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Attendance Allowance

Volume 977: debated on Tuesday 29 January 1980

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will consider relaxing the six-month qualifying period for attendance allowance so that disabled persons, particularly those in the geriatric category, can be more easily cared for in their own communities, rather than being forced into hospital care.

No. The purpose of attendance allowance is to provide a measure of financial assistance to those severely chronically disabled people with settled long-term attendance needs. Six months is generally accepted as the period needed to establish those needs and I know of no evidence which shows that earlier payment of attendance allowance would significantly reduce the numbers admitted to hospital.