To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what entitlements, and when, persons in private hospital or nursing home care, outside the NHS, will lose to mobility component disability living allowance as a result of proposed changes to benefit entitlements; and when this will apply. 
§ Mr. Andrew Mitchell
The changes, which come into effect on 31 July, will apply only to people regarded, for benefit purposes, as hospital in-patients maintained free of charge by the NHS. Those affected by the change will have the payment of the mobility component of disability living allowance interrupted but underlying entitlement will not be affected.
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security (1) what research he has conducted into the effect of proposals to change regulations for mobility component disability living allowance and the potential change to transport costs within the national health service following the response of the Social Security Advisory Committee on SI, 1996, No. 1436; 
(2) what research he has (a) commissioned and(b)evaluated into the effects of proposals to change regulations for mobility component disability living allowance concerning transport costs which may be claimed under social fund rules, for persons wishing to visit hospitalised relatives. 
§ Mr. Mitchell
None. Social security benefits have never been available to meet NHS costs. Disability living allowance is an extra-costs benefit intended to help individuals meet the additional expenses associated with their disability; the mobility component is primarily intended to help them become independently mobile. Changes to the payability of a personal benefit should have no significant impact on help which is already available for fares to visit relatives in hospital.
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if the proposed transitional protection conditions for mobility component disability living allowance to persons detained under part II or part III of the Mental Health Act 1983 require such people to be treated under social security regulations in an identical manner to persons committed to hospital following involvement in criminal proceedings; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Mr. Mitchell
The Department's position is explained at paragraphs 28 to 31 of my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State's statement in response to the report by the Social Security Advisory Committee on the Social Security (Disability Living Allowance and Claims and Payments) Amendment Regulations, contained in Cm 3233, published on 7 June, a copy of which is in the Library.