New calls to include mobility element in Attendance Allowance for people over State Pension age soar

More than 13,800 have now signed an online petition calling for a mobility component specifically for people over State Pension age to be included with Attendance Allowance, despite the UK Government recently rejecting the argument. The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) said that mobility support is “focused on people who are disabled earlier in life”

In a written response on the petitions-parliament website, the DWP explained: “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”.

The DWP explained that there are currently around 415,000 pensioners who are entitled to Disability Living Allowance (DLA), 516,000 pensioners entitled to Personal Independence Payment (PIP) and 1.5 million people entitled to Attendance Allowance. It said: “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 DWP response explained how “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”.

The DWP also clarified the use of the Motability Scheme which is open to people - including those over State Pension age - in receipt of the higher-rate mobility component of DLA, the enhanced rate mobility component of PIP, Armed Forces Independence Payment or War Pensioners’ Mobility Supplement, and has at least 12 months’ award length remaining.

However, if a person is not receiving one of these benefits, they will not qualify for the Motability scheme.

The ‘Add a mobility element to Attendance Allowance’ petition, states: “We want the Government to reform Attendance Allowance so that people with mobility issues can get a mobility element or this benefit, and so access the Motability Scheme. This would bring Attendance Allowance in line with PIP and DLA.”

Petition creator Barry Razzell argues that the addition of a mobility element would bring Attendance Allowance in line with other disability benefits and argues that excluding it is “unfair discrimination and needs to be addressed”.

Responding to that argument in the petition, the DWP said: “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.”

You can read the full DWP response on the petitions-parliament website here.

At 100,000 signatures the petition would be considered by the Petitions Committee for debate in Parliament.