Skip to main content

Attendance And Severe Disablement Allowances

Volume 178: debated on Wednesday 24 October 1990

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will publish his best estimates of the number of people classified as mentally ill who were in receipt of (a) attendance allowance and (b) severe disablement allowance in 1989–90.

The information is not available in the form requested. We shall write to the hon. Member shortly.

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what efforts are made by his Department to monitor and review the medical assessments used for the purposes of establishing eligibility for attendance allowance and severe disablement allowance; and if he will make a statement.

The work of examining medical practitioners—EMPS—who examine the claimants for attendance allowance—AA—is monitored continuously throughout the regions by regional office medical officers—ROMOs —who can initiate further training of an EMP if required. The work of delegated medical practitioners—DMPs—who decide the entitlement to AA based on the medical evidence, is monitored within the Department by senior medical officers and also, on a regular basis, by the independent Attendance Allowance Board.Severe disability allowance—SDA—assessments are made by independent adjudicating medical authorities—AMAs. These assessments are subject to random monitoring by ROMOs. They do not have the power to alter the assessments of the AMAs. They can, however, recommend reference of a case to the medical appeal tribunal if it is considered that the assessment is not in line with the medical evidence.AA reviews are handled by the medical officers and lay staff of the AA reviews unit, and, in certain cases, directly by the Attendance Allowance Board. SDA assessments may be reviewed only on the grounds of fresh evidence which, if it had been available to the AMA, might reasonably have altered the assessment made. The review would be carried out by an AMA, and the AMA's decision could be referred to a medical appeal tribunal in the normal way.We recently published a consultative document on the assessment and adjudication procedures for the disability allowance which will succeed mobility allowance and largely replace attendance allowance in 1992 and would welcome comments on this.