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Mrs. McGuire: The Department for Work and Pensions has not yet set a date for publication of its autumn performance report for 2007, however it is our intention to publish this before the House rises for the Christmas recess.
Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) what estimate he has made of the number of people who require alternative and augmentative communication equipment; and if he will make a statement; 
(3) what assessment he has made of the potential demand for alternative and augmentative communication aids among people aged (a) under 24, (b) between 24 and 65 and (c) over 65 years old; and if he will make a statement. 
It is the responsibility of local health and social care organisations to prioritise and allocate funding for communication aids based on their assessment of the needs of their local populations. To support this process the Government recently announced, through the Comprehensive Spending Review that local authority funding will increase by £2.6 billion by 2010-11.
Recommendation 5.6 of the Prime Ministers Strategy Unit report Improving the Life Chances of Disabled people, focuses on the provision of community equipment, communication aids and wheelchairs for children. As part of the process of addressing this recommendation the Department launched the Transforming Community Equipment and Wheelchair Services programme in June 2006.
In addition, the department, is working closely with the Department for Children, Schools and Families to support the Bercow Review. The Bercow Review is currently reviewing services for children and young people with speech, language and communication needs with the aim of producing a report in the summer of 2008.
Damian Green: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what checks are made on the immigration status of applicants for disability living allowance; and if he will make a statement. 
Mrs. McGuire: The administration of disability living allowance is a matter for the Acting Chief Executive of the Disability and Carers Service, Mrs Vivien Hopkins. She will write to the hon. Member with the information requested.
You asked the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what checks are made on the immigration status of applicants for disability living allowance; and if he will make a statement.
The Minister for Disabled People, Anne McGuire MP, promised you a substantive reply from the Acting Chief Executive of the Disability and Carers Service.
I can confirm that a customer applying for Disability Living Allowance (DLA) is asked to provide their Nationality on the claim form.
If the customer does not answer this question or their answer indicates that they may be subject to Immigration control then further enquiries are made. These enquiries may include a request for sight of the passport, travel documents and any letters from the Home Office.
If the customer fails to respond to a request for evidence of this type, or if the decision maker is unable to confirm the immigration status of the customer from the available evidence, then enquiries may be made direct to the Home Office.
These issues need to be resolved before any award of DLA can be made.
I hope this reply is helpful.
Mrs. McGuire: Entitlement to disability living allowance is not linked to particular disabling conditions, but on the extent to which a severely disabled person has personal care needs and/or walking difficulties as a result of their disability. People with Marfan syndrome can claim disability living allowance in the same way as anyone else.
There is a range of help available to customers who may experience difficulty in completing the claim form. People can call the freephone Benefit Enquiry Line, where an operator will offer advice and answer individual questions as well as arranging for someone to call back to complete a copy of the claim form over the phone. The completed form will then be sent to the customer for checking, signing and return.
In cases where the customer does not want to fill in the self-reporting form, or cannot make use of the other help available, the Disability and Carers Service may be able to send out a visiting officer to help with the form. Customers can also go to their local Jobcentre Plus office or Citizens Advice Bureau for advice.
Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many companies have been awarded the two ticks symbol in recognition of action taken to meet commitments in relation to people with disabilities; and how many were withdrawn in each of the last five years. 
|Disability symbol: Agreements awarded and withdrawn each calendar year|
|New company agreements awarded||Companies withdrawn( 1)|
|(1) This figure denotes the companies that have either chosen to terminate the agreement themselves or who have had their agreement terminated by Jobcentre Plus for non-compliance. (2 )To date. Source: The Disability Symbol employer database for England, Wales and Scotland.|
Mike Penning: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many incapacity benefit recipients live outside the UK in a country where they can receive (a) index-linked benefit entitlement and (b) non-index-linked benefit entitlement. 
Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the number of people there are on income support benefit who are working (a) part-time and (b) full-time. 
Note: Figures are uprated to Work and Pension Longitudinal Study totals, rounded to the nearest 100.
Source: DWP Information Directorate 5 per cent sample.
Julia Goldsworthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) what steps are being taken to ensure that contact between people with mental health and learning difficulties and Jobcentre Plus is appropriately managed; 
Caroline Flint: The administration of Jobcentre Plus is a matter for the chief executive of Jobcentre Plus, Lesley Strathie. I have asked her to provide the hon. Member with the information requested.
The Secretary of State has asked me to reply to your questions about improving access to Jobcentre Plus services for people who are elderly or for whom English is not a first language and managing appropriately contact with people who have mental health or learning difficulties. These are things that fall within the responsibilities delegated to me as Chief Executive of Jobcentre Plus.
Our services are delivered over the telephone, face to face, in writing and through the internet. We recognise that some people have particular needs linked to age, disability and language and strive to meet these in the delivery of our services.
The steps we take are tailored to meet individual circumstances and include:
working with customer advocates and intermediary organisations such as Citizens Advice;
providing interpreter services to support interviews and telephone calls;
using alternative interview venues; and
producing a range of materials in other languages and alternative formats.
Additionally, we provide targeted help for customers with particular needs. For example, our Disability Employment Advisers are experts at helping people with health conditions and disabilities into work, including people with mental health conditions or learning disabilities.
Whilst some benefits end at State Pension Age, many of the services available through Jobcentre Plus to help people return to work have no upper age limit. This includes the use of Jobpoints to search for job and learning opportunities. Programmes like New Deal 50 plus, and Work Trials are among those available on a voluntary basis to people who have been in receipt of certain benefits for six months or more, including the Pension Credit which is a qualifying benefit for all currently available back to work programmes and services.
Our staff receive training to ensure they understand equality legislation. We also work closely with the voluntary sector, including organisations that represent customer interests. This helps us to understand better our customers' needs and to make appropriate referrals to external support in local communities.
I hope this is helpful.
Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) how many people registered for new deal for disabled people in each month since the programme began for the (a) second and (b) third time; 
|New deal for disabled people|
|Month of registration with new deal for disabled people||Total number of registrations||Number registering for the second time||Number registering for the third time|
1. The New Deal for Disabled People programme was introduced in July 2001.
2. Latest data are to August 2007.
3. Figures are rounded to the nearest 10.
Information Directorate, Department for Work and Pensions.
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