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Welfare Reform and Pensions Act 1999

Awards made “for life”

Section 71(3) of the Contributions and Benefits Act permits awards of Disability Living Allowance (DLA) to be made “for life”. Life awards are made where it seem likely that a person’s entitlement to benefit will continue indefinitely.

This has led to misconceptions: many people with a life award believe that the benefit will continue even if they are no longer entitled to it. However, these life awards, like all other awards, can be reviewed and altered when there are grounds for doing so, under the powers in sections 30 and 35 of the Administration Act.

Subsections (1) and (2) remove the reference to awards for life in section 71(3) of the Act, and make it clear that DLA may be awarded either for fixed periods or for indefinite periods, subject to review—but that entitlement only applies while the person satisfies the conditions of entitlement. Section 66 of this Act makes similar provision for awards of Attendance Allowance for the terminally ill.

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