On Monday 3rd November, I asked the Minister of State for the Department for Work and Pensions, Mark Harper about Disability Living Allowance claims for under-16s. I welcome the progress made reducing delays on Personal Independence Payment claims, but I am concerned about the delays experienced by those applying for Disability Living Allowance for under-16s.
I have been contacted in the past by the parents of a constituent with a child under the age of 16 entitled to the Disability Living Allowance. They encountered severe delays with their child’s disability living allowance claim. DLA for children provides an important source of support for parents to help with the extra costs of looking after a child who has difficulties walking or needs more looking after than a child of the same age who doesn’t have a disability.
I know DLA for under-16s provides invaluable assistance to a number of families across the country and the constituency and long delays in receiving this support can disrupt their lives.
The Minister assured me that this is something he is looking into and he has promised to write to me with further information on this. I will be sure to inform my constituents of the Minister’s response when I receive it.
Nigel Mills: Will the Minister ensure that the welcome progress on PIP is also reflected in a legacy on DLA claims, because under-16s, for whom these claims still have to be made, are also experiencing long delays?
Mark Harper, The Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions: I hear what my hon. Friend says. I have had one or two examples of that brought to my attention, and I have asked officials to brief me on the DLA performance for children. I will come back to him in writing when I have something further to tell him.