§ Mr. Swayne
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) if he will implement a policy of paying attendance allowance from the date a claim is granted; and if he will make a statement; 
(2) if he will estimate the cost of paying attendance allowance from the date a claim is granted; and if he will make a statement; 
(3) for what purpose there is a six month delay between a decision to grant a claim for attendance allowance and the commencement of payments; and if he will make a statement; 
§ Maria Eagle
Attendance Allowance is a contribution towards the extra costs incurred by people over the age of 65 who have long-term severe disabilities. Attendance allowance is paid from the date from which it is awarded. There is no delay of six months or any other period and, hence, the circumstances cited by the hon. Member do not arise.
However, Attendance Allowance cannot be awarded unless a severely disabled person has satisfied the conditions of entitlement for a period of at least six months. In some cases, therefore, people can be notified that they have been awarded Attendance Allowance from a prospective date, and that payment will start from that date. The six-month qualifying period establishes that the severe disability, and the extra costs arising from it, are of a long-term nature and ensures that Attendance Allowance is only awarded to people with long-term severe disabilities. We have no plans to change the qualifying period.