HL Deb 15 March 2005 vol 670 cc127-8WA
Lord Morris of Manchester

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What targeting work is undertaken by the Department for Work and Pensions to increase the take-up of disability and carer benefits by those eligible; what results have so far been achieved; and whether any further action is being considered to increase the take-up of the DLA/AA (disability living allowance/attendance allowance). [HL1682]

Baroness Hollis of Heigham

Entitlement to disability living allowance and attendance allowance can be reliably established only after a claim has been made and the care and mobility needs of the individual customer fully assessed. For this reason we cannot reliably calculate the number of people receiving the benefits as a proportion of the overall eligible population.

The department does, however, go to considerable lengths to publicise benefits. Information is available from the department's offices, from the citizens advice bureau and other advice agencies, and leaflets are available in post offices and doctors' surgeries. In addition, information and advice about disability benefits is provided by the benefit inquiry line. For people with Internet access, information about all benefits and how these may be claimed is also contained on the DWP website.

We are increasingly developing closer working relationships with partners such as local authority social services and welfare rights organisations which are able to advise people about disability benefits in a far more targeted and personal way than would be possible through any mass disability awareness campaigns.

In the five years to August 2004, the number of people receiving DLA increased by 26 per cent, and by 4 per cent. in the past 12 months alone. For AA the increases are 11 per cent and 3 per cent respectively.

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