Dla reform and Personal Independence Payment – completing the detailed design

Changes to certain Disability Living Allowance and Attendance Allowance rules

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Changes to certain Disability Living Allowance and Attendance Allowance rules

Ending the extension of payment of the Disability Living Allowance higher rate mobility component to in-patients who have a Motability vehicle.

4.17 Generally, when a person is an in-patient of a hospital or similar institution, payment of their DLA care and mobility components stop after 28 days (84 days for children under 16). However, if the in-patient is leasing a vehicle through the Motability Scheme, existing provisions allow for the continued payment of the higher rate mobility component for the duration of the Motability lease contract which could be up to three years.

4.18 This provision was introduced in 1996 when the payment of the mobility component to long term hospital in-patients was removed. It was introduced under powers contained in s113(2) of the Social Security Contributions and Benefits Act 1992. It afforded a reasonable easement to those people who were committed to a Motability contract when the new rules came in. Any lease held by somebody entering hospital in 1996 will have long expired but new customers can still benefit from this provision. The Government announced in the 2010 Spending Review that it intends to address this anomaly by removing this provision in DLA regulations in 2012. It has now been decided that this change should roll out from 2013 alongside the implementation of Personal Independence Payment. This will ensure that all hospital in-patients are treated in the same way, whether they are a Motability customer or not. We have worked closely with Motability on this matter.

Addressing an anomaly in Disability Living Allowance and Attendance Allowance regulations highlighted by a recent Court of Appeal Judgement

4.19 The rules concerning payment of DLA and AA for in-patients of hospitals or similar institutions and residents of care homes aim to strike a balance between continuing to provide support while avoiding duplication of public funding. This is why, generally, payment of AA and both components of DLA stops after 28 days (84 days in the case of children under the age of 16) to in-patients of hospitals or similar institutions. 

4.20 For residents of care homes payment of AA and the DLA care components stop after 28 days. Payment of the mobility component of DLA continues for eligible residents. Prior to a Court of Appeal judgement in December 2011, payment of the mobility component stopped if a resident of a care home was being funded by the NHS through Continuing Healthcare as they were treated as being an in-patient of a hospital or similar institution and subject to those rules.

4.21 The Court of Appeal judgement determined that care home residents funded by the NHS should only be treated as being an in-patient of a hospital or similar institution if the care home employed doctors, qualified nurses or other health care professionals and the resident received medical or other treatment by or under the direct supervision of a qualified doctor, nurse or nurses at the care home. If these criteria do not apply, the resident will be subject to the care home rules and will be eligible to receive payment of the mobility component. 

4.22 As they are currently worded, DLA Regulation 9(6)(f) and AA Regulation 7(3)(f) now mean that a care home resident whose accommodation costs are being funded under the NHS Acts can also be paid any DLA care components or AA they may be entitled to. However, this will result in duplication of funding since the individual’s disability-related care needs are already being met by the NHS. This is also why care home residents who are funded by the local authority are not eligible to receive payments of DLA care component or Attendance Allowance because their care needs are being met by the local authority. Therefore, to avoid the taxpayer paying twice for the same need, and in order to restore the policy intention of preventing duplication of payment, we propose removing paragraph 9(6)(f) from the DLA Regulations and paragraph 7(3)(f) from the AA Regulations, in line with the powers contained in s67(2) and s72(8) of the Social Security Contribution and Benefits Act 1992.

4.23 We are also considering whether we need to retain Regulation 13 and Schedule 2 of the Social Security (Disability Living Allowance) Regulations 1991 and whether these provisions need to be replicated in Personal Independence Payment. This relates to the historical Invalid Vehicle Scheme that was closed to new customers in 1976.

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