Sickness, disability and carers' benefits

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The page will automatically redirect to Sickness Disability and Carers Benefits Research Briefings produced by the Commons Library, Lords Library and POST

Content published before December 2016

This page highlights some of the current parliamentary material available on sickness, disability and carers' benefits. This includes select committee reports, briefing papers on current legislation and other subjects produced by the parliamentary research services, and the latest Early Day Motions put down by MPs.

Commons Briefing Papers

07.11.2016Carer'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.
04.11.2016Abolition 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.
07.10.2016The future of Attendance Allowance
This House of Commons Library Briefing Paper covers developments since the Government's announcement in December 2015 that it would consider 'giving more responsibility to councils in England, and to Wales, to support older people with care needs - including people who, under the current system, would be supported through Attendance Allowance.' It gives background information on Attendance Allowance, and such information as is available on the Government's plans. It also summarises reactions to the proposals from local government bodies and other stakeholders.
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.
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.
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.

Lords Library Notes

10.11.2015Welfare Reform and Work Bill (HL Bill 69 of 2015-16)
This Library Note provides background reading in advance of the second reading in the House of Lords of the Welfare Reform and Work Bill on 17 November 2015.
16.07.2015Debate on the Budget Statement
This Library Note provides background information on the Budget Statement which was delivered by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, on 8 July 2015. The Note provides a brief overview of some of the key Budget measures, before outlining the immediate reaction to the statement as expressed by members of the House of Commons and by a selection of organisations and commentators. It has been written to support the debate in the House of Lords on this subject scheduled to take place on 21 July 2015.
06.02.2013Welfare Benefits Up-rating Bill (HL Bill 78 of 2012-13)
The Welfare Benefits Up-rating Bill implements an announcement by the Chancellor in the 2012 Autumn Statement that increases in certain working-age welfare benefits and tax credits would be limited to 1 percent, rather than increasing them in line with inflation. This Library Note is intended to provide background information in advance of the Bill's second reading in the House of Lords on 11 February 2013.


11.07.2012Assessing Capacity for Work
This briefing discusses the role of the Work Capability Assessment and its suitability as a gateway to benefit.

Select Committee Reports

08.12.2010The community care grant.
Public Accounts Committee report [Commons]
08.09.2010Support to incapacity benefits claimants through Pathways.
Public Accounts Committee report [Commons]
29.06.2009Supporting carers to care.
Public Accounts Committee report [Commons]
21.04.2009Legislative scrutiny: Welfare Reform Bill;
Human Rights Joint Select Committee report [Commons and Lords]
17.12.2008Valuing and supporting carers.
Government response. Department for Work and Pensions; Work and Pensions Select Committee report [Commons]

Early Day Motions

That this House notes that the parents of ill children often need to live in hospital wards with their children; further notes that living expenses such as meals are not paid for by ...
That this House notes the report on the Government's Incapacity Benefits Reform published by the Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research, based at Sheffield Hallam University, ...
27.10.2011SOCIAL SECURITY (S.I., 2011, No. 1736)
That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty, praying that the Housing Benefit (Amendment) Regulations 2011 (S.I., 2011, No. 1736), dated 14 July 2011, a copy of which was laid ...
That this House is aware that the disability living allowance mobility component helps meet the extra costs many disabled people face in their everyday lives; notes that for disabled ...
That this House notes the importance of the disability living allowance (DLA)/personal independent payment (PIP) mobility component in helping disabled people to be independent and ...


  • Commons Briefing Papers (CBP) Papers providing in-depth and impartial analysis on every major piece of primary legislation and on other topics of public and parliamentary concern. Regular statistics papers are also published.
  • Early Day Motions (EDMs) - formal motions submitted by MPs in the House of Commons
  • POSTnotes (POST PN) - proactive four-page policy briefings from the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology based on reviews of the research literature, interviews with stakeholders and peer review, commissioned by the POST Board
  • Lords Library Notes (LLN) - authored publications by the research section of the House of Lords Library that provide analysis of Bills, subjects for debate in the House and other issues of interest to Members.
  • Select Committee Reports - papers produced by all select committees of both Houses