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Sight Impaired: Disability Living Allowance

Volume 480: debated on Monday 6 October 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the likely effects on the number of claimants of changing the criteria for partially and severely sight impaired people to claim the highest benefit band of the disability living allowance. (223549)

[holding answer 15 September 2008]: The higher rate mobility component of disability living allowance may be paid to people who are unable or virtually unable to walk. At the end of February 2008 there were 1,723,150 people in receipt of the higher rate mobility component, 4,640 of whose main disabling condition is recorded as blindness.

If the entitlement conditions for the higher rate mobility component were amended to include all partially and severely sight impaired people we could expect the numbers in receipt of that component to increase by just over 60,000 to around 1,783,250. Most of those who would be newly entitled to the higher rate would be people who receive the lower rate mobility component at the moment.

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people are claiming disability living allowance for (a) partial and (b) severe sight impairment in (i) Wakefield district, (ii) Hemsworth constituency and (iii) nationally. (223550)

[holding answer 15 September 2008]: The available information is in the following table.

Disability living allowance: main disabling condition of blindness

Cases in payment: February 2008

Wakefield metropolitan district council


Hemsworth parliamentary constituency


Great Britain



1. Figures are rounded to the nearest 10.

2. Totals show the number of people in receipt of an allowance, and exclude people with entitlement where the payment has been suspended, for example if they are in hospital.

3. Where the claimant is eligible for both care and mobility components, the disabling condition associated with the mobility component is shown here. Where more than one disability is present only the main disabling condition is recorded.

4. A diagnosed medical condition does not mean that someone is automatically entitled to DLA. Entitlement is dependent on an assessment of how much help someone needs with personal care and/or mobility because of their disability. These statistics are only collected for administrative purposes/

5. Partial and severe sight impairment cannot be separated individually.

6. These figures are published at


DWP Information Directorate: Work and Pensions Longitudinal Study.