The distributional impact of reforms to disability benefits for older people in the UK
Ruth Hancock and
No 2010-35, ISER Working Paper Series from Institute for Social and Economic Research
The UK Attendance Allowance (AA) and Disability Living Allowance (DLA) are non means-tested benefits paid to many disabled people aged 65+. They may also increase entitlements to means-tested benefits through the Severe Disability Premium (SDP). We investigate proposed reforms involving withdrawal of AA/DLA. Despite their present non-means-tested nature, we show that withdrawal would affect mainly low-income people, whose losses could be mitigated if SDP were retained at its current or a higher level. We also show the importance of the method of describing distributional impacts and that use of inappropriate income definitions in official reports has overstated recipientsâ€™ capacity to absorb the loss of these benefits.
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