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European Court of Justice (Disability Benefits)

Volume 465: debated on Tuesday 23 October 2007

In a case brought by the European Commission against the European Parliament and the Council, the European Court of Justice has decided that for the purposes of European Law, three benefits—Disability Living Allowance (care component), Attendance Allowance and Carer’s Allowance—are incorrectly classified as special non-contributory benefits.

This means that these disability benefits may, in certain circumstances, be paid to some people who move from the UK to live in another member state of the European Economic Area.

The status of the mobility component of Disability Living Allowance is unaffected by this judgment.

I will look very carefully at the implications of paying disability benefits to customers living abroad, including any additional steps that are necessary to tackle fraud and error. I am considering the terms of the judgment and will make a further statement to the House before the end of the year, setting out the details of the judgment and our implementation plans.

In the meantime, further information will be provided to customers on: www.direct.gov.uk