlon

Accessibility and Inclusion Manager |Customer Directorate |Rail Delivery Group
<<

Best,

Dominic

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dominics
7 months ago

@stumbler – is there a way, not to pin this per se, but to add it to a resource of Good To Know MS info type thing? Thanks.


highlander
7 months ago

@domonics
Top banana!
Good on you mate!


marcyg921
7 months ago

This is fantastic news. I do alot of travelling especially on the train so this will definitely come in handy (I still have my 26-30 rail card for now) but this is definitely a huge step in the right direcyion for us.


stumbler
7 months ago

@dominics , this would need to be referred to Shift HQ, @amyshift .


chezy17
7 months ago

Does that mean even if we’re able bodied I can have a railcard too? That’s really good if so 😊


vixen
7 months ago

@dominics, with your negotiating and skills there could be a top governmental job coming up for you soon! First National Rail, next Brexit…..


glawsdan
7 months ago

👏 well done


dominics
7 months ago

@chezy17 Yes. MS is a defined disability as per the Equality Act 2010. I politely observed that it wasn’t in their gift to split this further as they saw fit. It is binary. MS is a disability, ergo you/we anyone with a diagnosis is entitled to one.


watsoncraig
7 months ago

Well done


supermum1983
7 months ago

Nice one 👍🏾,will help a lot of people now.


wjgregg
7 months ago

@dominics

Well done, you.

Best wishes,

Jon


grandma
7 months ago

Well done and thanks for your effort👏🎉


dominics
7 months ago

Thank you for the kind words. Truth be told, I don’t feel like a crusader so much as Victor Meldrew.

I believe in equality of opportunity and not outcome. If things aren’t equal I don’t think we should bitch about it but put it right.


stephz
7 months ago

Hi @dominics Great news – agree that the website needs to reflect this – for now all we can do is spread the word…


imbarca
7 months ago

@dominics Yes!!!!! Thank you so much. I can’t drive because of ms and rail travel is so expensive. This has bugged me for years. But, unlike you, I didn’t have the energy/persistence to take it further. Have a massive well done from me.


amyshift
7 months ago

@dominics great work! We’ll look at adding this into the next member newsletter so we can spread the good word.


cameron
7 months ago

And the Disabled Railcard is so worthwhile – it works out cheaper than the others available, plus you can travel at peak times.


marymoo
7 months ago

Amazing work, thank you 🙏


lacemister
7 months ago

Well done 👌


Anonymous
7 months ago

Really impressive A BIG THANK YOUUU

What is the situation with london underground and busses.. just wondering ?


rachelteasdale
7 months ago

I did this a couple of weeks ago after making the same complaint and it arrived 24 hours later. Thanks for raising awareness. I don’t have a blue badge but use a stick at the moment and the saving offsets parking closer to the station.


fingersandtoes
7 months ago

@zulfihan, I just checked the TFL site, you need to meet criteria contained in the Transport Act, or apply for a discretionary Freedom Pass through your local authority.


fingersandtoes
7 months ago

I’ve done this now. Couldn’t figure out how to add a note! Hopefully they’ll figure it out. Or did you mean write something and upload that too? Ah well too late now.

I felt a bit uncomfortable with doing it as I don’t have issues with mobility, I work full time earning good money, in fact when I use it it will probably be to travel to marathons… I guess I don’t drive though partly because I live in London and don’t need to, and partly because I find driving stressful and exhausting. I haven’t driven since before my diagnosis, I was visiting my mum in NZ and I think I drove once, then when she asked me to drive again I felt weird about it as I didn’t feel like I could see as well. Surprise! Relapse.

The high cost of train fares definitely tipped the balance in my decision making…


dominics
7 months ago

My cousin, who lives in London, has epilepsy, set me on this path.

I *think* – caveat, am not a londoner – that once one has DPRC a case can then be argued with TfL regarding eligibility.

I am not working in town or I’d give it a jolly good try. The crux of the argument is that MS is a designated disability as per the Equality Act 2010 and the provider of a concession to disabled people is not permitted to choose their own interpretation of disabled.

Interesting case to try and make.

Someone ought to have a go. Write to Sadiq Khan first!


fingersandtoes
7 months ago

They figured it out. Applied 7:45, ran to work, by 10:01 the code arrived in my inbox (I went with the digital option). That’s a pretty fast turnaround! Think I’ll use it as inspiration for my work today…


stankg
7 months ago

@fingersandtoes could you please advise me how to do it I can’t manage?
Thanks


fingersandtoes
7 months ago

I applied online and attached a photo of the letter my consultant wrote to the nurses telling them I’d been diagnosed with RRMS. I chose the visual category but I don’t think it matters which you choose. Where are you running into trouble?


stankg
7 months ago

@fingersandtoes thank you I’ll try tomorrow x


niteowl
7 months ago

Well done will help out so many people, I have a long train journey to see my consultant and for appointments will make a big difference thank you for sharing 😀


enxsjp
7 months ago

Hi

I’m not sure this has been passed down to the people processing the railcards.

I tried to apply for a card yesterday online. My evidence was the neurologist letter confirming MS. I have been rejected. I’m going to email and enquire further.

Anyone else had any problems?

Best,

S


dominics
7 months ago

@enxsjp – it is definitely working. I did and it seems many other have if you read up the thread.

Pick any category, attach your medical evidence and a brief note explaining you have MS and it is not an issue.

IF you are knocked back then please let me know.


enxsjp
7 months ago

@dominics – My bad! They couldn’t open my attachments so rejected it on that basis.

I have now resent documents in PDF format and awaiting a reply.

Thanks!

S


millie1973
7 months ago

Amazing! Thank you for the work you put in for this. I’m on higher rate DLA and I thought that was what was needed to get the card. However I’m going through PIP at the moment and I have a feeling I’m going to lose that higher rate so it’s a real relief that I will be able to get a card. Again thank you so much : )


stankg
7 months ago

I’ve done it today but can I ask a silly question with this card I can travel freely or I have to buy again a card from the station with discount showing this? Thanks


dominics
7 months ago

@stankg – 30% off at all times for you and up to one person accompanying you.


stankg
7 months ago

@dominics thank you I see now I already use it today.


enxsjp
7 months ago

I also noticed this in the FAQ’s for those that use Oyster on TFL … every little helps 😀

https://www.disabledpersons-railcard.co.uk/help/faqs/379/

Railcard discounted tickets which involve a cross-London journey are valid for travel on the London Underground.
Disabled Persons Railcard holders can also register their Railcard discount onto an Oyster card to get 1/3 off Oyster pay as you go single fares and daily caps on National Rail, London Underground and Docklands Light Railway services.
To set your discount on an Oyster card take your Oyster card and valid Railcard to a London Underground station and ask a member of staff to set the discount for you. You can also get the discount set at Oyster Ticket Shops and Visitor Centres.
Oyster pay as you go discounts are for the Disabled Persons Railcard holder only.
As a special concession, a Disabled Persons Railcard holder travelling on Oyster pay as you go can get 1/3 off an Off-Peak Day Travelcard Zones 1-6 (including stations in London Zones 7-9 if required) for one adult travelling with them.
The accompanying person must travel with the Railcard holder for the whole of the journey.
If the Disabled Persons Railcard holder is travelling on a Disabled Person’s Freedom Pass, they cannot use their Disabled Persons Railcard to buy a discounted ticket for an accompanying person.
See the Transport for London website for more details on Oyster pay as you go.

Hope that helps!

S


dominics
7 months ago

@enxsjp – what a bloody brilliant spot!

Well done.


fingersandtoes
7 months ago

Oooh. I have an annual season ticket but maybe I’ll set this up on my card and PAYG after it expires. Some days I only take the tube once as I run to work. Mind you, other days I take it several times including work travel. I can claim that on expenses though. (It’s just the hassle of it!)


enxsjp
7 months ago

Thanks @dominics

I will have to try it out when I am back at work. My neuro has currently banned me from the underground as I am in a relapse and vertigo is rubbish atm.

Why is it so hard to find out though? It’s bad enough dealing with MS and new found disability, without all the energy it takes to find out how we can make our lives a bit easier! – rant over!

I hope everyone is looking forward to a nice weekend 😀


smurf69
7 months ago

Thanks for this @dominics. We’ve currently got a two together card. However, that’s only valid off peak plus we have to travel together and it’s £30 per year. I’ll definitely apply for the DPRC once our two together card expires in the summer.


webbexpress
7 months ago

I did mine yesterday. Just selected the ‘visual’ option and attached a letter from neurologist regarding treatment for my MS. Got a code back 2hours later.

I have a month left on a two together railcard but will try the oyster PAYG load today to start saving on tube travel now.

Great work @dominics , not all heroes wear capes 😉


spreader
6 months ago

I have had a disabled rail card on the back of my MS for the last 3 years.
Was I just lucky?


mblake20
6 months ago

@dominics thank you so much I’ve already used my railcard twice, fantastic saving!


dominics
6 months ago

@mblake20 It is my pleasure. Thank you for saying so. I told a friend with MS from the NIHR today, he beetled off to apply immediately!

@spreader – possibly. If you fit the stated criteria then no. If you pushed it a bit like I did initially then not lucky but you pressed against it enough for them issue one.

It has always been my belief that the sort of opaque wording was never designed to intentionally make people feel excluded. It is a classic ‘designed by committee’ thing. They still reference the non-existent ATOC. I suspect no one from inside the tent has ever bothered to look at how it appears to us mere members of the public. This sort of crappy inertia where there is no real assault on rights intended, it just happens, needs to be challenged when it is obvious. IMHO 😉


shivers
6 months ago

Thank you @dominics and @enxsjp for sharing this information.


ruggermad
6 months ago

@dominics Well done Sir, this is very interesting.
Do you think I would have a leg to stand on (excuse the pun) at my local sports club where I hold a season ticket?

Would I be right to challenge the wording of this if I were turned down for the discount?:

###############################################################
DISABLED ENQUIRIES

Do disabled supporters get a discount on 2019/20 season cards?

Yes. The discounted rate is 10 per cent off the full price of advertised Adult 2019/20 season cards only.

Do disabled season card holders receive a free carer?

Yes, providing proof of eligibility is met, disabled season card holders can receive a complimentary carer’s season card if required.

Will I be required to provide proof of eligibility in order to receive the complimentary carer season card for the 2019/20 season?

Yes, you will need to provide us with a copy of your DLA letter stating you are in receipt of medium to high rate care/mobility or your PIP entitlement letter stating you are in receipt of the enhanced rate. This can be emailed into [email protected]*****.co.uk along with your Supporter ID.
###########################################################

Now as a person diagnosed with MS I always feel slightly miffed as I feel that I do not qualify for any discount as I am not in reciept of PIP at the enhanced rate and also not a wheelchair user, I am fortunate enough to still be working full time but it is a struggle, yada yada yada…… it does make me tempted to challenge the wording of this.

Why do we need to be in reciept of benefit to be able to apply for disabled discounts?

Peace


aliga
6 months ago

Very well done! Amazing result – thank you 👏👏


dominics
6 months ago

@ruggermad – see your PMs


dominics
6 months ago

You are all too nice . I have to confess that it took less than 5h of my time fitted around job hunting and the writing and tutoring I do.

Very kind remarks and I appreciate them all. Its a bit dusty in here, I think I might have something in my eye.

Best to all of you.

Dom


chrisj
6 months ago

@dominics Thank you for this, have just submitted my application.

Chris


rebd1
6 months ago

@dominics, thanks for this very helpful. Do you know if the same is true for bus travel as I currently use that more than a train?


dominics
6 months ago

@redb1 – bus travel is per council. The chap at the Railcard peeps used to be a disability bod for bus cards at a council.

There seems to be a huge amount of misunderstanding regarding MS being or not being a disability based on severity. There is no such thing in the UK.

In the UK MS – any MS, just a diagnosis, whether you are in a wheelchair or can cavort gaily chasing butterflies at times. It is MS. Period. The Act (if you are nerd like me you can download all 331 pages in PDF) and look at p. 166 it states that MS is a defined condition:

>>
Certain medical conditions
6
(1)
Cancer, HIV infection and multiple sclerosis are each a disability.
(2)
HIV infection is infection by a virus capable of causing the Acquired ImmuneDeficiency Syndrome.
<<

Therefore, it follows that anything for a disabled person applies to anyone with a diagnosis of MS where they can provide evidence from a Doctor.

Let me know how you get on.

Dom


rebd1
6 months ago

@dominics thank you, I will see how I get on! Looking at SMBC website (Solihull) it is a bit vague. Will take me a while though as I am inherently lazy 😕


thequietlady
6 months ago

Really interesting @dominics and what great work! I have had a DPR for years and years on account of my deafness after I was too old for an 18-30 Railcard. Recently I decided to try for a bus pass after reading a leaflet at my local MS Society about travelling, and after I had had my hair cut and got a passport photo done (I haven’t been able to afford a haircut for 6 months 😀), I applied on the grounds of my deafness because I felt that I would be rejected on MS grounds, still walking. Anyway, sent the form in last Wednesday and got my bus pass yesterday!! Was so happy!

But it really annoys me that I do use local buses quite a bit and never knew that I could have had a bus pass on account of my deafness, I could have saved a lot of money. These big organisations need to make life easier for us and yes not distinguish between a MS-er in a wheelchair and a MS-er walking, because I am learning that we have good days and bad days.

BBFN


chrisj
6 months ago

Application has been approved and my railcard has been dispatched. Happy days.


justinm
6 months ago

@dominics This is fantastic news. Just got mine. Thank you so much for doing this.


dominics
6 months ago

Keep plugging away at them folks.

I have had to prod them a bit:

>>
Dear —,

Is this the phrase that has been added? “If you believe you might be eligible but do not meet one of the above requirements, you may contact us to discuss your individual circumstances.” If so, then it is a reasonable start as it demonstrates intent. However, it is insufficient. Here is why:

For convenience I attach a copy of the Equality Act 2010, because on p.166 you’ll see that MS (along with Cancer and HIV) is listed as a specific disability, meaning that it may not be judged by apparent severity but as a binary thing upon production of appropriate medical evidence. Ergo: If you have MS, you are disabled. Being recognised as disabled in law presumably means that one is entitled to apply for the DPRC? If the RDG feels strongly otherwise then they would have to change the name of the concession to something that only covers certain areas of disability and specifically excludes so-called hidden conditions (I have had MS for 26y and I am well aware of the ‘now you see me, now you don’t’ nature of the disease), as MS can often be. Reading the Act also tells me that it is forbidden for the provider of a service/concession to shape what they believe or feel is a disability to suit what they deem as sufficiently disabled.

I had hoped that it would be a little more specific and say words to the effect that “If you have a Disability that is specified in the Equality Act 2010 (section 6 – Disability) and can provide supporting evidence of a diagnosis from a clinician then please apply here.”, with a link to submit via this new and more precise category.

Please let me know if this presents a problem for any of your team. I look forward to hearing your thoughts. Thank you very much.

Regards,

Dominic…
<<

The main thing is that you know you can get them. My concern is the thousands that have no idea about this little quest of mine and are still put off. I want them to be explicit.

Dom


fuzzyjonclay
6 months ago

Great work @dominics ! I’ve just applied and should have my card in a few days.

@zulfihan @fingersandtoes
As for TfL passes, I live in the borough of Waltham Forest and I had no problem at all in getting a Freedom Pass. I contacted my local council from the list below, sent off a photograph with my proof or MS and received my card a week or so later:

https://www.londoncouncils.gov.uk/services/freedom-pass/disabled-persons-freedom-pass/apply

It’s valid until 2023 and gives me free travel on buses, the tube, trams, the overground etc.


fingersandtoes
6 months ago

Even though we’re not specifically listed in the Transport Act? My ability to walk isn’t substantially affected, I run to work whenever I can. But in honesty I arrive feeling so much better than when I’ve taken the tube, especially if I’ve had to stand. I really ought to start wearing that badge… Just feel like a fraud if I’m dressed for yoga or running.


dominics
6 months ago

@fingersandtoes I get it. Though I can’t do that level. Of exercise I am better more than I’m not.

What pissed me off was their crap obfuscation. Whether or intentional or not.

The blatant disregard – through lack of knowledge than intention – for the Act grated. If MS is a disability then it filloepws that no degree of MS should be excluded. The Act also states that service providers may not define what they feel constitutes disabled.

My personal view is that I’d like to be able to use the help where I can. The thought of people who are entitled being put off by the impenetrable site gets me.

Hi ho.


dominics
6 months ago

@fingersandtoes It is my understanding – am not a lawyer but a family member is a QC whom I have taken informal advice from – that the Equality Act trump others unless very very specific exclusion criteria are met.

Please, I don’t want to march onto shaky ground. Tell me if I am, please. Seriously. Am I missing something? Cuz is v reserved and qualified w input – as you’d expect from a Barrister – and I gladly defer to the knowledge of others.


laulou
6 months ago

Thank you for the info, i recieved my railcard today.


autoimmunication
6 months ago

@dominics Now in possession of Digital (app) of DPRC using method described.
3rd May 2019

Proof = Photo of Letter confirming MS appointment.

Thank you Dominic


polepole
6 months ago

@dominics Thank you for doing and sharing this with everyone, Dominic. I applied last week and received code within an hour.

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