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Disability Living Allowance

Volume 491: debated on Wednesday 22 April 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions for (1) what reasons attendance allowance has no component equivalent to the lower rate care component of disability living allowance; (268198)

(2) what recent representations he has received on the compatibility of the age limit on the disability living allowance with equalities legislation; and if he will make a statement;

(3) what recent representations he has received in support of allowing those aged 65 and over and in receipt of disability living allowance to claim a mobility component.

Disability living allowance is designed to provide extra help for those disabled relatively early in life who have had limited opportunities to earn and save. Once awarded, disability living allowance may continue in payment after the age of 65 if the entitlement conditions continue to be satisfied.

People who experience the onset of disability after the age of 65 receive help with their disability-related costs through attendance allowance which is based on the need for personal care. It is normal and consistent with domestic equality legislation for pensions and benefits schemes to contain different provisions for people at different stages of their lives. Attendance allowance must be seen in the context of the interlocking nature of the social security scheme and the fact that the cut-off age will tend to coincide with a time when a person becomes entitled to a range of other benefits and services.

We have received a number of representations about the age limit in disability living allowance and will continue to keep it, as with other benefits, under review.

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what information his Department collects on the number of claimants of disability living allowance who use the mobility component to enable them to get to work. (268199)

We do not collect information about the number of claimants of disability living allowance who use the mobility component to enable them to get to work. Recipients can spend their benefit in the way that best fits their circumstances.