HC Deb 20 March 2002 vol 382 cc424-5W
Mr. Blunt

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will issue advice to decision-makers for(a) attendance allowance and (b) disability living allowance to give full weight to the definition of virtually unable to walk as given in Cassinelli v. Secretary of State for Social Services, Times Law report 6.12.91, following the Chairman"s ruling on 11 February at the reconstituted tribunal set up by the Sutton Benefits Agency office concerning Mr. Tom Mann. [39412]

Maria Eagle

The 1991 judgment of the Court of Appeal in Cassinelli v. Secretary of State for Social Services was concerned only with the meaning of the test of "severe discomfort" in relation to whether the manner in which a person could make progress on foot out of doors was so limited that he could be taken to be virtually unable to walk for the purpose of entitlement to mobility allowance. The court held that the test is one of severe discomfort rather than of severe pain or distress. This is not relevant to(a) attendance allowance, for which entitlement depends upon a severely disabled person"s need for personal attention, supervision or watching over from another person; but (b) it continues to be relevant to the higher rate mobility component of disability living allowance, which replaced mobility allowance in 1992, and the guidance to decision makers about that component in the Decision Makers Guide cites the meaning of "severe discomfort" given in the Cassinelli judgment as the one to be followed when considering whether a person is virtually unable to walk.

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