The role and effectiveness of disability benefits for older people

Attendance Allowance (AA) and Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for older people are under debate. The Wanless review of social care suggested that some of the funds spent on them might be better targeted if they were subsumed within Local Authorities’ care budgets and that any residual benefit could be paid as additions to Pension Credit, and hence means tested.

This study will inform debate on the future of AA/DLA. It will provide a better understanding of the interaction between the decisions by older people to claim and by assessors to award AA/DLA. It will also establish how accounting for non take-up of them affects the estimated scale of non take-up of means-tested benefits. It will involve statistical modelling using the Family Resources Survey, the British Household Panel Survey and the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing. The study will be technically advanced but results will be accessible to non academic audiences.

Project details



Professor Ruth Hancock, University of East Anglia

Grant amount and start date:


1 October 2008



Hancock R., Morciano M., Pudney S (2012). Disability costs and equivalence scales in the older population. ISER Working paper 2012-09

Hancock R., Pudney S. (2010). The distributional impact of reforms to disability benefits for older people in the UK. ISER Working paper 2010-35

Hancock R., Morciano M., Pudney S. (2010) Attendance allowance and disability living allowance climants in the older population: is there a difference in their economic circumstances? ISER Working paper 2010-27