HC Deb 18 October 2001 vol 372 c1302W
Mr. Boswell

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what changes he is proposing in regulations for Disability Living Allowance in connection with people who are fearful of walking outdoors in unfamiliar places without assistance; what representations he has received on them; and if he will make a statement. [7178]

Maria Eagle

Proposed regulations to clarify the conditions of entitlement to the lower rate mobility component of Disability Living Allowance in these circumstances are being considered by the Social Security Advisory Committee. The Committee recently consulted publicly and asked for comments on the draft regulations by 14 September. The Committee is considering the responses it has received and I await its report.

A SSAC press release that included a copy of the draft regulations and an explanatory memorandum is available in the Library.

The proposed regulations do not alter the basic qualifying criteria for the lower rate mobility component. People with severe physical and mental disabilities will still be able to qualify on the basis of those disabilities alone.

The intention of the proposed regulations is to ensure that people who experience fear or anxiety when walking out of doors on unfamiliar routes without supervision or guidance are entitled to lower rate mobility component only if their ability to walk independently is directly affected by a severe mental disability. This is to ensure that the scope of the lower rate mobility component remains within the parameters set out when the component was first introduced.

We have, in addition, received representations from a number of hon. Members about the proposed regulations.