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Disability Living Allowance: Cancer

Volume 485: debated on Monday 15 December 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will review the qualifying periods for the disability living allowance and attendance allowance for cancer patients. (242861)

We have no plans to review the qualifying periods for disability living allowance and attendance allowance. The qualifying periods help establish that disability and the resulting care, supervision or mobility needs are of a long standing nature, and ensure that the benefit goes only to those for whom it is intended.

Disabled people do not always have to wait until the qualifying period is over before they become entitled to benefit. The decision maker will always look at whether, and for how long, the person has required the necessary level of help or has had the necessary degree of walking difficulties before the date of their claim, and consider whether some or all of the qualifying period has already been completed. In addition, special rules can apply to people who are terminally ill and who would not reasonably be expected to live beyond six months. These people do not have to satisfy the qualifying period and are automatically awarded the higher rate of attendance allowance or the highest rate care component of disability living allowance without having to meet the normal conditions of entitlement.