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Deaf Children (Attendance Allowance)

Volume 929: debated on Tuesday 5 April 1977

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) if his Department has issued advice to the Attendance Allowance Board on the criteria to be adopted in deciding the eligibility of parents of deaf children of school age for attendance allowance;(2) what criteria are used in deciding if parents of deaf children of school age are eligible for attendance allowance.

My right hon. Friend has issued no such advice to the Attendance Allowance Board. Adjudication on entitlement to the allowance is under the Social Security Act 1975, entirely the responsibility of the Board, which is independent of the Department. The Act provides that entitlement to attendance allowance for a child depends on the amount of attention required from another person in connection with the child's bodily functions and/or the amount of supervision the child requires from another person to avoid substantial danger to himself or others. I understand that in the case of deafness in children the Board, when considering whether the conditions for entitlement are satisfied, take into account such factors as the child's age; how well he has adapted to his handicap; how well he has responded to training; the presence of any other disabling condition, whether directly related to his deafness or otherwise; and in the case of acquired deafness, the period since onset.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many parents of deaf children of school age have applied for attendance allowance and how many have been granted, to the latest date for which information is available.

It is regretted that the information requested is not available. If my hon. Friend is concerned about a particular case I shall be pleased to have it looked into.