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Disability Living Allowance

Work and Pensions written question – answered on 11th July 2011.

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Photo of Bob Stewart Bob Stewart Conservative, Beckenham

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions which key activities he proposes will be examined as part of the proposed objective assessment for disability living allowance.

Photo of Maria Miller Maria Miller The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

On 9 May we published our initial proposals for the assessment criteria for personal independence payment, which will replace disability living allowance from 2013. These were developed in collaboration with an independent group of specialists in health, social care and disability. We intend that the priority in the benefit should go to those individuals who are least able to live independent lives and so are proposing to assess individuals’ ability to carry out a range of key everyday activities.

The activities we are proposing to assess are:

Planning and buying food and drink;

Preparing food and drink;

Taking nutrition;

Managing medication and monitoring health conditions;

Managing prescribed therapies other than medication;

Washing, bathing & grooming;

Managing toilet needs or incontinence;

Dressing and undressing;

Communicating with others;

Planning and following a journey, and

Moving around.

These activities have been chosen to provide a more holistic assessment of the impact of disability that the current DLA criteria, considering the impact of a more comprehensive range of impairment types. For example, the introduction of communication is a significant departure from DLA and one which will ensure we better take into account the effect of impairments of hearing, speech and language comprehension.

We are currently carrying out an informal consultation and have already met with over 60 disability organisations to discuss the criteria, how they will work and how they might be improved. We are also testing the assessment, to enable us to better understand its likely impact, by carrying out around 900 sample assessments over the summer. Our aim is to provide a further draft of the assessment criteria and regulations in the autumn, building on the testing and the feedback from disability organisations.

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