15 years of stammeringlaw 1999-2014
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DLA: mobility component (archive)

WARNING: For new claims, the Personal Indepedence Payment rather than DLA now applies, except for children under 16. This page is archived content from when DSA applied to adults. For claims by children, see the Disability Rights Allowance Factsheet 'Disability living allowance (DLA)' (link to disabilityrightsuk.org).

The DLA lower rate mobility component was aimed at people who can walk but could not generally use this ability on unfamiliar routes without someone to guide or supervise them. I have heard of at least two adults who stammer successfully claiming for this.

You may have been able to qualify for disability living allowance lower rate mobility component if you were able to walk but were

"so severely disabled physically or mentally that, disregarding any ability [you] may have to use routes which are familiar to [you] on [your] own, [you] cannot take advantage of the faculty out of doors without guidance or supervision from another person most of the time."

One example might be a deaf person who cannot understand spoken or written words sufficiently to seek or follow directions alone. There are cases on the interpretation of the test, for example on the meaning of 'guidance' and 'supervision'.

Not taking unfamiliar routes due to fear or anxiety may qualify provided the fear and anxiety is a symptom of a mental disability. This might perhaps be on the basis the fear and anxiety are part of the stammering syndrome, or the fear and anxiety may be part of an anxiety-related disorder, which are particularly prevalent among people who stammer: see Iverach 2009, Prevalence of anxiety disorders among adults seeking speech therapy for stuttering (external link).

Examples of successful claims

I have heard of two people who stammer successfully claiming DLA under this head, after going to appeal. In one case the claimant, represented by a Citizens Advice Bureau, stressed that his stammer stopped him being able to ask for directions and prevented him from seeking help on his own. At the tribunal hearing, the claimant was almost unable to reply to the questions but was determined to try and answer. The tribunal were very sensitive and let him finish. It seems the tribunal was satisfied that because of his stammer he could not communicate and so was unable to ask for directions, ask for help easily, order food in a restaurant etc.

Whether a particular person had a claim would depend on the facts.

Children under 16

For claims by children under 16, an additional test had to be met. Either they must require 'substantially more guidance or supervision from another person than persons of [their] age in normal physical and mental health would require', or people of their age 'in normal physical and mental health would not require such guidance or supervision'. A need for guidance and supervision beyond what is normally required might be suggested if, for example, a child cannot give their name and address if they get lost. A child must be aged 5 or over to claim.

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Last updated 4th August, 2011