ISER Working Paper Series 2010-02
Disability benefits for older people: how does the UK Attendance Allowance system really work?
25 Jan 2010
We analyse FRS survey data on the relationship between disability and receipt of the Attendance Allowance (AA) disability benefit by older people. Despite being non-means-tested, we find that AA is implicitly income-targeted and strongly targeted on those with care needs. We focus particularly on the receipt of higher-rate benefit, intended for those in need of day-and-night care, finding that, in practice, higher-rate payments are negatively related to age and income, in addition to care needs. The allocation of higher-rate AA awards strongly favours people with physical rather than cognitive disabilities.