§ Mr. Gray
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what impact Statutory Instrument 2002, No. 648 will have on the eligibility to claim disability living allowance by those with(a)visual and hearing impairments, (b)heart disease, (c)asthma, (d)epilepsy, (e)ME/CFS and (f)bowel disease. 233W
§ Maria Eagle
Entitlement to disability living allowance is based on the claimant's need for personal care and/or walking difficulties which result from their severe disability. The claimant's medical condition is not, necessarily, the key factor.
This statutory instrument, the Social Security (Disability Living Allowance) (Amendment) Regulations 2002, makes clear that "fear or anxiety" experienced when walking out of doors can be taken into account for entitlement to the lower rate mobility component of disability living allowance only where they are a symptom of a mental disability. It does not alter the basic qualifying criteria for the lower rate mobility component, which require a person to be so severely disabled physically or mentally that they are unable to walk out of doors on unfamiliar routes without guidance or supervision from another person most of the time. The eligibility of claimants with any of the disabilities listed in the question will be unaffected by the statutory instrument except where their claims are based on 'fear or anxiety' experienced in these circumstances.
§ Mr. Webb
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the cost would be of(a)extending the period from four to 13 weeks of an adult's stay in hospital before disability living allowance or attendance allowance is removed and (b)extending the period form 12 to 26 weeks before DLA is withdrawn for a child. 
§ Maria Eagle
[holding answer 18 March 2002]:The proposed change would cost in the order of £50 million per annum.
Notes:Caseloads have been rounded to the nearest 5,000 and costs to the nearest 5 million.Based on data taken from the May 2001 5 per cent. scan of the AA/DLA computer systems, and 1999 Hospital Episode Statistics. The costs have been calculated based on the stock of hospital suspensions at a point in time. The proportion of suspensions who would be affected by the extension to 13 weeks (26 weeks for children) was derived from Hospital Episode Statistics which show the number of hospital episodes by completed duration.Estimates of the stock of hospital suspensions at a point are available from the 5 per cent. scan of the AA/DLA computer systems. Estimates of the flow of DLA/AA claimants on to a hospital suspension are not available.