Working-age incapacity and disability benefits

Document type
Book chapter
Emmerson, Carl; Joyce, Robert; Sturrock, David
Institute for Fiscal Studies
Date of publication
7 February 2017
Social Policy, Disabled people
Social welfare
Material type

Download (254KB )

This book chapter is part of the IFS Green Budget 2017. The subject of this chapter is the role of incapacity and disability benefits.

Key points:

  • Incapacity and disability benefits make up a large share of total working-age welfare spending.
  • There has been a big shift from spending on incapacity benefits to spending on disability benefits over time.
  • The government has committed to halve the ‘disability employment gap’.

Incapacity benefits – such as employment and support allowance (ESA) – are designed to provide financial support to those who cannot secure an income from employment due to disability or ill health.

Disability benefits – such as personal independence payment (PIP) – are designed to compensate for increased costs of living incurred as a result of having a disability or poor health.

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