Sickness, disability and carers' benefits

This page highlights some of the current parliamentary material available on sickness, disability and carers' benefits. This includes select committee reports, briefing papers on current legislation and other subjects produced by the parliamentary research services, and the latest Early Day Motions put down by MPs.

Standard Notes

07.11.2014People from abroad: what benefits can they claim?
This note gives a broad overview of the rules on access to benefits and tax credits for people coming to the UK from abroad. It describes the situation for asylum seekers, nationals from European Economic Area (EEA) countries, and non-EEA nationals.
05.11.2014Measures to limit migrants' access to benefits
Following an article by the Prime Minister's in the Financial Times on 27 November 2013 in which he said he shared concerns about the impact of lifting transitional restrictions on the right of Romanian and Bulgarian right to work in the UK from 1 January 2014, the Government has introduced a raft of measures 'to tighten up our EEA migration rules to ensure our welfare system is not taken advantage of.'
24.10.2014Introduction of Personal Independence Payment
Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is replacing Disability Living Allowance for people of working age. Since it was first introduced for new claims in April 2013 there have been problems with the claims process, with some claimants waiting six months or more for a decision. The Government said that, as a result of actions it is taking, by autumn 2014 no PIP claimant will have to wait more than six months for a decision and by the end of the year no one will have to wait more than 16 weeks.
18.09.2014Asbestos-related diseases: payments from the Department for Work and Pensions
Exposure to asbestos fibres can lead to a number of serious diseases. People suffering from certain conditions may be able to pursue a civil claim for damages against one or more employers responsible for exposing them to asbestos negligently and/or in breach of a statutory duty. Compensation may also be available under schemes administered by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).
07.08.2014Impact on the UK of Scottish independence: social security and tax credits
In the event Scotland becoming an independent country, the Scottish and Westminster governments would have to address two main issues with regard to welfare provision: how to deliver benefits and tax credits in the initial transitional period following independence; and how the two countries' systems should relate to each other in the longer term.

Research Papers

18.11.2013Mesothelioma Bill
The Bill provides the legislative framework for a new Diffuse Mesothelioma Payment Scheme to make payments to people with diffuse mesothelioma who were exposed to asbestos either negligently or in breach of statutory duty by an employer, and who are unable to bring a claim for damages against the employer or an Employers' Liability (EL) insurer.
04.01.2013Welfare Benefits Uprating Bill
27.04.2012Social Indicators
A compendium of the latest social statistics. This edition includes articles: Constituency-level crime data, ESA assessments and reassessments and Measuring well-being
04.03.2011Welfare Reform Bill: reform of disability benefits, Housing Benefit, and other measures
This paper has been prepared for the Second Reading debate in the House of Commons. For information on the provision in the Bill relating to the introduction of Universal Credit, please see the complementary Library Research Paper, 11/24. Besides Universal Credit, the Bill proposes a number of other significant welfare reforms, including replacement of the current Disability Living Allowance, restriction of Housing Benefit entitlement to social housing tenants whose accommodation is larger than they need, time-limiting the payment of contributory Employment and Support Allowance to twelve months, and capping the total amount of benefit that can be claimed.
13.03.2009Welfare Reform Bill: Committee Stage report
This is a report on the Committee Stage of the Welfare Reform Bill. It complements Research Papers 09/08 and 09/09 prepared for Commons Second Reading.

Select Committee Reports

08.12.2010The community care grant.
Public Accounts Committee report [Commons]
08.09.2010Support to incapacity benefits claimants through Pathways.
Public Accounts Committee report [Commons]
29.06.2009Supporting carers to care.
Public Accounts Committee report [Commons]
21.04.2009Legislative scrutiny: Welfare Reform Bill;
Human Rights Joint Select Committee report [Commons and Lords]
17.12.2008Valuing and supporting carers.
Government response. Department for Work and Pensions; Work and Pensions Select Committee report [Commons]

Early Day Motions

That this House notes that the parents of ill children often need to live in hospital wards with their children; further notes that living expenses such as meals are not paid for by ...
That this House notes the report on the Government's Incapacity Benefits Reform published by the Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research, based at Sheffield Hallam University, ...
27.10.2011SOCIAL SECURITY (S.I., 2011, No. 1736)
That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty, praying that the Housing Benefit (Amendment) Regulations 2011 (S.I., 2011, No. 1736), dated 14 July 2011, a copy of which was laid ...
That this House is aware that the disability living allowance mobility component helps meet the extra costs many disabled people face in their everyday lives; notes that for disabled ...
That this House notes the importance of the disability living allowance (DLA)/personal independent payment (PIP) mobility component in helping disabled people to be independent and ...

Lords Library Notes

06.02.2013Welfare Benefits Up-rating Bill (HL Bill 78 of 2012-13)
The Welfare Benefits Up-rating Bill implements an announcement by the Chancellor in the 2012 Autumn Statement that increases in certain working-age welfare benefits and tax credits would be limited to 1 percent, rather than increasing them in line with inflation. This Library Note is intended to provide background information in advance of the Bill's second reading in the House of Lords on 11 February 2013.

POST Papers

11.07.2012Assessing Capacity for Work
This briefing discusses the role of the Work Capability Assessment and its suitability as a gateway to benefit.


  • Research Papers (RP) - briefings produced by the House of Commons Library on Bills, topical issues and regular statistics
  • Standard Notes (SN) - shorter, topical briefings from the Commons Library
  • Early Day Motions (EDMs) - formal motions submitted by MPs in the House of Commons
  • POST Notes - short briefing notes produced by the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology
  • Lords Library Notes (LLN) - papers compiled by the House of Lords Library on Bills and for debates in the Lords
  • Select Committee Reports - papers produced by all select committees of both Houses