§ Mr. Scott
The administration of attendance allowance is a matter for Mr. Michael Bichard, the chief executive of the Benefits Agency. He will write to the hon. Member and a copy will be placed in the Library.
Letter from Mr. M. Bichard to Mr. Anthony Steen, dated 26 April 1993:As Chief Executive of the Benefits Agency, it is my responsibility to answer questions about relevant operational matters. I am therefore replying to your recent Parliamentary Question to the Secretary of State for Social Security asking when the application for attendance allowance submitted by Mrs. D. Milford in May 1992 will be considered and the reasons for the delay in notifying Mrs. Milford.Mrs. Milford has been in receipt of the lower rate of Attendance Allowance (AA) since 5 June 1989 and wrote to the Attendance Allowance Unit on 29 May 1992 requesting that she receive the higher rate of AA. Mrs. Milford's claim for the increased rate of AA has now been considered by the Adjudication Officer and she was notified of the result of the claim on 22 April 1993.Whilst the delay in arriving at the decision on this claim has taken longer than is usual for these types of cases, an examination of the papers show that the main reason for this was the difficulty encountered in trying to obtain the dates of Mrs. Milford's hospitalisation. It was imperative not only that these dates were obtained, but also verified, as they did have a material effect on the award and payment of the allowance.I thank you for the opportunity to explain this case. I hope that you find this reply helpful. A copy will appear in the Official Report and a copy will also be placed in the Library.