HC Deb 06 March 2000 vol 345 c764
19. Mr. Alan W. Williams (East Carmarthen and Dinefwr)

What is his Department's estimate of the percentage of people who are entitled to disability living allowance but do not claim it. [111850]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Social Security (Mr. Hugh Bayley)

Estimates based on the 1996–97 family resources survey suggested that take-up of disability living allowance by those entitled to it ranged from 30 to 70 per cent., depending on the component. Since then, the number of people receiving DLA has continued to grow and we are also taking steps to improve take-up through increased public confidence in decisions on entitlement.

Mr. Williams

Is it not disappointing that only about half those entitled are claiming DLA? Should not the Government consider introducing a publicity campaign, as they are for the minimum income guarantee for pensioners, to help these mainly elderly people to claim attendance allowance and the mobility and care components?

Mr. Bayley

We want to ensure that all those entitled to benefit receive that to which they are entitled, and credit is due to the Government for increasing the number of people who receive DLA. In the past year, we increased expenditure by £363 million, having identified an additional 62,000 people who were entitled to DLA but not receiving it. They now do.