HC Deb 13 January 1998 vol 304 c208W
Mr. Healey

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if she has considered excluding sufferers from multiple sclerosis among the categories of disabled people already excluded from the current review programme of disability living allowance claims; and if she will make a statement. [22375]

Mr. Denham

The Benefit Integrity Project (BIP) is designed to gather up-to-date information about the care and mobility needs of people receiving the higher rate mobility component of Disability Living Allowance (DLA) with either the middle or highest rate of the care component, through a programme of postal inquiries and home visits. People with certain conditions are not being contacted directly. These are disabled people receiving payments under Special Rules, quadriplegics, paraplegics, people who are both deaf and blind, double amputees and those within our definition of severe mental impairment. There are no plans to extend this list of conditions.

The level of entitlement to DLA cannot generally be predicted by the fact that an individual has a certain disabling condition. Entitlement is based on the effect of that disabling condition on the individual concerned and their need for help with personal care and/or getting around. Disabling conditions rarely remain static and as conditions improve or worsen, or the disabled person becomes more or less able to cope, the need for help changes also. Any change in the level of help needed with either personal care or getting around could affect entitlement to DLA. Where a change is gradual and occurs over time, it can be difficult for the individual to recognise exactly the point at which they should be contacting the Benefits Agency.