§ Mr. Webb
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) what consultations he has had with groups representing people with disabilities regarding the proposed changes to the eligibility criteria for the payment of the lower rate mobility component of the Disability Living Allowance; and if he will make a statement; 
(2) what plans he has to reform the eligibility criteria for the payment of the lower rate mobility component of the Disability Living Allowance; and if he will make a statement; 
(3) what research his Department has examined relating to fear and anxiety in connection with the eligibility criteria for the payment of the lower rate mobility component of the Disability Living Allowance; and if he will place copies of such research in the Library. 
§ Maria Eagle
Proposed regulations to clarify the circumstances in which fear or anxiety about walking out of doors without guidance or supervision from another person may satisfy the conditions of entitlement to the lower rate mobility component of Disability Living Allowance are currently 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 we await its report.179W
A SSAC press release that included a copy of the draft regulations and an explanatory memorandum are 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 are not aware of any available research which considers fear or anxiety in the context of eligibility for the lower rate mobility component.