Sickness, disability and carers' benefits

All Commons Briefing Papers
80 Documents
DateDescription
23.09.2016Welfare savings 2010-11 to 2020-21
The House of Commons Library Welfare Expenditure and Savings Tool combines multiple sources of expenditure and savings data into one easy to use, up-to-date analysis tool. Users can track changes in welfare expenditure over time, analyse savings as a proportion of expenditure and identify key policy measures by benefit announced since June 2010. Total spending on UK social security and tax credits will be 218.4 billion in 2016-17, 28.3% of total managed expenditure. Measures announced since 2010 will save around 26 billion in the same year, roughly 10% of what welfare spending might otherwise have been.
08.07.2016Social security benefits for older people with mobility needs
Both Disability Living Allowance and Personal Independence Payment (which is replacing DLA) provide help with the extra costs disabled people face when getting around. The DLA or PIP mobility component can continue to be paid indefinitely, but there is an upper age limit of 65 for new claims. This means that some older people cannot get benefits for mobility needs and cannot access linked schemes such as Motability.
08.07.2016Personal Independence Payment and the March 2016 Budget
This House of Commons Library briefing paper looks at controversial proposals put forward at the March 2016 Budget to change the criteria for Personal Independence Payment (PIP). The proposals were subsequently abandoned and the Government said it would not be seeking to make alternative offsetting savings, or further savings from the welfare budget not already legislated for.
08.07.2016Abolition of the ESA Work Related Activity Component
This House of Commons Library briefing paper provides an overview of Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and details the changes to the Work Related Activity Component that will be introduced from April 2017. The paper also includes information on the mitigating support announced by the Government.
05.05.2016Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI) scheme
This Commons Library briefing paper explains the assistance available for certain households with their mortgage interest payments. Help with mortgage costs is available to claimants of certain means-tested benefits for people not in full-time work. The schemes are collectively known as Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI). Payments are made towards mortgage interest payments and are generally made direct to lenders.
26.04.2016Learning Disability - policies and issues
House of Commons Library briefing on policies and services for people with a learning disability in England.
26.04.2016Carer's Allowance
This Commons Library briefing looks at Carer's Allowance - a non-contributory, non-means-tested benefit paid to people who care full-time for someone who is severely disabled. It covers the background to the benefit and issues frequently raised by people claiming it, including the level of the benefit, its interaction with other benefits including the Retirement Pension, and the difficulties recipients face when seeking to combine their caring duties with paid work or studying. Reforms to Carer's Allowance have been discussed, but there have been no significant changes to the benefit in recent years, and Carer's Allowance will remain a separate benefit under the Universal Credit system. Responsibility for Carer's Allowance and related disability benefits is to be devolved to the Scottish Parliament, and all the major parties in Scotland are committed to increasing Carer's Allowance to at least the level of Jobseeker's Allowance.
25.04.2016Welfare reform and disabled people
The Library briefing provides an overview of the benefits changes introduced since 2010 affecting disabled people and their families, looks at the impact of the changes, and summarises responses from disability organisations and others.
22.04.2016Autism - overview of UK policy and services
House of Commons Library briefing on autism.
18.03.2016Budget 2016: a summary
A summary of Budget 2016 and the Office for Budget Responsibility's forecasts for the economy and public finances.
18.02.2016Welfare Reform and Work Bill 2015-16: Lords amendments
The Welfare Reform and Work Bill 2015-16 had its Third Reading in the House of Lords on 9 February, and the Commons is due to consider Lords amendments on 23 February.
15.02.2016Motability scheme
This paper explains what the Motability scheme is and how it operates, including changes to eligibility for the scheme as a result of PIP.
12.02.2016Statistics on Migrants and Benefits
Data on migrants and benefits is incomplete and fragmented, not routinely available from a single source. This is because the nationality of benefit claimants is not routinely gathered by either DWP or HMRC when administering benefits or tax credits. This paper brings together the main available data sources - including DWP data on National Insurance Number registrations, departmental ad-hoc releases and responses to Freedom of Information requests - to analyse rates of benefit and tax credits receipt among migrants living in the UK.
10.02.2016The UN Inquiry into the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in the UK
The UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is conducting an inquiry into the impact of the UK Government's policies on people with disabilities in relation to their human rights obligations. This briefing paper provides information on the Committee, details of the inquiry and an overview of the Government's policies in relation to people with disabilities.
11.01.2016Cold Weather Payments for winter 2015/16
Cold Weather Payments are made from the Social Fund to certain recipients of Income Support, income-based Jobseeker's Allowance, income-related Employment and Support Allowance, Universal Credit or Pension Credit during periods of very cold weather. To 'trigger' the payments, the average temperature at a specified weather station must be recorded as, or forecast to be, 0C or below for seven consecutive days. The scheme runs from 1 November to 31 March each year.
27.11.20152016 Benefits Uprating
This note sets out the main benefit and tax credit rates for the 2016-17 financial year.
20.11.2015Background to the 2015 Spending Review and Autumn Statement
Background to the joint 2015 Spending Review and Autumn Statement, which will be presented to Parliament on 25 November 2015.
20.11.2015A Fresh Start: the Stormont Agreement and Implementation Plan and the Northern Ireland (Welfare Reform) Bill 2015-16 [Bill 99]
The Northern Ireland (Welfare Reform) Bill is part of a process to stabilise the political institutions in Northern Ireland. It stems from a package agreed between the UK and Irish Governments and the largest Northern Ireland parties: the Fresh Start agreement. This paper gives a guide to the Bill, and to the agreement.
26.10.2015Background to Hospital Parking Charges (Exemption for Carers) Bill
This Commons Library briefing provides information on the main provisions of the Hospital Parking Charges (Exemption for Carers) Bill 2015/16.
18.09.2015The Work Capability Assessment for Employment and Support Allowance
This briefing provides an overview of the Work Capability Assessment (WCA) for Employment and Support Allowance (ESA).
18.09.2015Employment and Support Allowance: An introduction
This briefing provides an overview of Employment and Support Allowance (ESA).
16.07.2015Welfare Reform and Work Bill [Bill 51 of 2015-16]
This House of Commons Briefing Paper provides background to the Welfare Reform and Work Bill's provisions; summarises the key measures; and includes relevant comment. The Bill is scheduled to receive its Second Reading on 20 July 2015.
10.07.2015Summer Budget 2015: A summary
This note presents a summary of the Summer Budget 2015. This note provides an overview of the main Budget measures (see below), along with analysis of the forecasts, changes to the fiscal rules, changes to welfare, the National Living Wage, and public spending.
03.07.2015Background to the July 2015 Budget
This note sets out the background to the July 2015 Budget, the first Budget of the current Parliament.
17.06.2015Measures to limit migrants' access to benefits
Following an article by the Prime Minister's in the Financial Times on 27 November 2013 in which he said he shared concerns about the impact of lifting transitional restrictions on the right of Romanian and Bulgarian right to work in the UK from 1 January 2014, the Government has introduced a raft of measures 'to tighten up our EEA migration rules to ensure our welfare system is not taken advantage of.'
17.06.2015What UK benefits can people from abroad claim?
This note gives a broad overview of the rules on access to benefits and tax credits for people coming to the UK from abroad. It describes the situation for asylum seekers, nationals from European Economic Area (EEA) countries, and non-EEA nationals.
16.06.2015Introduction of Personal Independence Payment
Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is replacing Disability Living Allowance for people of working age. Following its introduction for new claims in April 2013 there were problems with the claims process, with some claimants waiting six months or more for a decision. The previous Government said that, as a result of actions it was taking, by autumn 2014 no PIP claimant would have to wait more than six months for an assessment and by the end of 2014 no one would have to wait more than 16 weeks.
05.06.2015Carers' rights and benefits (England)
An overview of rights and benefits afforded to carers in law, covering local authority assessments, employment rights, benefits and protection from discrimination.
04.06.2015Scotland Bill 2015-16
The Commons Library's briefing note on the Scotland Bill 2015-16.
14.05.2015Carer's Allowance and the Retirement Pension
Carer's Allowance cannot be paid in addition to the Retirement Pension because of the "overlapping benefits" rule. This note looks at the rationale for this rule, and at the positions of both the 2010 Government and the previous Labour Government on payment of Carer's Allowance to people over State Pension Age.
27.03.2015Independent Review of the Personal Independence Payment assessment
The Welfare Reform Act 2012 requires the Government to commission an independent review of how the Personal Independence Payment assessment is working. The first report of the Independent Review, led by Paul Gray, was published on 17 December 2014. It makes recommendations aimed at improving the claimant experience, the use of evidence, and the effectiveness of the assessment.
20.03.2015Further proposals to restrict migrants' access to benefits
In his keynote speech on immigration on 28 November 2014, the Prime Minister set out plans to secure agreement on changes to European law on free movement of persons in order to allow the UK to, among other things, deny EEA migrants in-work benefits for four years and prevent Child Benefit being paid for children living abroad. Proposals to further restrict EEA migrants' access to benefits have also been put forward by Labour and by the Liberal Democrats.
18.02.2015Further devolution of powers to Scotland: devolved benefits and additional discretionary payments
Examines the Smith Commission's proposals to devolve responsibility to the Scottish Parliament for certain key benefits, such as disability and carers' benefits. It also looks at the Draft Scotland Clauses in this area.
27.11.2014Benefit Entitlement (Restriction) Bill 2014-15
The Benefit Entitlement (Restriction) Bill is a Private Members' Bill presented by Christopher Chope. The Bill makes provision 'to restrict the entitlement of non-UK Citizens from the European Union and the European Economic Area to taxpayer-funded benefits.' The Bill provides that the restrictions on entitlement are 'notwithstanding the provisions of the European Communities Act 1972.'
13.11.2014Cold Weather Payments for winter 2014/2015
Cold Weather Payments are made from the Social Fund to certain recipients of Income Support, income-based Jobseeker's Allowance, income-related Employment and Support Allowance, Universal Credit or Pension Credit during periods of very cold weather. The amount is 25 a week for eligible benefit claimants.
18.09.2014Asbestos-related diseases: payments from the Department for Work and Pensions
Exposure to asbestos fibres can lead to a number of serious diseases. People suffering from certain conditions may be able to pursue a civil claim for damages against one or more employers responsible for exposing them to asbestos negligently and/or in breach of a statutory duty. Compensation may also be available under schemes administered by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).
07.08.2014Impact on the UK of Scottish independence: social security and tax credits
In the event Scotland becoming an independent country, the Scottish and Westminster governments would have to address two main issues with regard to welfare provision: how to deliver benefits and tax credits in the initial transitional period following independence; and how the two countries' systems should relate to each other in the longer term.
01.04.2014Incapacity benefit reassessments
Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) replaced incapacity benefits for new claims from October 2008. Between 2010 and 2014, around 1.5 million claimants of old-style incapaqcity benefits are being reassessed for ESA. To date, over 1.1 million incapacity benefit claimants have been reassessed, and around a fifth have been found 'Fit for Work.'
06.01.2014Mesothelioma Bill [HL]: House of Commons stages
The Mesothelioma Bill [HL] establishes a new Diffuse Mesothelioma Payment Scheme to make payments to people with diffuse mesothelioma who were exposed to asbestos either negligently or in breach of statutory duty by an employer, and who are unable to bring a claim for damages against the employer or an Employers' Liability (EL) insurer.
29.11.2013The housing element of Universal Credit
This note highlights some of the key differences between the current Housing Benefit system and the housing element of Universal Credit.
18.11.2013Mesothelioma Bill
The Bill provides the legislative framework for a new Diffuse Mesothelioma Payment Scheme to make payments to people with diffuse mesothelioma who were exposed to asbestos either negligently or in breach of statutory duty by an employer, and who are unable to bring a claim for damages against the employer or an Employers' Liability (EL) insurer.
11.11.2013Winter Fuel Payments: people in residential care
People in residential care who receive Pension Credit do not qualify for the Winter Fuel Payment. Other care home residents receive half the full rate (100, or 150 for people aged 80 or over). This note describes the rules as they apply to people in care homes, and explains the rationale behind them.
11.11.2013Cold Weather Payments for winter 2013/2014
Cold Weather Payments are made from the Social Fund to certain recipients of Income Support, income-based Jobseeker's Allowance, income-related Employment and Support Allowance, Universal Credit or Pension Credit during periods of very cold weather.
12.07.2013Short Term Benefit Advances and Budgeting Advances
From 1 April 2013, a new advance of benefit facility administered by DWP replaced Social Fund Budgeting Loans, interim payments of benefits and "alignment payments". This note gives details of the new system of Short Term Benefit Advances and Budgeting Advances.
19.02.2013Draft Care and Support Bill 2012-13
This note provides general information on the draft Care and Support Bill that was announced in the Queen's Speech on 9 May 2012 and published by the Government on 11 July 2012.
07.02.2013Draft Universal Credit Regulations 2013
Starting in selected 'Pathfinder' areas from April 2013, Universal Credit (UC) will begin to replace a range of means-tested benefits and tax credits for working age families. The Draft Universal Credit Regulations set out the detailed rules for the new benefit.
28.01.2013Draft Social Security (Personal Independence Payment) Regulations 2013
Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is to replace Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for people of working age, starting from April 2013. Part 4 of the Welfare Reform Act 2012 provides the framework for PIP, but the detailed rules for the new benefit - including the assessment criteria - are to be set out in regulations.
04.01.2013Welfare Benefits Uprating Bill
30.11.2012The Work Capability Assessment for Employment and Support Allowance
The Work Capability Assessment (WCA) was introduced in October 2008 to assess entitlement to Employment and Support Allowance (ESA). Between now and 2014, 1.5 million incapacity benefits claimants will also undergo the WCA. The WCA has however proved controversial and remains so, depsite changes to the test itself and how it is applied as a result of Government an independent reviews.
16.11.2012Localisation of the Social Fund
As a result of measures in the Welfare Reform Act 2012, certain elements of the discretionary Social Fund scheme will be replaced by new locally based provision delivered by local authorities in England and the devolved administrations in Scotland and Wales.
13.11.2012Personal Independence Payment: an introduction
Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is to replace Disability Living Allowance for people of working age, between April 2013 and March 2016. The changes will affect existing working age DLA claimants, as well as those making a new claim. For those existing DLA claimants found not to satisfy the conditions for PIP on reassessment, their DLA will stop.
09.11.2012Universal Credit: an introduction
Starting from next year, Universal Credit (UC) will begin to replace a range of means-tested benefits and tax credits for working age families. The intention is to simplify and streamline the benefits system for claimants, making it easier for people to understand; to reduce the financial and administrative barriers to work; to tackle in-work poverty; and to bear down on fraud and error.
25.10.2012Cold Weather Payments for winter 2012/2013
Cold Weather Payments of 25 pounds a week are made to certain recipients of Income Support, income-based Jobseeker's Allowance, income-related Employment and Support Allowance or Pension Credit during periods of very cold weather. To 'trigger' the payments, the average temperature at a specified weather station must be recorded as, or forecast to be, zero degrees or below for seven consecutive days.
13.07.2012ESA and Incapacity benefit statistics
A summary of statistics relating to Employment and Support Allowance and other incapacity-related benefits.
16.05.2012ESA and incapacity benefits - constituency statistics for Great Britain
Statistics on working-age claimants of Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and its predecessor incapacity-related benefits in each constituency in Great Britain. In November 2011 there were 2.57 million claimants of these benefits in Great Britain.
27.04.2012ESA assessments and reassessments: Social Indicators article
A summary of the latest figures on outcomes of ESA Work Capability Assessments - published as part of the April 2012 edition of Social Indicators.
27.04.2012Social Indicators
A compendium of the latest social statistics. This edition includes articles: Constituency-level crime data, ESA assessments and reassessments and Measuring well-being
25.04.2012Time limiting of contributory Employment and Support Allowance from 30 April 2012
The 2010 Spending Review announced that contributory Employment and Support Allowance for claimants in the Work-Related Activity Group would be limited to 12 months. The time limit takes effect on 30 April 2012. For some claimants, benefit will stop immediately. All recipients of contributory ESA in the WRAG, including Incapacity Benefit claimants 'migrated' to ESA on reassessment, will be affected by the time limit. Savings of almost 1.5 billion a year are expected by 2015-16.
27.01.2012Welfare Reform Bill 2010-12: amendments at the Lords Committee and Report stages
The Welfare Reform Bill has its Third Reading in the House of Lords on 31 January 2012. At Report Stage in the Lords, the government suffered defeats on amendments relating to under-occupation of social housing, the Employment and Support Allowance, the proposed benefit cap, and child support maintenance
05.12.2011Uprating of social security benefits
Most but not all benefits are uprated in April each year, by reference to the increase in prices over the year to the previous September. The current Government has adopted the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) as the measure of inflation for uprating purposes. CPI tends to rise more slowly than the measures used. previously. The CPI for September 2011 was higher than expected, and media reports have suggested that the Government was considering changing the basis for uprating benefits. In the Autumn Statement the Chancellor announced that while benefits would increase by the full CPI from April 2011, the couple and lone parent elements of Working Tax Credit would be frozen and the child element of Child Tax Credit would increase by less than was planned.
04.03.2011Welfare Reform Bill: reform of disability benefits, Housing Benefit, and other measures
This paper has been prepared for the Second Reading debate in the House of Commons. For information on the provision in the Bill relating to the introduction of Universal Credit, please see the complementary Library Research Paper, 11/24. Besides Universal Credit, the Bill proposes a number of other significant welfare reforms, including replacement of the current Disability Living Allowance, restriction of Housing Benefit entitlement to social housing tenants whose accommodation is larger than they need, time-limiting the payment of contributory Employment and Support Allowance to twelve months, and capping the total amount of benefit that can be claimed.
17.02.2011Welfare Reform and the Universal Credit
On 11 November 2010 the Government set out plans for a 'Universal Credit' to replace most in work and out of work benefits for people of working age. This note gives an overview of the main features of the Universal Credit and looks at some of the issues raised by the proposals.
14.02.2011Disability Living Allowance reform
The June 2010 Budget announced that a new "objective medical assessment" would be introduced for both new and existing working age DLA claims from 2013-14, saving over £1 billion a year by 2014-15 and reducing the DLA caseload by 20%. On 6 December the Government published a consultation paper, Disability Living Allowance reform, which sets out plans for an entirely new benefit - the "Personal Independence Payment" - to replace DLA, starting from 2013-14.
03.02.2011Time-limiting contributory Employment and Support Allowance
The Spending Review on 20 October 2010 announced that, from April 2012, for those Employment and Support Allowance claimants assessed as eligible for the Work Related Activity Group, contributory ESA will only be payable for up to one year. Some claimants affected by the change will be able to claim income-based ESA, but it is estimated that around 280,000 could lose entitlement to ESA completely.
26.01.2011Disability Living Allowance mobility component for people in care homes
The October 2010 Spending Review announced that the DLA mobility component would be withdrawn from people in care homes whose place was funded by a public body. The proposal was dropped by the Government during the passage of Welfare Reform Bill 2010-12. This note gives background to the original proposal and summarises initial reactions to it.
05.01.2011Support for Mortgage Interest: the standard rate from 1 October 2010 (archived)
This Commons Library briefing paper has been archived as it no longer offers up-to-date information. However, we have published other papers which may be of interest.
23.12.2010Cold Weather Payments for winter 2010/2011
Cold Weather Payments are made to certain claimants of means-tested benefits during periods of very cold weather. To trigger the £25 payments, the average temperature in an area must be recorded as, or forecast to be, 0°C or below for seven consecutive days.
05.11.2010June Budget and Spending Review 2010: DLA and ESA changes
The Coalition Government's June 2010 Budget announced that a new "objective medical assessment" would be introduced for Disability Living Allowance claims from 2013-14. The Spending Review on 20 October announced that that the DLA mobility component is to be withdrawn from people in care homes whose place is funded by a public body. The Spending Review also announced that, from April 2012, for those Employment and Support Allowance claimants assessed as eligible for the "Work Related Activity Group", contributory ESA would only be payable for up to one year.
26.05.2010Armed Forces Compensation Scheme
The Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS) replaced both the War Pensions Scheme and 'attributable' benefits payable under the old Armed Forces Pension Scheme (AFPS) for service personnel experiencing ill health, injury or death arising from service-related incidents on or after 6 April 2005. This note outlines the scheme and changes made to it since its introduction.
25.01.2010Support for domestic energy users
This note sets out financial support available to domestic energy consumers, including grants for central heating, insulation, microgeneration equipment and social security measures. It also explains how to seek advice or information about gas and electricity problems from Consumer Direct and the Energy Ombudsman.
22.01.2010Cold Weather Payments
Cold Weather Payments. By Steven Kennedy. SN/SP/696.
30.10.2009The future of Attendance Allowance
This note gives details of the proposal in the July 2009 Green Paper, Shaping the Future of Care Together, to integrate some elements of disability benefits with other funding streams to create a new system of care and support for older people in England.
13.03.2009Welfare Reform Bill: Committee Stage report
This is a report on the Committee Stage of the Welfare Reform Bill. It complements Research Papers 09/08 and 09/09 prepared for Commons Second Reading.
23.01.2009Welfare Reform Bill: social security provisions
This paper is one of two which examine the main proposals of the Welfare Reform Bill 2008-09. It deals with Part 1 of the Bill, which includes provisions to establish a 'work for your benefit' scheme for the long-term unemployed, to allow piloting of the 'personalised conditionality' regime, and to enable the future abolition of income support. See also Research Paper 09/09.
15.12.20082009 Benefit Uprating
Sets out the basis for the uprating of benefits and tax credits in 2009
03.12.2008Means-tested benefits: help with mortgage costs (archived)
This Commons Library briefing paper has been archived as it no longer offers up-to-date information. However, we have published other papers which may be of interest.
04.05.2007Recovery of social security benefits from compensation awards
Recovery of social security benefits from compensation awards. By Steven Kennedy. SN/SP/168.
19.07.2006The Welfare Reform Bill [Bill 208 of 2005-06]
16.12.1999Social sec. war pension and National Insurance provisions in the Child Support Pensions and Social Security Bill (Bill 9 1999/2000)
Social security, war pension and National Insurance provisions in the Child Support Pensions and Social Security Bill (Bill 9 of 1999/2000). House of Commons Library Research Paper 99/108.
19.02.1999Welfare Reform and Pensions Bill (Bill 44 of 1998/99)
Welfare Reform and Pensions Bill (Bill 44 of 1998/99). House of Commons Library Research Paper 99/19.