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Disability Living Allowance

Volume 508: debated on Tuesday 23 March 2010

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 the latest period for which figures are available. (316777)

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 dependency may also have a mental health condition.

The number of disability living allowance cases in payment where the main disabling condition is recorded as drug and alcohol abuse, which will represent a subset of all disability living allowance claimants with a drug or alcohol dependency, at August 2009 is 22,000.


1. The figures are rounded to the nearest hundred and have been uprated to be consistent with Work and Pensions Longitudinal Survey data.

2. The figure shows the number of people in receipt of an allowance, and excludes people with entitlement where the payment has been suspended, for example if they are in hospital.

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.


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