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Disability Living Allowance

Volume 494: debated on Thursday 25 June 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many UK citizens resident in other EU countries who are entitled to receive disability living allowance payments have claims outstanding; and what estimate she has made of the time which will be taken to (a) assess and (b) make payment in respect of such claims. (281660)

Since the judgment by the European Court of Justice on 18 October 2007, the Department has made payments to around 1,400 disability living allowance, attendance allowance and carer’s allowance customers who now reside in other European economic area (EEA) states or Switzerland.

The Department started to process claims to disability living allowance from other EEA states and Switzerland following a written ministerial statement on 24 February 2009, Official Report, column 22WS, and are working to clear all outstanding claims—around 1,000—as quickly as possible. We do not know how many of these will be entitled to receive disability living allowance payments until we have processed their claims.

The Pension, Disability and Carers Service aims to process claims for Disability Living Allowance within an average of 38 working days for customers who reside in Great Britain. This includes assessing and making payments in respect of these claims. Claims from people residing in the EEA or Switzerland can take longer to process for a number of reasons, such as post taking longer in transit between the Department and the customer and, for example, the processes involved to obtain supporting medical evidence from abroad, where this is required.