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DLA & AA 'special rules' change

2 October 2006
The procedure relating to awards of Disability Living Allowance and Attendance Allowance under the 'special rules' has been altered following recommendations made by the Disability Living Allowance Advisory Board.

From 25th September 'special rules' awards will generally be made for a fixed period of 3 years, rather than an indefinite period, as has been the practice until now.

The 'special rules' apply to people with a progressive disease whose death can reasonably be expected to occur within six months. Where this is the case an award of the highest rate of the middle rate of the care component is made automatically and speedily without the need to fill in the pages of the DLA or AA claim pack relating to care needs. Instead, a form DS1500 has to be completed by the claimant's GP or consultant.

Entitlement to the mobility component does still need to be established by providing evidence in the normal way.

In future, 'special rules' awards will generally be made for three years. However, the law does not allow awards of the care component and the mobility component to be made for different fixed periods. This means that where there is also entitlement to the mobility component, that award will also have to be for three years or for an indefinite period.

Where a claimant already has an award of the mobility component for a fixed period prior to a 'special rules' claim the decision maker will have to make the 'special rules' care award for more or less than three years to fit with the existing mobility award. This is because a claim under the 'special rules' in itself does not count as a change of circumstances that would allow the decision maker to look again at an existing mobility award.