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The Take-Up of Multiple Means-Tested Benefits by British Pensioners: Evidence from the Family Resources Survey

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Author Info

  • Ruth Hancock
  • Stephen Pudney
  • Geraldine Barker
  • Monica Hernandez
  • Holly Sutherland

Abstract

Non-take-up of means-tested benefits among pensioners is of long-standing concern. It has assumed increased importance from October 2003 with the introduction of the new means-tested pension credit to which about half of pensioners are expected to be entitled. We use Family Resources Survey data from April 1997 to March 2000 to investigate patterns of pensioner take-up of income support (IS) (subsequently renamed the minimum income guarantee and now subsumed in pension credit), housing benefit (HB) and council tax benefit (CTB). Although 36 per cent of pensioners in our sample failed to claim their entitlements to at least one of these benefits, only 16 per cent failed to claim amounts worth more than 10 per cent of their disposable income. Generally, take-up is high where entitlement is high. But there are exceptions which may reflect the claims process and/or a greater degree of social stigma associated with IS than with HB or CTB.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Institute for Fiscal Studies in its journal Fiscal Studies.

Volume (Year): 25 (2004)
Issue (Month): 3 (September)
Pages: 279-303

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Handle: RePEc:ifs:fistud:v:25:y:2004:i:3:p:279-303

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Cited by:
  1. Olivier Bargain & Herwig Immervoll & Heikki Viitamäki, 2012. "No claim, no pain. Measuring the non-take-up of social assistance using register data," Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer, Springer, vol. 10(3), pages 375-395, September.
  2. Laurence Jacquet, 2006. "Optimal disability assistance when fraud and stigma matter," Working Papers, Queen's University, Department of Economics 1098, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  3. Holly Sutherland & Miles Corak & Christine Lietz & UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre, 2005. "The Impact of Tax and Transfer Systems on Children in the European Union," Innocenti Working Papers inwopa05/30, UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre.
  4. Michel, DE VROEY, 2006. "Getting Rid of Keynes ? A reflection on the history of macroeconomics," Discussion Papers (ECON - Département des Sciences Economiques), Université catholique de Louvain, Département des Sciences Economiques 2006051, Université catholique de Louvain, Département des Sciences Economiques.
  5. Terracol, Antoine, 2009. "Guaranteed minimum income and unemployment duration in France," Labour Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 171-182, April.
  6. Olivier Bargain & Herwig Immervoll & Heikki Viitamäki, 2007. "How Tight are Safety-Nets in Nordic Countries? Evidence from Finnish Register Data," Working Papers, School Of Economics, University College Dublin 200712, School Of Economics, University College Dublin.
  7. Tomer Blumkin & Yoram Margalioth & Efraim Sadka, 2008. "The Role of Stigma in the Design of Welfare Programs," CESifo Working Paper Series 2305, CESifo Group Munich.
  8. Tomer Blumkin & Efraim Sadka & Yoram Margalioth, 2008. "The Role of Stigma in the Design of Welfare Programs," Working Papers, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Department of Economics 0806, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Department of Economics.
  9. Olivier Bargain, 2009. "The Distributional Effects of Tax-benefit Policies under New Labour: A Shapley Decomposition," Working Papers, Geary Institute, University College Dublin 200918, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
  10. Ewoudou, Jacques & Tsimpo, Clarence & Wodon, Quentin, 2009. "Stigma and the take-up of social programs," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4962, The World Bank.

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