Northern Ireland

Disability living allowance recipients

Key points

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Graph 1: Over time

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Graph 2: Compared to Great Britain

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Definitions and data sources

Disability Living Allowance (DLA) is a payment towards covering the additional, day-to-day costs of living with disability, available to people under the age of 65.  It has two components, one for people who have difficulties with walking and one for people with care needs.  The official who decides whether to award DLA can refer the claimant for examination by a doctor acting on the government's behalf.  Entitlement to DLA is therefore tightly defined and subject to rigorous assessment.

The first graph shows how the proportion of working age people in receipt of DLA has changed over time.  For comparison purposes, the equivalent data for Great Britain is also shown.

The second graph shows how both the proportion of working age people receiving DLA and the proportion of working-age people self-reporting a limiting long-standing illness compare to the regions of Great Britain.  Because data on limiting long-standing illness is only available from the 2001 Census, the data on DLA recipiency is also for 2001.

The source for the Northern Ireland data on DLA recipiency in both graphs is the Department for Social Development and the source for the Great Britain data is the Department of Work and Pensions Longitudinal Study.  All the data is for the month of February in the stated year.

Overall adequacy of the indicator: medium.  The data on benefit recipiency come from administrative counts and the question asked in the Census is the usually accepted way of measuring the prevalence of limiting long-standing illness.  However, their definitions use differing thresholds.  Furthermore, the Northern Ireland and Great Britain data come from different sources.

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