Does our approach on the linking rules support the policy intention of providing continued support to those with a long term condition which can fluctuate or deteriorate in the most reasonable and effective way? If you don’t agree, please tell us why and what an alternative approach could be?
People aged 65 or over
3.10 As for DLA, Personal Independence Payment will allow a claimant to continue to receive their existing award for as long as they satisfy the entitlement conditions, regardless of any upper age limit9 (see paragraphs 4.2 to 4.7). Renewal claims on fixed term awards which expire after someone reaches the upper age limit will also be permitted to allow someone to continue receiving Personal Independence Payment where they satisfy the entitlement conditions.
3.11 Where someone in receipt of DLA after the age of 65 loses entitlement to the benefit, perhaps because their condition has improved or they have submitted a renewal claim late, linking rules allow for a new claim to be made for DLA within one year of the expiry of the old claim. Such a claim allows for an individual to re-establish entitlement to either component of DLA they were receiving before, or to establish a new entitlement to the middle or highest rate care component, but does not allow for a new or higher entitlement to the mobility component. Where someone establishes entitlement to a previously received component they do not have to satisfy a qualifying period.
3.12 Under the regulation-making powers we have at section 83(3) of the Act we intend to broadly follow those rules but with the exception that a linked claim to Personal Independence Payment received after the upper age limit has been reached must be on the basis of a similar condition or range of conditions that gave rise to a previous entitlement. As with our proposals on people of working age (above)¸ in such circumstances any component previously received would not be subject to the qualifying period. This arrangement would more closely align the linking rules across all ages.