Is uptake of disability-related social security benefits modified by demographic, social and area-level factors?

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Dermot O'Reilly Michael Rosato Aideen Maguire
Published online: Aug 29, 2018

In the UK Disability Living Allowance (DLA) provided a non means-tested contribution towards the disability-related costs of living for disabled people aged

Objectives and Approach
Three 2011 census-based measures of self-reported health (number of chronic disabilities; activity limitation (a little; a lot); and chronic poor mental health) were linked to 2011 DLA records. Census returns provided individual demographic, socio-economic, social and area-level characteristics. Overall, 92.5% of DLA records were matched to 1.4 million Census records.

Interim analysis analyses confirms health as the main determinant of DLA uptake, but that for a given level of health, uptake was… higher amongst non-married and those of lower socio-economic status ( OR 1.76; (95%CI 1.68, 1.84) most deprived vs. least deprived), lower amongst ethnic minorities (OR 0.87 (95%CIs 0.78, 0.97) non-white vs. white), migrants (OR 0.37; (95%CI 0.34, 0.39) migrants vs. non migrants) and slightly lower in rural communities (OR 0.95; (95%CI 0.93, 0.97) rural vs. urban).

Poor health is the predominant determinant of disability benefits uptake but other social and socioeconomic factors are influential. Results of these analyses might assist in better targeting of benefits.

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