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Disability Living Allowance

Volume 487: debated on Monday 26 January 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many claimants received awards of disability living allowance on the basis of drug or alcohol dependency in each of the last 11 years. (248761)

Entitlement to disability living allowance is not dependent on a diagnosis or condition but relies instead on the care and/or mobility needs arising. In the case of someone with drug or alcohol dependency, needs may arise as a result of their substance dependence or a physical or mental complication caused by drugs or alcohol. Many people with drug or alcohol dependence have an underlying psychiatric illness. Information about the number of people receiving disability living allowance where the main disabling condition is recorded as drug and alcohol abuse is in the following table.

Disability living allowance cases in payment where the main disabling condition is recorded as drug and alcohol abuse

As at May each year

Number

2008

19,300

2007

16,800

2006

15,300

2005

13,800

2004

12,000

2003

10,800

2002

9,100

2001

7,600

2000

6,400

1999

5,600

1998

4,800

Notes:

1. Figures are rounded to the nearest 100 and have been uprated to be consistent with WPLS data.

2. Although the preferred data source for benefit statistics is 100 per cent. Work and Pensions Longitudinal Study, the 5 per cent. sample data has been used in this case because it provides some detail not yet available from the 100 per cent data sources, in particular, more complete information on the disabling condition of Disability Living Allowance claimants.

3. Where more than one disability is present only the main disabling condition is recorded.

4. A diagnosed medical condition does not mean that someone is automatically entitled to Disability Living Allowance. Entitlement is dependent on an assessment of how much help someone needs with personal care and/or mobility because of their disability. These statistics are only collected for administrative purposes. For example, a customer would not be awarded Disability Living Allowance on the basis of a diagnosis of drug/alcohol abuse. The decision is based upon the care/supervision and difficulty getting around as a result of the substance dependency and any associated physical or psychological complications.

Source:

Department for Work and Pensions, Information Directorate, 5 per cent sample.