Skip to main content

Disability Living Allowance: Children

Volume 487: debated on Thursday 29 January 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) what assessment he has made for the reasons for increases in expenditure on disability living allowance for children since 1992-93; and if he will make a statement; (251976)

(2) for what purposes disability living allowance is paid in respect of children; and if he will make a statement.

Disability living allowance provides a contribution towards the extra costs faced by severely disabled people as a result of a long-term disability. Broadly, entitlement depends on the extent to which the person needs help with personal care, needs supervision or, from the age of three years, has difficulties with walking. In the case of children under the age of 16, disability living allowance can only be paid if their needs are substantially in excess of the typical requirements of a child of the same age.

The increase in expenditure on disability living allowance paid to children broadly reflects the overall increase in disability living allowance expenditure. The reasons for that increase are complex but are mainly attributable to demographic changes, greater awareness of the benefit, improvements in diagnosis for childhood conditions and an extension of the higher rate mobility component to children aged three and four in 2001.