HC Deb 04 July 1983 vol 45 cc36-7W
Mr. Wainwright

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if, in view of the fact that mentally handicapped people need constant attention on journeys, he will investigate the possibility of extending the scope of the mobility allowance scheme to include those suffering from mental handicap; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Newton

Mentally handicapped people who are unable or virtually unable to walk because of physical disablement may qualify for mobility allowance. It is for the adjudicating authorities to decide whether there is a physical factor in the causation of the disablement. A recent decision by a tribunal of social security commissioners (R(M)1/83) held that the need for guidance, supervision or support is a facet of the manner in which a person can make progress on foot and should be taken into account by the adjudicating authorities in determining whether a person is virtually unable to walk. This decision should assist in the determination of claims from mentally handicapped people.

In addition those who need continual supervision throughout the day to avoid substantial danger to themselves or others may qualify for attendance allowance.