§ Mr. Steve Webb
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will make a statement on the basis on which his Department collects data on the number of pensioners who had attendance allowance 317W withdrawn during a stay in hospital; and how many pensioners were affected by these rules in the past three years for which figures are available. 
§ Maria Eagle
The Department collects data on people in receipt of attendance allowance (and other disability and carer benefits) by means of a quarterly statistical inquiry. This allows analysis-on a sample basis-of the numbers of recipients whose awards are suspended at the date of the inquiry because they have been in hospital more than 28 days. Because periods of suspension may be completed between two quarterly inquiries or span more than one inquiry, this information does not provide a basis for calculating cumulative figures for people who have had their AA or DLA suspended after spending 28 days in hospital.
Numbers of attendance allowance cases at 31 May of each year in the period 2000 to 2002 and numbers of cases in which payments were recorded as suspended because the recipient was in hospital Attendance allowance Total cases Cases with payment suspended while recipient in hospital 2000 1,249,600 13,300 2001 1,290,000 14,400 2002 1,288,200 15,500
1. Figures are rounded to the nearest hundred.
2. Figures for suspensions refer only to cases where the reason is known.
3. Information is collected at the end of February, May, August and November each year. Figures in the table vary from those given in the written answer on 11 July 2002, Official Report, column 1146W, which date back from November 2001.
Analytical Services Division Information Centre:5 per cent. data.