HC Deb 22 June 1999 vol 333 c362W
Mr. Berry

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what the income levels are of those current incapacity benefit recipients who first made their claim after April 1995 and who have been excluded from the transitional protection provided to former invalidity benefit claimants. [87587]

Mr. Bayley

When Incapacity Benefit was introduced transitional arrangements allowed those already in receipt of Invalidity Benefit to continue to receive their previous rate of benefit. This is standard procedure following a major change in Social Security legislation.

It is not possible to provide figures on income levels just for Incapacity Benefit recipients whose claims began after April 1995. Such information as is available is in the table.

The number and percentage of all Incapacity Benefit recipients (including those formerly on Invalidity Benefit) in each quintile of the income distribution
Income quintile Number in quintile (BHC) Percentage in quintile (BHC) Number in quintile (AHC) Percentage in quintile (AHC)
Bottom 330,000 19 350,000 20
2 570,000 34 550,000 32
3 390,000 23 380,000 22
4 290,000 17 300,000 17
Top 130,000 8 150,000 9


1. BHC = Income quintiles calculated before adjusting for housing costs. AHC = Income quintiles calculated after adjusting for housing costs.

2. Columns may not sum due to rounding.

3. These figures are estimates for the latest year available, which was the financial year 1996–97. The data has been derived from the Department of Social Security's Households Below Average Income dataset, which in turn is based upon the Family Resources Survey for the same period.

4. The income figures are based on household income, adjusted for household size and composition. This reflects the commonsense notion that a household of five adults will need a higher income than a person living alone in order to enjoy the same standard of living. The process of adjusting income in this way is known as equalisation and is needed in order to make sensible income comparisons between households. Each income quintile contains 20 per cent. of the population of Great Britain.

5. The equivalence scales make allowance for factors such as household size and the age of any children but not for any extra costs that people with disabilities may have. Attendance Allowance and Disability Living Allowance, which are paid to help with the extra costs of disability are included as income in these estimates. Removing Attendance and Disability Living Allowance from income reduces the proportion of Incapacity Benefit recipients in the top half of the income distribution by about 5 or 6 percentage points.