More claims for disability benefit

The number of people receiving disability benefits has increased
by more than 50 per cent since changes to the benefits system in
the past three years, research has shown.

York University’s social policy research unit interviewed more
than 3,500 people for the research.

Some were receiving the disability living allowance or
attendance allowance, while others had applied for it but had been
rejected and others were still awaiting a decision.

Before the introduction of disability living allowance in 1992,
1.7 million people were receiving benefits. The figure has now
risen to 2.6 million.

The research, commissioned by the Department of Social Security,
found that although recipients of the lower rates of disability
living allowance were more severely disabled than anticipated, the
lower rates were reaching distinct groups of disabled people who
would not have qualified for attendance allowance or mobility

But Roy Sainsbury, who conducted the study, said that
researchers found that disability living allowance had proved to be
less easily accessible to people with mental health problems.

He said the unit would be looking into this matter further.

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