Petition Add a mobility element to Attendance Allowance

We want the Government to reform Attendance Allowance so that people with mobility issues can get a mobility element for this benefit, and so access the Motability Scheme. This would bring Attendance Allowance in line with PIP and DLA.

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If a person receives DLA or PIP they can receive a mobility element for their benefit, and this continues once they reach State Pension age, allowing them to get a Motability Vehicle. A person of State Pension age claiming Attendance Allowance cannot get a mobility element or get a Motability Vehicle, even when there is a need, but they cannot claim DLA or PIP as they are too old. We believe this is unfair discrimination and needs to be addressed.

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Government responded

This response was given on 5 April 2024

1.4 million people are receiving Attendance Allowance worth £6 billion a year. Those who develop mobility needs in later life are able to spend this benefit on mobility aids if they wish.

This year (2024/25) spending on the main disability benefits – Personal Independence Payment, Disability Living Allowance and Attendance Allowance is forecast to be £16.4bn higher in real terms than it was in 2010.

There are currently around 415,000 pensioners who are entitled to Disability Living Allowance, 516,000 pensioners entitled to Personal Independence Payment and 1.5 million people entitled to Attendance Allowance.

The aim of Disability Living Allowance and Personal Independence Payment is to provide additional help with the extra costs of disability to people who develop a long-term health condition or disability early, or relatively early in life. Attendance Allowance is available for people who become disabled after state pension age to help them with the extra costs of disability and to maintain their independence.

Government mobility support is focused on people who are disabled earlier in life: developing mobility needs in older life is a normal consequence of ageing, which non-disabled younger people have had an opportunity to plan and save for.

It has been the consistent position of successive Governments that the differences in age-based entitlement for Disability Living Allowance, Personal Independence Payment and Attendance Allowance are reasonable and proportionate.

There is no constraint on what an award of Attendance Allowance can be spent on, and a recipient may choose to use this benefit to fund mobility aids if that is a priority to them.

The Motability scheme is open to anyone, including those over state pension age, who are in receipt of the higher-rate mobility component of Disability Living Allowance, the enhanced-rate mobility component of Personal Independence Payment, Armed Forces Independence Payment or War Pensioners’ Mobility Supplement, and has at least 12 months’ award length remaining. If the person is not receiving one of these benefits, they will not qualify for the Motability scheme.

Disability Living Allowance and Personal Independence Payment are not available to people who make a claim when they are over state pension age. However, once awarded, subject to the person continuing to meet the conditions of entitlement, both benefits can be paid beyond state pension age. This is on the basis that priority should be given to those who become disabled earlier in life, who are likely to have had less opportunity to work, earn and save, than those who develop needs after they reach state pension age.

We are satisfied that this policy does not constitute age discrimination, and this view has been supported by the courts who have determined that this is not unlawful.

Department for Work and Pensions

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