Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Disability Benefit Acronyms

For quick reference if you're not familiar with many of the acronyms used around disability benefits.

DLA - Disability Living Allowance. Benefit paid to help with additional costs of living with impairment. NOT means tested or work-related. Has two components - Care, and Mobility. Care has three rates - High,Middle, and Low. Mobility has two rates, High and Low. High Rate Mobility can be exchanged to hire an adapted car from Motability. Being replaced in 2013 - 2014 by PIP.

PIP - Personal Independence Payment. DLA replacement benefit. Will have smaller budget and tighter eligibility criteria. DWP estimate 500,000 fewer disabled people will qualify for PIP.

ESA - Employment and Support Allowance. Unemployment benefit paid to chronically sick and disabled people who go through WCA. Has two levels - WRAG and SG. Is replacing Incapacity Benefit. Workers who are off sick without pay can also claim ESA.

IB  - Incapacity Benefit. Unemployment benefit paid to chronically sick and disabled people who are considered unable to work. Is being replaced by ESA.

WCA - Work Capability Assessment. Medical assessment carried out by Atos on behalf of the DWP to determine level of ESA an unemployed disabled person is eligible for.

WRAG - Work Related Activity Group. Level of ESA where an unemployed disabled person is expected to be ready for some work at some point in the future. Has two types - contribution based, and income based. Contribution based is for those who have paid some NI, and runs out after a year. Income based is for those living in a very low income household.

SG - Support Group. Level of ESA where unemployed disabled person is considered too impaired to be able to manage any work at all, ever. Very stringent criteria apply to get into this group, such as those considered terminally ill with less than 6 months left to live.

DWP - Department of Work and Pensions. Government department with responsibility for benefit administration.

Atos - IT company who have many government contracts, including carrying out medicals for both ESA and DLA.

JSA  - Job Seekers Allowance. Benefit paid to unemployed people, including unemployed disabled people who aren't deemed to require any support to seek work.

HB - Housing Benefit. Benefit to pay toward rent cost of social tenants on very low incomes.

LHA - Local Housing Allowance. Benefit to pay toward rent cost of tenants privately rented accommodation on very low incomes.

CA - Carer's Allowance. A sum paid to someone providing full time care for a disabled person who is in receipt of certain benefits.  CA is means tested.

AA - Attendence Allowance. A benefit paid to people over pension age who have additional support needs similar to those that qualify someone for Disability Living Allowance. Has two components - Care and Mobility. Both have two rates, High or Low.

SDA- Severe Disablement Allowance. Old unemployment Benefit for disabled young people who hadn't accrued enough NI contributions to qualify for Incapacity Benefit. Was phased out in 1997-8, but those with historic claim may continue to receive this benefit. Will be replaced by ESA.

All of this information can be found here: http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/MoneyTaxAndBenefits/BenefitsTaxCreditsAndOtherSupport/index.htm This is intended to be a quick quide for easy reference.

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