§ Mr. Michael
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will make it his policy for applications for attendance allowance to be dealt with directly by Department of Social Security staff at local and regional level instead of through his Department's offices in Blackpool.
§ Mr. Scott
Claimants currently send attendance allowance—AA—claim forms to nine regional centres where initial processing is done. Claims are passed to the attendance allowance unit in Blackpool for award and payment. After the introduction of disability living allowance, DLA and AA claim forms will be sent to regions boths for processing and award, but, for AA only, payments and notifications will be issued from the AA unit in Blackpool. DLA initial awards will be paid from the appropriate regional centre. These arrangements will be reviewed in the light of experience.
All renewal claims and reviews for DLA and AA will be dealt with centrally at the AA and DLA units in Blackpool.
Claimants will be able to obtain general information about DLA and AA from the benefits inquiry line or their local benefit offices. The new DLA computer system will enable the unit's staff to give prompt details about individual claims from telephone inquiries.